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Park Socialists  

Chicago’s steel mills are forty years gone to brownfields. Most of the union halls are shuttered. Yet the parks, with their fieldhouses and pools and quiet preserves, remain as enduring gifts from social visionaries.

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Letter from Marseille  

As “urban renewal” threatens to further marginalize the city’s poor, Marseille activists are demonstrating that genuine cultural, environmental, and social renewal can go hand in hand.

Masses at The Gates  

Central Park is in full bloom as I write this; the orange Gates that lit up the park in the gloom of February are a faint after-image. The grand achievement of Christo and Jeanne Claude is overshadowed by the changing …

Having Their Say  

What Workers Want by Richard B. Freeman and Joel Rogers Cornell University ILR Press, 1999, 226 pp., $17.95 What Workers Want is a sharply focused study of how American workers think about workplace participation. Its authors, Harvard economist Richard Freeman …

Enduring Obstacle  

“Integration: the interval in a neighborhood between the moment the first black family moves in and the last white family moves out.” This bit of folk sociology made the rounds in Chicago during the bloody open occupancy and fair housing …

Remembering Irving Howe  

If you become a teacher you will yearn for a teacher of your own. Long before death stole Irving from us this irony of academia hit me when, through his open classroom door, I caught snatches of Professor Howe’s brilliant …

Who is The Underclass?  

The possible arrival of a new social class evokes grand blasts of imagery. Across history’s bookish stage roll bourgeois Christian soldiers, boxcars of workers (trailing haunting specters), limos carrying commissars of the nomenklatura, electricians in white coats (breathing soul into …

Lumping the Poor: What is the “Underclass”?  

They are recidivist criminals, juvenile muggers,heroin addicts, adult winos in stumbling bottle gangs, welfare-dependent mothers of teen-age welfare mothers, homeless ex-mental patients, prostitutes and their pimps. Marx would have counted them among the lumpen proletariat, a class of dropouts from …

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