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Overview of the American City

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Title: Overview of the American City
Author(s): Wiley, Norbert
Subject(s): Libraries and community Social service --Information services Reference services (Libraries) Community information services
Abstract: American cities can be looked at in many ways, but one thing everyone should be able to agree on is that they are in big trouble. They are dilapidated, congested, trash-strewn, unsafe, rebellionprone, poverty-stricken, polluted, frightened, demoralized and generally on the run. They give every indication of being beyond hope, and little leadership or new ideas are in evidence suggesting otherwise. Actually all cities throughout the industrial world are in trouble, but U. S. cities seem to be especially bad. In contrast, Toronto and Montreal, which Americans visit in great numbers, have a completely different tone. Not only do they look better, they feel a whole lot better, with an optimism and verve that is noticeably absent from Chicago, Cleveland, New York or Los Angeles. This is a striking paradox, that the richest and most powerful nation in the world is losing its ability to maintain healthy communities, that somehow material growth has created problems that are bigger than the people, not just in the environment but in social and psychological life as well. This article will be an attempt to take a cold look at this situation. The approach will be sociological, with an eye toward social relations and problems of organization. It will be diagnostic, with an emphasis on what is wrong and how it might be righted. This analysis will also be from the heart, for I have lived in American cities all my forty years and my six children will probably be doing the same. These are my cities and their sadness is my sadness. I will begin by discussing some of the broader
Issue Date: 1971
Publisher: Graduate School of Library Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info: In C.L. Kronus and L. Crowe (eds). 1971. Libraries and neighborhood information centers; papers presented at an institute conducted by the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science, October 24-27, 1971. Urbana, Il: Graduate School of Library Science: 15-29.
Series/Report: Allerton Park Institute (17th : 1971)
Genre: Conference Paper / Presentation
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/1580
ISSN: 0536-4604
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Rights Information: Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1971.
Date Available in IDEALS: 2007-07-17
 

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