An excellent microcosmic study of a typical poverty neighborhood, in this case in Brooklyn, New York, by a sociologist who...

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FORT GREENE, USA

An excellent microcosmic study of a typical poverty neighborhood, in this case in Brooklyn, New York, by a sociologist who has lived there for the last nine years. It tells both of Fort Greene's people and the institutions whose main purpose often seems to be to frustrate and dehumanize them -- welfare and unemployment offices, hospitals, schools, the church, housing projects, old-age centers, store-front organizations run by idealists and thieves; more specific enemies include the A & P, whose record in low-income areas all over the city is, to say the least, disgraceful. This sad history is told by careful descriptions of the bureaucratic mazes citizens must stumble through -- applications and qualifications and denials -- a careful but utterly telling use of statistics, and transcriptions of conversations with the people unlucky enough to be caught living and/or working there. The story is not new but rarely has it been told so well -- the careful piling up of small details, unclouded by rhetoric or didacticism, adds up to a devastating condemnation of a government that will do nothing to end the cycle of poverty, drugs, and endless indignities that are the lot of poor city dwellers all over this rich country.

Pub Date: Jan. 20, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1974