Cover image for The slaughter of cities : urban renewal as ethnic cleansing
The slaughter of cities : urban renewal as ethnic cleansing
Jones, E. Michael.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
South Bend, Ind. : St. Augustine's Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
x, 668 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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HT175 .J65 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HT175 .J65 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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In his meticulously documented book, Jones focuses on four cities to prove that urban renewal over the past decades had more to do with ethnicity that it ever had to do with design, hygiene, or urban blight.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The high-rise "projects" may have been a dismal failure, it is said, but urban renewal was done with good intentions. Not so, Jones argues in this immense volume that spans from the World War I era to the 1993 death of Philadelphian Dennis Clark, whose urban renewal career led him from Catholicism through Quakerism to agnostic Irish nationalism and whom Jones makes a touchstone of urban renewal's moral quality. The redlining, condemning, bulldozing, race riots, white flight, and aggrandizement of federal authority at the expense of cities and states that accompanied urban renewal were, Jones says, the consequences of WASP elites fighting to keep hold of the reins of power. Those elites saw the potentially powerful Catholic ethnic neighborhoods, with the church's influence animating them, as their primary political enemies. Armed with social engineering techniques, abetted by the subversive skills of Quaker do-gooders and military intelligence, and further empowered by fellow WASP jurists, they devastated Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, and Boston generally and the welfare of blacks in particular. But they maintained power, having gutted the Catholic ethnics, who fell into the trap of overt racism, and driven them into socially atomizing suburbia. Incorporating all the details into his sweeping narrative (the notes just refer to his sources), Jones makes gripping drama out of urban development. Unfortunately, the epic it recounts is tragic. --Ray Olson

Choice Review

Jones traces the destruction of urban, ethnic, Catholic parishes in Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, and Boston resulting from urban redevelopment (1949-54) and urban renewal (1949- ), two federal-local government programs designed to provide low-income housing and renew inner-city areas. Instead, urban renewal programs targeted these parishes for integration and/or demolition, producing white flight to the suburbs, where parishioners assimilated into a sexually permissive culture. Jones uses the culture wars as context, claiming that the white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant elite instigated renewal to destroy ethnic parishes because they feared Catholic fecundity would undermine WASP dominance. Catholic leadership and intelligentsia aided this process as a result of their own assimilation, while African Americans appear as willing tools by moving into these areas. The scholarly literature is rich with studies that demonstrate redevelopment programs as "black removal," etc., and the role of upper-class and elite institutions in the process. Although not without some interesting ideas, the book is flawed by factual errors, disjointed organization, weak editing, problematic writing, and tendentiousness. Jones deduces his theory of WASP-Catholic warfare and notion of ethnic neighborhoods with little evidence to support these or other questionable assertions. ^BSumming Up: Not recommended. J. Borchert emeritus, Cleveland State University

Table of Contents

Acronym Abbreviationsp. ix
Prologue: The Republican Convention and the Reality Tourp. 1
The Blanshard Boys Come to Philadelphiap. 7
The Richard Allen Homesp. 29
Dennis Clark in Kensingtonp. 33
John J. McCloy in North Philadelphiap. 49
Anna McGarry in North Philadelphiap. 60
Mayor Lamberton and the Warp. 65
Mayor Lamberton and the Housing Authorityp. 72
Walter M. Phillips and the WASP Elite in Philadelphiap. 77
The Planning Conferencep. 88
The WASPS Go to Warp. 97
Louis Wirth and the Ethnicsp. 101
Louis Wirth Meets Gunnar Myrdalp. 110
Environmentalism and the Ethnic Neighborhoodp. 120
The War Comes to Detroitp. 131
The Mysterious George Edwardsp. 136
The Sojourner Truth Housing Project Riotsp. 144
Wirth on the Detroit Riotp. 150
The Airport Homes Riotsp. 160
Oscar's Brainstormp. 173
Levittown Opens Its Doorsp. 186
Robert Moses and the Creation of the Car Culturep. 195
Louis Wirth and the Chicago Housing Authorityp. 205
Joe Clark and the Reform in Philadelphiap. 219
The Cicero Conspiracyp. 233
Klutznick and the Quakersp. 244
The Death of Louis Wirthp. 262
Dennis Clark at the Housing Authorityp. 276
Coleman Young Testifies before HUACp. 292
Dennis Clark and the Commission on Human Relationsp. 299
Detroit's Master Planp. 312
Paul Ylvisaker and the Gray Areasp. 324
The Interstate Highway Systemp. 338
Margaret Collins Creates Friends Suburban Housingp. 344
Msgr. Egan Tangles with Robert Mosesp. 356
John Egan and the Catholic Counterattackp. 363
The Bishops Issue a Statement on Racep. 372
Dennis Clark Becomes Head of the Catholic Interracial Councilp. 377
Jerry Cavanagh Appoints George Edwards Police Chiefp. 389
Martin Luther King Comes to Detroitp. 401
Dennis Clark and the Ford Foundationp. 413
Paul Ylvisaker Discovers Leon Sullivanp. 419
Folcroft and Leon Sullivan's Real Estate Campaignp. 430
The Riot and the Birth Control Clinicsp. 448
Sargent Shriver and Government-Funded Birth Controlp. 456
Martin Mullen and the Birth Control Regsp. 459
The Quakers Move on West Philadelphiap. 465
Martin Luther King and the Blackstone Rangersp. 470
The Ethnic Cleansing of Most Blessed Sacrament Parishp. 486
Martin Luther King and the Ethnic Neighborhoodsp. 500
Ed Logue and the Ford Foundationp. 515
Dennis Clark Becomes an Irishmanp. 532
Busing as the Alternative to Urban Renewalp. 535
Msgr. Sawher Becomes Pastor of Assumption Grottop. 541
Robert Weaver and B-BURGp. 549
The Dirty Annies and Gang Warfare in Most Blessed Sacrament Parishp. 555
Judge Garrity Orders Busing in Bostonp. 561
Martin Mullen's Abortion Billp. 572
Frank Rizzo and the Ethnic Revivalp. 578
Turmoil in the Clark Familyp. 587
The Ethnic Cleansing of Poletownp. 593
Dennis Clark and the Wreckage of Kensingtonp. 606
The Death of Poletownp. 619
"Pregnant with Death"p. 630
Bibliographyp. 642
Indexp. 653