Show Me a Hero: A Tale of Murder, Suicide, Race, and Redemption

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9781447295334: Show Me a Hero: A Tale of Murder, Suicide, Race, and Redemption

In the grand reportorial tradition of J. Anthony Lukass's Common Ground, SHOW ME A HERO is a tale of one city, divided by fear and racism, murder and politics, and notions of home and community.

When Nicholas Wasicsko was growing up, he knew he was going to be mayor of Yonkers. The other kids teased him about his dream, calling him "The Mayor" on the basketball court. But on November 3, 1987, when he was only twenty-eight years old, Nick did indeed become mayor - in fact, the country's youngest.

It turned out to be less than a dream job. The city had just been slapped with a court order demanding that it build public housing on the white, middle-class side of town in order to right what the judge saw as intentional, decades-long pattern of segregation. Shortly after taking office, and after careful deliberation with the city's lawyers, Nick agreed to comply with the court order. This decision would lead to a virtual civic meltdown, and the shattering of his own hopes and dreams.

SHOW ME A HERO is about the battle between the judge and Nick's city, and also about what happens after - after the lawyers have gone, the protesting has stopped, the townhouses have been built, and the newcomers have moved in. It's about Alma Febles, a magnetic young mother desperate to move her three children into a real home. It's about the nearly blind Norma O'Neal, who couldn't get home health care in the projects. It's about Mary Dorman, an activist-first, against housing; then, gradually, for it - for the first time in her life. And it's about Nick Wasicsko and his wife, Nay, trying to build a life amid the political rubble.

SHOW ME A HERO is riveting tale, made more urgent by the fact that the hard lessons Nick had to learn are ones that countless cities will face in the future. Across the country, monolithic housing projects are being demolished and replaced by scattered-site public housing built in middle-class neighborhoods. One by one, these cities will learn, as Yonkers did, as Nick did, what this means for a nation whose people preach, diversity but who are most comfortable when surrounded by others like themselves.

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Review:

"The pipe bomb was small as pipe bombs go, but the explosion could be heard from several blocks away--a sharp bang as rows of factory-fresh ceramic tiles shattered into a pile of razor-edged rubble. Neighbors who were drifting off to sleep sat upright, awake. Family members who were preparing for bed looked at each other first with questions, then with certainty they had the answer. 'I guess somebody is trying to blow up the new housing,' one man joked to his wife. But it wasn't a joke. That's exactly what someone was trying to do."

In 1988, when a federal judge ordered the city of Yonkers, New York, to integrate more thoroughly its low-income housing throughout the city, it set off a bitter dispute that would consume the town for the next five years. Among those caught in the controversy was the city's 28-year-old mayor, Nicholas Wasicsko, who had used the issue to his advantage during his campaign and found that he would never be able to escape it, either during or after his administration. Veteran New York Times journalist Lisa Belkin focuses not on the abstract "sides" of the integration debate, but on the people who take those sides. It's that personal perspective that makes her account most worth reading.

About the Author:

Lisa Belkin has been a New York Times reporter for nearly fifteen years and is currently a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine. She is the author of one other book, FIRST, DO NO HARM. She lives in Westchester County, New York, with her family.

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Lisa Belkin
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Book Description Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Main Market Ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Yonkers, New Jersey, 1987. Nicholas Wasicsko, the city s ambitious young mayor is given a court order demanding that the city build public housing on the white, middle-class side of town in order to right what the judge saw as intentional, decades-long pattern of segregation. As these cosy neighbourhoods were faced with the reality of a truly diverse and accepting community, the city went into crisis. In the fine tradition of American reportage, Show Me a Hero is the story of a city divided by fear, racism, politics and even murder. It is also the story of the individuals whose lives were shattered by the meltdown: the young mother, the activist, the ambitious politician. Bookseller Inventory # AA79781447295334

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Book Description Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Main Market Ed. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this highly acclaimed book (the basis of a new HBO miniseries, produced by David Simon, creator of The Wire) Lisa Belkin brings to life a landmark public housing case in Yonkers, New York in riveting detail. What began with a judge s order to build scattered-site public housing in middle-class neighbourhoods, ended in the near destruction of a city - sparking prejudices, fanning emotions into flame and eventually leading to murder and suicide. Belkin s sympathetic portrait of the people at the centre of this crisis - hopeful, fearful, greedy, manipulative, the gamut of human behaviour - is page-turning to its powerful, redemptive end. Bookseller Inventory # AA79781447295334

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Book Description Macmillan New Writing, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 368 pages. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __1447295331

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Book Description 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Main Market Ed.. Paperback. THE BOOK THAT INSPIRED THE HBO MINISERIESBelkin so successfully evokes the city and its people that the reader is caught up in the battle . . . Show Me a Hero is a rich, well-told story Ch.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 368 pages. 0.264. Bookseller Inventory # 9781447295334

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Book Description Pan Macmillan, 2015. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # FV-9781447295334

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Book Description 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Main Market Ed.. Paperback. In this highly acclaimed book (the basis of a new HBO miniseries, produced by David Simon, creator of The Wire) Lisa Belkin brings to life a landmark public housing case in Yo.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 368 pages. 0.264. Bookseller Inventory # 9781447295334

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