One of this week’s best new book releases is …
I recently finished reading Richard Florida’s important book THE NEW URBAN CRISIS. While I didn’t have a chance to write my review this week (watch for it on our website in the next couple of weeks), I thought that this would be a good time to recommend books in a similar vein that should be essential reading for Christians trying to understand the urban places in which they live and/or worship.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it will set readers on an excellent trajectory for understanding urban places.
The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class—and What We Can Do About It
Hardback: Knopf, 2016.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Jeff Crosby
When she was choosing a school for her undergraduate studies a decade ago, New York University in lower Manhattan rose to the top of my daughter’s list of options. The vibrancy of a world-class city, the exposure to the arts and the melting pot of global cultures, and the imprimatur of a diploma from NYU, all lured her to New York.
The cost of her matriculating there for four years and the relative lack of financial aid (apart from the kind that has to be repaid!) prompted me, on the contrary, to suggest that a well-known southern school – a similarly well-endowed but financially generous university in Nashville – just might be the sensible way to go.
NYU and my daughter won.
Financially prudent dad lost.
But really, we both won in the end, for had my daughter not attended New York University I might never have explored Washington Square Park in all the seasons of the year, or partaken of the delightful galleries on Broome Street in SoHo, or the eateries and street music of the cobblestone walkways around Greenwich Village.
Hardback: Harvard UP, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Leslie Klingensmith
Too often, we learn history as an impersonal set of dates, geographic locations, and the names of the major players. While those academic facts are important, our collective past can potentially be much more alive to us in the present and, therefore, more helpful as we seek solutions to the social ills that affect us all. Historical writing is most effective when it is able present people and scenarios from the past in a way that humanizes those who were there and shows us how decisions made “at the top” actually changed the lives of ordinary people.
Michael Woodsworth, in his book Battle for Bed-Stuy:The Long War on Poverty in New York City, makes a credible attempt to look at one community through a period of decades. He analyzes Bedford-Stuyvesant’s (“Bed-Stuy”) efforts to combat poverty and remain a safe, vibrant, appealing place for people to live. Battle for Bed-Stuy is especially useful for learning how President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty legislation and its programs played out in a real community populated by people committed to improving their surroundings and their lives.
One of this week’s best new book releases is:
NPR Book Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews one of this week’s most important new book releases…
“[Olivia Laing] campaigns against what she calls the gentrification of cities and of emotions. By that, she means the homogenizing, whitening, deadening effect that causes us to deny the existence of the shameful and the unwanted.”
Mumford was the author of the important book:
National Book Award Winner.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
In conjunction with the success of this book, Mumford made a superb six-part documentary series that spans the book’s content. The full series can be watched online…
(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)
By Dale Partridge