Around The Block by Tom Shachtman
The Business of a Neighborhood

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Synopsis

In Around the Block, Tom Shachtman makes Adam Smith's "invisible hand" visible in the daily life of a number of small businesses in an ordinary, middle class block in New York City. Looking at The Block's economic life over the course of a year, Shachtman explores the everyday tragedies and triumphs hidden from view behind the shop windows and in offices. Behind the abstractions of economists, a single block in the Chelsea section of Manhattan is the stage for the personal commitments and risks of small business-a father commits suicide so that his business can avoid bankruptcy; a Korean liquor store owner finds himself caught between tow worlds; a computer game programmer leaves her job and risks her career for an idea of her own. Shachtman puts a human face on the challenges that businesses weather every day. We see how small business is integral to America's national health, responsible for job growth while building social ties in a country mired by polarization. In this very human story about work and community, Tom Shachtman writes not the economics of textbooks and graphs buth the stuff of our lives.
 

About Tom Shachtman

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Tom Shachtman is an author, filmmaker, and educator.  He has written or co-authored more than thirty books, as well documentaries for ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS, and has taught at major universities.  Publishers Weekly lauded his most recent book, RUMSPRINGA: TO BE OR NOT TO BE AMISH (North Point Press/Farrar Straus) as “not only one of the most absorbing books ever written about the Plain People, but a perceptive snapshot of the larger culture in which they live and move
 
Published September 15, 1997 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 336 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Shachtman returns to the turf of his 1991 Skyscraper Dreams, the business world of New York City, for a study of one year in the life of an urban block.

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Publishers Weekly

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After a year interviewing small business owners in one Manhattan community, Shachtman (Skyscraper Dreams) suggests we could do worse than become a nation of shopkeepers.

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