Book Review: the Origins of the Urban Crisis

1451 Words6 Pages
In this beautifully told story by Thomas Sugrue we embark on a journey through the history of industrialized cities of the northern United States from the period of the 1930’s until around the 1980’s. Sugrue, a native of Detroit, sheds light on many of the underlying reasons for modern or contemporary urban crisis that stem largely from racial issues that were prevalent during this era of post-industrialization decline following the second world war. Sugrue reasons that there has been a disconnect in the understanding of the origins of the urban crisis, and maintains that common scapegoats like “white flight” didn’t occur because of widespread social strife in Detroit, but instead these movements were structural by nature and fostered the intensification of racial inequalities in urban areas that were further solidified by geographical constraints administered by the government through urban politics. In order for Sugrue to convey his points in the most efficient manner, he splits this book into three sections, the first of which is called “Arsenal”. In this section we are introduced to the golden years of Detroit in the 1940’s, a city that was once thriving on the massive wartime workforce that largely came from migrating blacks from the South, was quickly becoming defined by industrial business relocations, industrial plant terminations, widespread unemployment, lack of housing subsequent to rapid population expansions, and the ramifications that these events had on the local economy in Detroit. Sugrue specifically delves into the housing issues in Detroit that festered due to reluctance of racial integration in the city and the actions taken by wealthier white natives and local government institutions to confine blacks to specific areas of very low quality living spaces. During the wartime efforts, large companies like Ford that were located in Detroit were

More about Book Review: the Origins of the Urban Crisis

Open Document