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House by House, Block by Block
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About the Author

Alexander von Hoffman is a senior research fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University and he teaches at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. He has written for The Boston Globe, the Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times and is the author of Local Attachments: The Making of an American Urban Neighborhood.

Reviews

"Contains eternal truths for reformers in any major American city."--The Baltimore Sun "Deserves to be read by everyone concerned with the fate of America's cities."--Publishers Weekly "The chapter on New York is superb: I was there, and the revitalization occurred just as von Hoffman describes."--Edward I. Koch, former mayor of New York City "Von Hoffman's lucid narrative, with its colorful activists, Machiavellian politicians and inspiring struggles, brings this potentially mind-numbing subject to life. This book deserves to be read by everyone concerned with the fate of America's cities."--Publishers Weekly "An upbeat book about the contemporary state of inner cities in the United States sounds like an oxymoron. But Alexander von Hoffman has written such a book. It is persuasive and educational as well as counterintuitive.... Von Hoffman's narrative contains eternal truths for reformers in any major American city. With von Hoffman's proof that individuals can make a significant difference, he promotes realistic hope."--The Baltimore Sun "It all started on Charlotte Street in the Bronx. Presidents Carter and Reagan stood on that street and both compared the area to bombed-out London and Berlin. House by House, Block by Block recounts how New York City rebuilt the South Bronx and large parts of Brooklyn and Harlem, and how other cities have transformed their own troubled neighborhoods. I marveled at the accuracy and intimacy of the reporting. The chapter on New York is superb: I was there, and the revitalization occurred just as von Hoffman describes."--Edward I. Koch, former mayor of New York City "This is the most hopeful book on the American inner city to appear in decades. Von Hoffman's surprising optimism rests on an impressive base of new research and data. But most importantly, he has gone beyond theories and statistics to the neighborhoods themselves to tell the dramatic story of how an unexpected coalition of community activists, foundations, planners, politicians, and business leaders have defied immense difficulties to begin rebuilding America's inner cities 'house by house, block by block'." --Robert Fishman, author of Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia, and Professor of History, Taubman College of Architecture and Planning, University of Michigan "This book arrives at the perfect time, just as faith in the American city is being renewed and governments and foundations are trumpeting the rebirth of the metropolis. Von Hoffman's research reminds us of a valuable lesson: it is the tireless work of those unsung heroes at the grassroots--residents, community builders, block club leaders and the like--who will ultimately determine whether our policies and prescriptions work or fail. House by House, Block by Block is required reading, for both participants in and observers of the revitalizing of the American city."--Sudhir Venkatesh, author of American Project: the Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto, and Associate Professor of Sociology, Columbia University

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