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"Colin Gordon combines intellectual rigor, a compelling argument, and extensive archival research with the latest geographic information system digital mapping techniques. Dozens of color maps, together with numerous figures and tables, allow the reader to examine the data with fresh eyes. Gordon's focus on a single city, a single neighborhood (Greater Ville), and even a single house (4635 North Market Street) gives his comprehensive analysis an immediacy and power that it might otherwise lack. And the prose is so thoughtful, so well written, and so engaged with recent scholarship that scholars on the topic will be fascinated."—Kenneth Jackson, Political Science Quarterly
"Knowledgeably argued, exhaustively researched, and accessibly written, Gordon's book also employs the latest in digital mapping technology. . . . For brick-and-mortar urban specialists . . . Mapping Decline is nothing short of monumental."—Urban History
"A searing indictment of policymakers, realtors, and mortgage lenders for deliberate decisions that sacrificed their own city of St. Louis on the altar of race. Colin Gordon's use of cartography to visualize this painful pattern of injustice and bad sense is a forceful exemplar for a new kind of history: one told visually as well as textually; analyzed spatially as well as chronologically. Written with empathy, Mapping Decline is a new milestone on the road toward a necessary reckoning of the precise responsibility for the extended urban crises of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries."—Philip J. Ethington, University of Southern California
"Colin Gordon has infused the 'old' story of urban decline with new energy and urgency. His mapping of St. Louis's evolution is a powerful indictment of the distorting, segregating, and wasteful effects of public policy over several generations. Yet the book is not just about history. Incredibly, as Gordon shows, current national and state policies and governmental fragmentation continue to undermine the recover of American cities at the precise moment when they matter again—economically, environmentally, and socially."—Bruce Katz, The Brookings Institution
Essential reading for all who seek to understand why STL—and many—American cities started a downward spiral even before 1899, and how that slow spiral sped up with the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by C. Kick
Mandatory reading if you want to understand what is happening in St. Louis and the history behind it.Published 6 months ago by Richard H. Place
I have read a lot about the housing/zoning/financing mess that stemmed from the policies and practices of the mid- 20th century, ones that were engineered to make sure that whites... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Worddancer Redux
Excellent book! A must-read for any urban, history, social justice or maps geek.Published 13 months ago by Elizabeth
As a St. Louos city resodent I wanted an honest, historical assessment of what went on and I rhink I found it in this book. I think that's what,reading is for.Published on September 8, 2012 by ali
but oh, so depressing. I grew up in St. Louis and moved to nearby Illinois 40 years ago, still working downtown and I've seen it all. Read morePublished on July 28, 2009 by Sandy