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Public Housing That Worked: New York in the Twentieth Century Paperback – February 9, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Highly recommended."—Choice

"While high-rise public housing in the United States is widely regarded as a disaster, the experiment in New York City has thrived for more than seventy years. Nicholas Bloom's well-written, well-researched, and well-illustrated work provides the most sophisticated answers yet to this American paradox."—Kenneth T. Jackson, Columbia University

"Nicholas Dagen Bloom's bold thesis is powerfully argued and effectively overturns much received wisdom about the history of public housing in the United States. This well researched and clearly written book will undoubtedly trigger a fierce debate both among historians and those interested in current housing policy."—Robert Bruegmann, author of Sprawl: A Compact History

"In Public Housing That Worked, Nicholas Dagen Bloom offers the best examination to date of the origins, choices, mistakes, and management of the New York City Housing Authority from its beginnings in the 1930s up through the present. He stresses effective management as the principal reason behind why the city's public stock of housing has survived in decent condition while scores of projects across the country have been demolished. The book should be essential reading for planners and policy analysts seeking a detailed look inside how and why New York's public housing became a notable if controversial exception."—John Goering, Baruch College and CUNY Graduate Center and former HUD project manager

About the Author

Nicholas Dagen Bloom is Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies at the New York Institute of Technology and author of Merchant of Illusion: James Rouse, America's Salesman of the Businessman's Utopia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press; Reissue edition (February 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812220676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812220674
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nicholas Dagen Bloom is Associate Professor of Social Science and Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies and Urban Administration at NYIT. He is author/editor of eight books from leading academic presses, Co-Editor of the Journal of Planning History, and serves as a frequent reviewer/guest critic of scholarly manuscripts, student architectural proposals, and published works in urban history. He has also been interviewed and quoted on housing and other topics in leading national and regional media sources including WNYC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR Marketplace. With other scholars he contributes frequently to Gotham Gazette as an editorial writer on various New York urban affairs topics.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Public Housing That Worked: New York in the Twentieth Century.
by Nicholas Dagen Bloom, an associate professor at the New York Institute of Technology

Nicholas Bloom's book Public Housing That Worked is a fascinating and detailed history of public housing in New York from the tenements of the early 1900s to current theories and practices on social housing almost a century later. I own this book.

Professor Bloom's book discusses how good housing management practices are crucial to successful public housing and social housing programs. He notes that effective management includes both regular maintenance and "keeping patronage to a minimum, holding employees and tenants responsible for their behavior, seeking private sector help where necessary, and using politics to build and protect housing".

There are no easy solutions for affordable housing for hundreds of thousands of lower-income metropolitan New York residents. Professor Bloom's book focuses on drawing lessons learned from NYCHA to see what has worked and what needs improvement. At 354 pages with hundreds of footnotes and index, this book is a good resource for the affordable housing community and future housing programs.

David Hoicka
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book, impeccably researched, and provides the first comprehensive history of NYC's public housing system. It is fascinating reading and I recommend it highly.
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By HM on November 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nicholas Dagen Bloom has produced a definitive work on the history on the New York City Housing Authority. As a historian he demonstrates an objective and thorough knowledge of a well-researched topic. Highly recommended.
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