Synopses & Reviews
- Does American have a sense of community and a vital civic culture?
- Are disparate groups capable of uniting as a single people who can call themselves Americans?
- Do Americans help each other for the common good?
Daniel J. Monti, Jr. addresses these questions in this wide-ranging volume spanning three hundred years of American urban life. He reconciles liberal and conservative viewpoints and responds unequivocally, that "yes", Americans are indeed a community of believers and that a viable and vital civic culture exists in the United States despite notions of difference and apathy. Civic life in the US has been based on a set of rules predicated on prosperity and order as guiding principles to achieve a balance between private lives and the larger public good. The American City
brings this notion forward and sheds a positive light on a world that focuses more often on the problems as opposed to the parts that work.
"The American City
explores big questions about how we live now with a tantalizing mix of historical and sociological analysis. Although Monti addresses weighty matters that have inspired deep reflections from major social theorists, he does so in a simple, modest, and personal style that is exceptionally engaging." Stephan Thernstrom, Harvard University
"This is a very valuable addition to the literature on urbanism: a blend of sociology, political science, and history; a blend of hope and realism; of capitalism and community; of liberal and conservative perspectives. It amounts to a new ethical philosophy of urbanism by one of the few Americans qualified to write one." Roger Lotchin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"Monti's wonderful book illustrates an important theme: if American cities are not Utopia, neither are they the social disaster zones portrayed by their more apocalyptic critics. Extensively researched, The American City is an extended personal reflection on America's urban experience. This appealing and highly readable book will unquestionably stimulate debate and discussion." Paul Boyer, University of Wisconsin
In this book Daniel Monti reconciles liberal and conservative viewpoints to claim that Americans are indeed a community of believers and that a viable and vital civic culture exists in the United States despite notions of difference and apathy.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -383) and index.
About the Author
Daniel J. Monti, Jr. is Professor of Sociology at Boston University. He has written extensively on American ethnic relations, educational reform, civil unrest, youth gangs, and urban affairs. His other titles include Wannabe: Gangs in Suburbs and Schools (Blackwell, 1995) and Race, Redevelopment and the New Company Town (1990).
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments.
1. What Makes the Good Society?.
2. We Are a Bourgeois People Who Made an Urban World.
3. On Small Towns and Their 'Citified' Ways.
4. The Civic Culture of American Cities.
5. Belonging and Sharing.
6. Piety and Tolerance.
7. Private Lives and Public Worlds.
8. Doing Well by Doing Good.
9. Some Sort of Americans.
10. Articles of Faith: Personal Adornment as a Communal Accomplishment.
11. Private Entitlements as a Public Good.
12. Some Concluding Observations About the "Good Old Days".