The Hidden War: Crime and the Tragedy of Public Housing in Chicago Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

ISBN-13: 978-0813528335
ISBN-10: 081352833X
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Editorial Reviews


"The Hidden War is a masterfully documented story of the interactions between good intentions and misguided policy implementation..." -- Fay Lomax Cook, director, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University

"The Hidden War vividly documents what it means for families and children to live in America's most distressed public housing..." -- Margery Austin Turner, director of Metropolitan Housing and Communities, The Urban Institute

From the Back Cover

Since the late 1970s, the high-rise developments of the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) have been dominated by gang violence and drugs, creating a sense of hopelessness among residents. Despite a lengthy war on crime, costing hundreds of millions of dollars, the CHA has been unable to reduce the violence that makes life intolerable. Focusing on three developments-Rockwell Gardens, Henry Horner Homes, and Harold Ickes Homes-Sussan Popkin and her co-authors interviewed resident, community leaders and CHA staff. The Hidden Wars offers a vivid portrait of what life is like among gunfire, graffiti, and broken plumbing.

Most families living in these developments are headed by African American single mothers. The authors reveal the dilemmas facing women and children who are often victims or witnesses of violent crime, and yet are dependent on the perpetrators and their drug-based economy. The CHA-plagued by financial scandals, managerial incompetence, and inconsistent funding-is no match for the gang-dominated social order. Even well-intentioned initiatives such as the recent effort to demolish and "revitalize" the worst developments seem to be ineffective at combating crime, while the drastic changes leave many vulnerable families facing an uncertain future. The Hidden War sends a humbling message to policy makers and prognosticators who claim to know the right way to "solve poverty."

Product Details

  • File Size: 2978 KB
  • Print Length: 254 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 081352833X
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (June 1, 2000)
  • Publication Date: June 1, 2000
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,863,416 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By Linda C. Jennings on August 22, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This research documentation chonicles the development, history, and failure of mass public housing in large urban centers, such as Chicago. The researchers give a detailed history on local, (Chicago Housing Authority), and Federal government policies which brought about the demise of mass public housing. Also, they timeline the drug epidemic and the organized gang involvement into the underground economy of drug trafficking, which is destroying the human fabric of these massive housing developments. The authors survey three housing developments, to give the reader insight into this tragedy and how the inhabitants are surviving this holecoust. There are times when the hopelessness of this delimma appears insermountable. The researchers attempt to give their insights on present government policies to SAVE the vulnerable population of young women and children who are the majority inhabitants in public housing. They acknowledge demolition of massive housing structures as the only viable alternative to combat the violence and gang dominance over public housing. This is very informative and insightful reading about public and social policies which control the lives of the disadvantaged. The researchers do not deny that its inhabitants are one of the major factors in which crime and violence are uncontrollable in public housing. The authors state that unlike wars in other countries, this war is not being fought for anything...there is neither a greater cause that the residents can use to justify their suffering nor any hope that the violence might lead to a greater good! This is a must READ!
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