WATTS: THE AFTERMATH: An Inside View of the Ghetto by the People of Watts by Paul--Ed. Bullock

WATTS: THE AFTERMATH: An Inside View of the Ghetto by the People of Watts

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is the voice of Watts, as recorded, arranged, minimally edited, introduced, and commented upon by Paul Bullock, Associate Research Economist for the Institute of Industrial Relations at UCLA, who was pursuing an intimate acquaintanceship with the people and problems of Watts as ""a microcosm of the strengths and weaknesses of ghetto living"" a full year before the eruption of August 1965. Or rather the voice of those with whom Bullock was able to establish rapport (inevitably not the most militant and alienated); they are mostly teen-age or young adult males talking politics, economics, and black awareness, with a healthy sprinkling of mothers to comment upon schools and welfare. Bullock is well aware of the difficulties and distortions ineluctably encountered by the conventional and even the unconventional researcher, but he has done his best to eliminate barriers and provide the people of Watts with a forum. Above all this is a document of how they perceive their problems, the social institutions which affect them, the ideologies heralded in their name, and the leaders who claim their allegiance. There's plenty of perceptiveness, but also some rant and cant. Naturally almost everybody has something to say about the ""riot"" in retrospect, the antipoverty programs which sprang up in its wake, and the familiar hassles with housing, employment, drugs, and the police. Between the lines is a definite increase in militancy and a very noticeable generation gap. But on the essential quality of life, Bullock's chief conclusion is that ""Watts has changed, and Watts is still the same. . . . Every problem has been solved except the really important and difficult ones.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Grove