Colored Property: State Policy and White Racial Politics in Suburban America (Historical Studies of Urban America)

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9780226262765: Colored Property: State Policy and White Racial Politics in Suburban America (Historical Studies of Urban America)

Northern whites in the post-World War II era began to support the principle of civil rights, so why did many of them continue to oppose racial integration in their communities? Challenging conventional wisdom about the growth, prosperity, and racial exclusivity of American suburbs, David M. P. Freund argues that previous attempts to answer this question have overlooked a change in the racial thinking of whites and the role of suburban politics in effecting this change. In Colored Property, he shows how federal intervention spurred a dramatic shift in the language and logic of residential exclusion-away from invocations of a mythical racial hierarchy and toward talk of markets, property, and citizenship. Freund begins his exploration by tracing the emergence of a powerful public-private alliance that facilitated postwar suburban growth across the nation with federal programs that significantly favored whites. Then, showing how this national story played out in metropolitan Detroit, he visits zoning board and city council meetings, details the efforts of neighborhood "property improvement" associations, and reconstructs battles over race and housing to demonstrate how whites learned to view discrimination not as an act of racism but as a legitimate response to the needs of the market. Illuminating government's powerful yet still-hidden role in the segregation of U.S. cities, Colored Property presents a dramatic new vision of metropolitan growth, segregation, and white identity in modern America.

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About the Author:

David M. P. Freund is associate professor of history at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Review:

“David Freund appears to have ransacked the National Archives and has uncovered a treasure trove of documents that tell an incredible story as they detail behaviors, rationales, and values on the eve of the civil rights revolution. Ultimately, he shows that the American housing market was not simply exploited by racial interests; it was born of—and set up to serve—them.”

(Arnold Hirsch, author of Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1)

Colored Property is a sophisticated analysis of the political construction of race. In this provocative examination of federal homeownership and finance programs, Freund shows how government intervention in the housing market reinforced racial differences but masked the consequences in the rhetoric of free choice. Richly detailed and rigorous, Colored Property gives the lie to the myth of colorblindness.”

(Thomas J. Sugrue, author of The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality)

“If we think of the study of race, residence, and urban policy as having been transformed long ago by Arnold Hirsch’s studies of the ‘second ghetto’ in Chicago, and more recently by Thomas Sugrue’s work on Detroit, Colored Property marks a third remaking of this critically important area of inquiry. Freund’s profound work insistently pursues the stories of white city-leavers into the suburbs and so fully links national trends with rich local examples.”

(David Roediger, author of Working Toward Whiteness: How America’s Immigrants Bec)

"A creative, vital entry point to explore the tangle of federal mortgage financing, housing reform, and deep-seated racism. . . . This well-written, much needed study brings together the realms of urban history, race relations, and economic opportunity." (Choice)

"With evidence drawn from a variety of disciplines, Freund raises the standard for urban studies. . . . The successful balance among the individual decisions, racial bias, and economic policy that Freund achieves embodies the ideals of historical anlysis. . . . Colored Property is crucial reading for historians and educators studying the recent past of the metropolitan Midwest. It is also an invaluable work for researchers interested in the expansion of American subuirbs in the twenteth century." (Walter D. Greason Michigan Historical Review)

"Freund has produced an important book and one likely to become required reading for all students of urban history and federal public policy." (Charlotte Brooks Journal of American Ethnic History)

"[Freund's book] unravels the ties that bound (and bind) race and property, and, in the process, shows how that linkage altered white racial ideals and politics in postwar America." (Andrew Wiese Journal of American History)

"Every historian of twentieth-century United States will certainly have to reckon with Colored Property. The study paves the way for new understandingss of everything from the evolution of white racial ideology and federal policy after 1910, to the ways in which the politics of race shaped the postwar Democratic Party, to the reasons why the Detroit metropolitan area today has the highest segregation index in the country. That is no small accomplishment." (Heather Ann Thompson Journal of Southern History)

"Beware! Colored Property might very well outrage some readers. Whether or not it does . . . it deserves a key place in the historical and sociological scholarship of metropolitan America. . . . Unquestionably Colored Property is a most compelling volume to read and to contemplate. Its scholarship is prodigious. Its findings are searing. Surely this book is destined to exert enduring influence. It is required reading for a multiplicity of audiences, including historians, social scientists, legal scholars, journalists and policy makers." (Michael H. Ebner Urban History)

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Colored Property: State Policy and White Racial Politics in Suburban America, David M. P. Freund, In "Colored Property", David M. P. Freund shows how federal intervention spurred a dramatic shift in the language and logic of racial integration in residential neighborhoods after World War II - away from invocations of a mythical racial hierarchy and toward talk of markets, property, and citizenship. Freund traces the emergence of a powerful public-private alliance that facilitated postwar suburban growth across the nation with federal programs that significantly favored whites. Then, showing how this national story played out in metropolitan Detroit, he demonstrates how whites learned to view discrimination not as an act of racism but as a legitimate response to the needs of the market. Illuminating government's powerful yet still-hidden role in the segregation of U.S. cities, "Colored Property" presents a dramatic new vision of metropolitan growth, segregation, and white identity in modern America. Bookseller Inventory # B9780226262765

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