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Not in My Neighborhood How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City
978-1-56663-843-2 • Hardback
March 2010 • $28.95 • (£17.95)
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Pages: 336
Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
By Antero Pietila
 
History | General
Ivan R. Dee
Baltimore is the setting for (and typifies) one of the most penetrating examinations of bigotry and residential segregation ever published in the United States. Antero Pietila shows how continued discrimination practices toward African Americans and Jews have shaped the cities in which we now live. Eugenics, racial thinking, and white supremacist attitudes influenced even the federal government's actions toward housing in the 20th century, dooming American cities to ghettoization. This all-American tale is told through the prism of Baltimore, from its early suburbanization in the 1880s to the consequences of "white flight" after World War II, and into the first decade of the twenty-first century. The events are real, and so are the heroes and villains. Mr. Pietila's engrossing story is an eye-opening journey into city blocks and neighborhoods, shady practices, and ruthless promoters.
Antero Pietila spent thirty-five years as a reporter with the Baltimore Sun, most of it covering the city's neighborhoods, politics, and government. A native of Finland, he became a student of racial change during his first visit to the United States in 1964. He lives in Baltimore.
A sharply critical, exhaustively researched, and absolutely invaluable analysis, Not In My Neighborhood is the most important kind of history book-the history that must be studied so that its mistakes are not repeated (and so that solutions to difficult problems can be worked upon for the future)! Highly recommended.
Midwest Book Review


...Spellbinding....The scope of Pietila's research over the past 130 years is dazzling
Jason Policastro; Baltimore Brew


With its sensitive subject, this groundbreaking book is a monumental effort.....Pietila hooks readers with anecdotes and arresting details.
Diane Scharper; Baltimore Sun


From suburbanization in the late 19th century to white flight after WWII and, more recently, the targeting of minorities with predatory sub-prime lending, the picture of Baltimore, once again, isn't pretty.
Steven Levingston; Review Of Higher Education


Not In My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped A Great American City offers a powerful survey of a Baltimore issue that shaped a city's psyche when discrimination policies toward blacks and Jews shaped a world....Eye-opening and recommended for any college-level social issues collection.
Midwest Book Review, May 2010


Antero Pietila’s sweeping and detailed portrait of Baltimore’s 20th-century blockbusters is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how and why the city came to look the way it does today. Morris Goldseker, the mighty Jack Pollack, “Little Willie” Adams, James Rouse, Joseph Meyerhoff, and even civil rights legends such as Juanita Mitchell all played their part—and profited from—Baltimore’s racially rigged housing business. Clearly written, fast-paced, and filled with telling anecdotes, Not in My Neighborhood brings these players to vivid life, even if it merely nods to some of the larger, more impersonal forces that gave them their opportunities.
Baltimore City Paper, December 2010


Former Baltimore Sun reporter Pietila, who covered Baltimore neighborhoods and politics for 35 years, has produced an engrossing chronicle that emphasizes the links between racism, real estate practices, and urban politics. Indeed, the author argues they have been inseparable in Baltimore—and the nation. Pietila suggests that federal housing programs (1930s-60s) transformed the eugenics movement into national policy, and he significantly places realtors and developers at the very center of Baltimore politics. Most of the narrative focuses on the period 1910-68, although the author traces racial and real estate patterns back to the 1880s. The third section covers the 1960s and early 1970s....White versus black racism and black and white anti-Semitism are the main themes here, but Pietila's...account reveals class and religion added to already complex tensions. For instance, some Jewish developers would not rent or sell to Jewish families. Newspapers and personal interviews provide some colorful details. Secondary scholarship connects the Baltimore example to the national struggle over access to decent housing, driven by optimism, fear, and sometimes violence. Summing Up: Recommended.
CHOICE


Not in My Neighborhood offers a lively, informative portrayal of how real estated practices throughout the twentieth century contributed to the segregated cities we see today. In a brief epilogue, the author voices optimism that increasing demographic diversity in the United States will lead to a more integrated future.
Journal Of Planning Education And Research


 
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