** Ghetto by Mitchell Duneier

Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea is not a story of ghettoes per se, but rather an exploration of how social scientists studied and wrote about the American “ghetto”. I would have preferred a more direct approach but found enough direct glimpses of the history, starting with the segregation of Jews in Rome, thanks to Paul IV (before Venice gave its name to the word ghetto), all the way to  Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem’s Children Zone.

Sadly, the scientists who studied (American) ghettos don’t seem to  have contributed many solutions to the phenomenon, perhaps because they were guided more by ideology than observation, let along first-hand knowledge.

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