American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland


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About this product. Stock photo. Pre-owned: lowest price The lowest-priced item that has been used or worn previously. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Shipped to over one million happy customers. See details. See all 2 pre-owned listings. Buy It Now. Add to cart. Self , Paperback. Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Product Information As the birthplace of the Black Panthers and a nationwide tax revolt, California embodied a crucial motif of the postwar United States: the rise of suburbs and the decline of cities, a process in which black and white histories inextricably joined.

American Babylontells this story through Oakland and its nearby suburbs, tracing both the history of civil rights and black power politics as well as the history of suburbanization and home-owner politics. Robert Self shows that racial inequities in both New Deal and Great Society liberalism precipitated local struggles over land, jobs, taxes, and race within postwar metropolitan development. Black power and the tax revolt evolved together, in tension.

American Babylondemonstrates that the history of civil rights and black liberation politics in California did not follow a southern model, but represented a long-term struggle for economic rights that began during the World War II years and continued through the rise of the Black Panthers in the late s. This struggle yielded a wide-ranging and profound critique of postwar metropolitan development and its foundation of class and racial segregation. Self traces the roots of the tax revolt to the s, when home owners, real estate brokers, and the federal government used racial segregation and industrial property taxes to forge a middle-class lifestyle centered on property ownership.

PART II. RACE, URBAN TRANSFORMATION, AND THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SEGREGATION, 1954-1966

Using the East Bay as a starting point, Robert Self gives us a richly detailed, engaging narrative that uniquely integrates the most important racial liberation struggles and class politics of postwar America. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Industrial Garden 23 2. Working Class 61 3. Preview — American Babylon by Robert O. As the birthplace of the Black Panthers and a nationwide tax revolt, California embodied a crucial motif of the postwar United States: the rise of suburbs and the decline of cities, a process in which black and white histories inextricably joined.

American Babylon tells this story through Oakland and its nearby suburbs, tracing both the history of civil rights and black po As the birthplace of the Black Panthers and a nationwide tax revolt, California embodied a crucial motif of the postwar United States: the rise of suburbs and the decline of cities, a process in which black and white histories inextricably joined. American Babylon tells this story through Oakland and its nearby suburbs, tracing both the history of civil rights and black power politics as well as the history of suburbanization and home-owner politics.

Robert Self shows that racial inequities in both New Deal and Great Society liberalism precipitated local struggles over land, jobs, taxes, and race within postwar metropolitan development. Black power and the tax revolt evolved together, in tension.


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American Babylon demonstrates that the history of civil rights and black liberation politics in California did not follow a southern model, but represented a long-term struggle for economic rights that began during the World War II years and continued through the rise of the Black Panthers in the late s. This struggle yielded a wide-ranging and profound critique of postwar metropolitan development and its foundation of class and racial segregation.

Self traces the roots of the tax revolt to the s, when home owners, real estate brokers, and the federal government used racial segregation and industrial property taxes to forge a middle-class lifestyle centered on property ownership. Using the East Bay as a starting point, Robert Self gives us a richly detailed, engaging narrative that uniquely integrates the most important racial liberation struggles and class politics of postwar America.

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History of Race & Ethnicity in the United States (1610-2060)

Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Politics and Society in Modern America. Oakland, California United States. James A.

Rawley Prize Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about American Babylon , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Oct 21, Jasonrhodes71 rated it it was amazing.

Jan 18, Michael Brickey rated it it was amazing. This book may be one of the most influential books in my understanding of the economic and political motivations for the process of suburbanization. Amidst the homogenized suburbanization of the Bay Area, Self accounts for the existence of la colonias in the outskirts, and describes the rise of the Black Panther Party in the city itself.

Self's analysis of the development of suburbs through tax-based incentives reveals much about American politics in addition to describing the spatialization of This book may be one of the most influential books in my understanding of the economic and political motivations for the process of suburbanization. Self's analysis of the development of suburbs through tax-based incentives reveals much about American politics in addition to describing the spatialization of race and class in the 20th century American city. Aug 08, Sara Salem rated it really liked it.

Very interesting book on the history of race and property and urban space in the Bay Area. His focus on private property and how Californians understand citizenship and personhood through owning property is fascinating and makes a lot of sense. Apr 23, Sean Broesler rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction. This book is a continuing inspiration to me. Its focus on the spatial aspects of historical change is crucial to forming a thoroughgoing analysis. Jun 04, Sean B rated it it was amazing. Caveat: I'm an Oakland native who has an interest in urban history. After reading other reviews of this book, I was worried that it would be overly academic and dry.

I didn't find it to be that way at all, but perhaps that is due to my background and interest in the book's subject. American Babylon is not overly dense and certainly educational. I had no idea how heavily unionized the city was at the end of WW II. I also did not know that East Oakland become predominately African American in the Caveat: I'm an Oakland native who has an interest in urban history. I also did not know that East Oakland become predominately African American in the 70s I had assumed its demographic history was similar to West Oakland.

It was also interesting to read about the suburbs of Alameda County, and how they developed differently from one another. If you're interested in post WWII race relations, the book is also insightful. I definitely recommend it, and I found it to be a more enjoyable read than Color of Law which is also excellent, but was a bit more of a challenge to finish for me. May 14, Ben rated it liked it. Parts of this book include interesting stories and information. Other parts are stretches of big words and academic phrases that, added together, don't say much at all.

If you are like me and have trouble reading stretches of this book, I recommend skipping pages that wander off into social science academic speak. Dec 04, Danielle Adams rated it it was amazing. Excellent critical historical work on postwar Oakland.

American Babylon

Jul 30, Jordan rated it it was amazing. This book provides a comprehensive and detailed account on how the politics of racial capitalism molded Oakland, CA and created the conditions that people from the Town know all too well. It details how housing segregation, employment discrimination, deindustrialization, and suburbanization coalesced and culminated in the creation of African-Am slums in Oakland, as well as white-centric "Industrial Gardens" in other East Bay cities. It also explains, in great detail, the failure of liberalism, a This book provides a comprehensive and detailed account on how the politics of racial capitalism molded Oakland, CA and created the conditions that people from the Town know all too well.

It also explains, in great detail, the failure of liberalism, and how New Deal liberalism's half-stepping on racial economic justice is directly responsible for the creation of the "Black ghetto. Tremendous account. Apr 17, David Bates rated it it was amazing. Robert O. Following the history of Oakland from the s through , Self argues that the Black Power Movement and the Conservative Movement evolved in tandem as political manifestations of the underlying contest between predominantly black inner city residents and white suburbanites. Plans during the s to turn Oakland into an industrial garden with good living conditions and shared prosperity foundered on Robert O.

Robert O. Self, 39

Guided by downtown business interests, the black neighborhoods of West Oakland were marginalized by new highways, the Bay Area Rapid Transit System and new port facilities whose development cut residents off from labor markets and dislocate hundreds of homeowners and businesses. Excluded from the building trades by racially exclusive unions, blacks drew no profit from the construction of the suburbs rising in the hills around the city such as San Leandro, Milpitas and Fremont.

The availability of cheap federal loans enabled white Oakland to largely relocate to these new communities, where industry, encouraged by tax breaks, followed. Racial discrimination in loans and restrictive housing covenants prevented black families from making a similar trek. While not minimizing racial hostility, Self argues that structural factors were, by the early s the force which would underwrite the antagonistic racial divide between Black Power activists seeking community control and white Conservative suburbanites defensively seeking autonomy from the mounting problems of the urban core.

By the time the Black Power Movement succeeded in mobilizing their community politically and electing black politicians to municipal and state government in the s they were caught in a bind, arguing for neighborhood self-determination but that urban blight was not the product of this self-determination. Feb 19, Matt rated it it was amazing. A remarkable social science book.

An archaeology of inequality. May 31, Elise rated it really liked it. I imagine I'll return to this book often, particularly the sections on fair housing, an emerging interest of mine. The author traces the economic decline of cities and the concurrent development of suburbs in the East Bay during the ss, arguing that what has become commonly understood as 'White flight' was not only racially, but also economically motivated.

Book American Babylon Race And The Struggle For Postwar Oakland

Indeed, residential racial segregation between Oakland and its suburbs was largely facilitated by the real estate industry, which h I imagine I'll return to this book often, particularly the sections on fair housing, an emerging interest of mine. Indeed, residential racial segregation between Oakland and its suburbs was largely facilitated by the real estate industry, which had a financial stake in maintaining segregated developments, as well as the Federal Housing Administration, which guaranteed home loans almost exclusively to White buyers.

And similar scenarios played out in numerous metro areas across the country. I was surprised to learn that the same suburban Whites who supported the liberal welfare policies of Lyndon Johnson overwhelmingly supported Prop 14, which repealed the Rumford Fair Housing Act, passed in the early '60s, in the name of 'individual property rights.

Within a context in which fair housing--as well as equal employment, equal education, and, more generally, the War on Poverty policies--generally failed to uplift Oakland's poor Black population, Self discusses the emergence of Black self-liberation politics and Black Power. A great supplementary experience to reading this book was seeing "Not a Genuine Black Man," an amazing one-man show by Brian Copeland, in which he touchingly and humorously chronicles his experience growing up in the Oakland suburb of San Leandro in the s. View 1 comment.

Apr 07, Elizabeth rated it it was amazing Shelves: cities , geography. The industrial garden vision, created by postwar metropolitan boosters and maintained for decades after, relies upon two particularly modern orderings: spatial classification and social regulation. The details of the dream changed over time, and between different people and groups. The mechanisms which planted and fertilized this indu The industrial garden vision, created by postwar metropolitan boosters and maintained for decades after, relies upon two particularly modern orderings: spatial classification and social regulation.

Both views are, of course, utopian. What Self is suggested, however, is that behind the modern rhetoric of constant expansion lies another, seemingly contradictory goal: socioeconomic instability and unpredictability contained by controlling and patrolling the boundaries of civic spaces. Nov 30, Noah rated it it was ok.

American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland
American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland
American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland
American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland
American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland
American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland
American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland

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