In response to the riots of the mid-‘60s, Walter Thabit was hired to work with the community of East New York to develop a plan for low- and moderate-income public housing. In the years that followed, he experienced first-hand the forces that had engineered East New York’s dramatic decline and that continued to work against its successful revitalization. How East New York Became a Ghetto describes the shift of East New York from a working-class immigrant neighborhood to a largely black and Puerto Rican neighborhood and shows how the resulting racially biased policies caused the deterioration of this once flourishing area.
A clear-sighted, unflinching look at one ghetto community, How East New York Became a Ghetto provides insights and observations on the histories and fates of ghettos throughout the United States.
"Thabits writing is lucid and heartfelt." ~Urban Studies
"Walter Thabit has written a highly personal and compelling piece of retrospective analysis" ~Journal of the American Planning Association
"Walter Thabit eloquently tells the story of East New York, a neighborhood in eastern Brooklyn, complementing his close observation of events in the neighborhood with astute analyses of the bearing of larger forces on this big city slum. Events in East New York reveal in microcosm the turbulent national forces that have determined the fate of inner city ghettos across the country over the past 40 years." ~from the Foreword by Frances Fox Piven
"An excellent source of data and intelligence on the formation of ghettos and the life and struggle within them" ~Science & Society
"Thabit emphasizes the central role of local institutions in contributing to urban disinvestment and decline" ~Journal of Urban History