These case studies of urban renewal in three New York neighborhoods -- Chelsea, Coney Island and Jamaica, Queens--fail to provide much beyond raw material for social studies classes seeking to understand the dynamics of neighborhood change. A historical appreciation of each area's bygone glories is followed by factual reports on low income housing projects, private brownstone renewal, and, in Jamaica, Chamber of Commerce sponsorship of long term planning and aid for a new branch of the City University. The summaries are supplemented by interviews with neighborhood residents who generally uphold the authors' optimistic evaluations, but, even with these personal asides, the tales of ""phoenix""-like rebirth make dull reading. There is little overview to help us place each neighborhood's problems in perspective. Conflicts of interest -- normally bitter in these situations -- are summarized with dry unincisive objectivity and the overall success story tone is bland and unrevealing. Underdeveloped data.