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Great American City: Chicago And The Enduring Neighborhood Effect Paperback – 2 Jul 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 552 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Reprint edition (2 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022605568X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226055688
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 469,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Robert J. Sampson's analysis has critical implications for both social science and social policy, and Great American City is a must read for anyone interested in either topic." (Science) "It is simply impossible to write about cities in the same way after reading this book." (Public Books)"

About the Author

Robert J. Sampson is the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University, where he moved after teaching at the University of Chicago for a dozen years. He is a member of the National Academy of Science, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science, and coauthor of Crime in the Making: Pathways and Turning Points through Life and Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives: Delinquent Boys to Age 70.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Copleston on 31 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Banal 'insights' and unanswered questions embedded in the kind of verbiage that gave the social sciences a bad name - and surprisingly little feel for Chicago itself. Thankfully, Kindle books can now be returned to Amazon for a refund.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By daveoftruro on 17 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The second sentence in this book left me stunned, my mind spinning away on a path never envisaged by the author.

First sentence: "Imagine a world where distance has died, where globalization and high-tech wonders have rendered place irrelevant..." Second sentence: "From the North End of Boston to the North Beach of San Francisco, imagine cities where..."

Stop! Rewind! Does the world start and end with the shoreline of the USA?

If a serious academic has such a narrow-minded view of the world - supported by all those who edited, proofed, reviewed and wrote the Foreword for the book - is it any surprise that America is so out of touch with the rest of the world? Does not so many of America's problems with other parts of the world stem from this parochial outlook? Shouldn't all American education teach understanding of the world beyond the American shoreline?

I must get back to reading the book, which looks excellent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Clear and concise 23 Aug. 2012
By Bingo Buchanan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this book, Robert Sampson clearly summarizes two decades worth of research on neighborhood effects in Chicago and provides new findings that move urban studies forward. While some of Dr. Sampson's journal articles are dense and complicated, this book is not. It is incredibly clear and concise. Sampson wisely leaves out explanations of the rigorous and advanced statistics used to draw the conclusions, and focuses more on interpretation and explanation. This approach makes the oftentimes confusing neighborhood effects research much more accessible. Sampson also provides what is probably the clearest definition of collective efficacy to date.

This book is a must-read for people interested in how a neighborhood can affect life outcomes.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Landmark work of sociology 18 April 2014
By Keith Ammann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I'd give this book five stars for scholarship, just shy of three for readability. This is not a work for general audiences but a scholarly volume written by a sociologist for sociologists. As someone who was keenly interested in the subject matter from the outset, I nevertheless found it to be a dense and difficult read from beginning to end, and I had to fight to keep my attention on the page. Sampson's findings, however, are wide-ranging and profound -- so much so that I believe this book deserves to be, and will be, a landmark publication in the field of sociology. I hope it does. I also hope its findings are presented to policymakers and the general public in a more accessible form, because they have the power to change lives.

I especially appreciated being introduced to the concept of "collective efficacy": the ability of residents to improve their communities through organized action. We can all think of places that are known for it and places that are known for lacking it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An academic basis for what we have experienced 28 Mar. 2013
By Carol Ann Bone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
For those who have worked in the field this is not a lot of news ---- but it does give an evidential and theoretical basis. Pity there was not more discussion of policy and action implications, the weakest part of the book. Still worth the effort just be prepared to take it further.
This book does a great job bringing awareness to is faced in historically oppressed ... 26 Sept. 2014
By Truth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book does a great job bringing awareness to is faced in historically oppressed areas. Even today these urban communities are still oppressed bu the wars on drugs verses needed wars on poverty. The rich get richer, the poor get prison, the oppressed stay oppressed through the mass incarceration of minority males and the lack of Quality mental health services and economic resources. This book is a must read to bring awareness to this urban crisis.
Great Cities 20 Aug. 2013
By Ranchito - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was quite a dense read, however I appreciated Sampson's thoroughness and depth of research. I became much more interested in the topic the more I read. It's definitely a textbook kind of read, but worthwhile if you're interested in working in neighborhoods.
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