cover of book

Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago, 1940-1960
by Arnold R. Hirsch
afterword by N. D. B. Connolly
University of Chicago Press, 2021
eISBN: 978-0-226-72865-0 | Paper: 978-0-226-72851-3
Library of Congress Classification HD7288.72.U52H57 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 363.599607307731

First published in 1983 and praised by the likes of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Thomas Sugrue, Arnold R. Hirsch’s Making the Second Ghetto is the rare book that has only become more piercingly prescient over the years.

Hirsch’s classic and groundbreaking work of urban history is a revelatory look at Chicago in the decades after the Great Depression, a period when the city dealt with its rapidly growing Black population not by working to abolish its stark segregation but by expanding and solidifying it. Even as the civil rights movement rose to prominence, Chicago exploited a variety of methods of segregation—including riots, redevelopment, and a host of new legal frameworks—that provided a national playbook for the emergence of a new kind of entrenched inequality. Hirsch’s chronicle of the strategies employed by ethnic, political, and business interests in reaction to the Great Migration of Southern Blacks in the mid-twentieth century makes startingly clear how the violent reactions of an emergent white population found common ground with policy makers to segregate first a city and then the nation.

This enlarged edition of Making the Second Ghetto features a visionary afterword by historian N. D. B. Connolly, explaining why Hirsch’s book still crackles with “blistering relevance” for contemporary readers.
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