Gottfried_Review
Reviews

The Rest of the Story

In this densely composed study, E. Michael Jones, editor of Culture Wars and outspoken Catholic traditionalist, tries to explain why American inner cities have been physically and socially devastated.  Investigating four metropolitan areas that he knows well—Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, and Boston—Jones argues that established urban neighborhoods did not deteriorate simply because of economic crises or demographic accidents.  Rather, from the 1950’s on, a combination of misnamed redevelopment programs and malicious social planning turned these areas into war zones and, finally, depopulated deserts.  

In every one of the cases Jones examines, similar circumstances emerge.  WASP do-gooders, such as pharmaceutical inventor Albert C. Barnes and anti-Catholic reformers Paul and Brand Blanshard in Jones’ native Philadelphia, sweet-talked politicians and the business community into pursuing projects for cleaning up and beautifying their cities.  Not coincidentally, the areas that lost their communal character during this transformation were heavily Catholic, populated by faithful blue-collar workers for whom the reformers had little use.

Jones notes the persistence of this cultural revulsion among the do-gooders, who, 10 to 15 years later, helped to export the civil-rights revolution to Northern cities.  He insists that what motivated such experiments as busing...

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