The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City by Alan Ehrenhalt

72%

13 Critic Reviews

This argument shadows Ehrenhalt throughout his book. With Kotkin seemingly in mind, he repeatedly qualifies his conclusions.
-NY Times

Synopsis

In The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City we travel the nation with Alan Ehrenhalt, one of our leading urbanists, as he explains how America’s cities are changing, what makes them succeed or fail, and what this means for our future.
Just a couple of decades ago, we took it for granted that inner cities were the preserve of immigrants and the poor, and that suburbs were the chosen destination of those who could afford them. Today, a demographic inversion is taking place: Central cities increasingly are where the affluent want to live, while suburbs are becoming home to poorer people and those who come to America from other parts of the world. Highly educated members of the emerging millennial generation are showing a decided preference for urban life and are being joined in many places by a new class of affluent retirees.
Ehrenhalt shows us how the commercial canyons of lower Manhattan are becoming residential neighborhoods, and how mass transit has revitalized inner-city communities in Chicago and Brooklyn. He explains why car-dominated cities like Phoenix and Charlotte have sought to build twenty-first-century downtowns from scratch, while sprawling postwar suburbs are seeking to attract young people with their own form of urbanized experience.
The Great Inversion is an eye-opening and thoroughly engaging look at our urban society and its future.




From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Alan Ehrenhalt

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Alan Ehrenhalt was the executive editor of Governing magazine from 1990 to 2009. He is the author of three books: The United States of Ambition, The Lost City, and Democracy in the Mirror. In 2000, he was the winner of the American Political Science Association's Carey McWilliams Award for distinguished contributions to the field of political science by a journalist. He is currently executive editor of Stateline, a daily news service reporting on politics and policy in all fifty states. Ehrenhalt lives near Washington, D.C.
 
Published April 24, 2012 by Vintage. 288 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City
All: 13 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Below average
Feb 15 2012

...he doesn’t examine whether the demographic trends will generate either the financing or the wider employment that Paris and Vienna were able to stimulate in their own unique ways.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Jan 23 2012

...a lucid, provocative, and rather hopeful forecast for America’s cities—one that illuminates their enduring appeal.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Fred Siegel on Aug 10 2012

This argument shadows Ehrenhalt throughout his book. With Kotkin seemingly in mind, he repeatedly qualifies his conclusions.

Read Full Review of The Great Inversion and the F... | See more reviews from NY Times

Washington Times

Below average
Reviewed by Wes Vernon on Jun 27 2012

...gives scant attention to the possible political outcome of the urban-suburban mix Mr. Ehrenhalt’s research portends...it is well to remember that overpoliticized meddlers in the housing market helped lead to its collapse.

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Christian Science Monitor

Below average
Reviewed by Richard Horan on Apr 23 2012

And though Ehrenhalt manages to keep his objectivity throughout most of the book, at the very end he reveals himself to be a cockeyed Eur-optimist...

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San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by John King on May 11 2012

That's the strength of the book: Ehrenhalt's sympathies are with movements like new urbanism and smart growth, but these sympathies don't blur his sharp eye for details or the wry clarity of his prose.

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City Book Review

Excellent
Jun 14 2012

This book will be of interest to anyone who has concerns with American cities and their urbanism along with the future of the way we live.

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City Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by Howard Husock on Jun 15 2012

The ultimate lesson of this report from the urban and suburban front lines is this: in ways that public policy may influence but cannot control, America’s cities, because they’re alive, continue to surprise.

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Dominion of New York

Excellent
Reviewed by Joshua Bloodworth on Apr 22 2012

To Ehrenhalt’s credit, he does not pass moral judgment on the process. With clear prose that is both informative and entertaining, he objectively states the facts...leaving his readers free to render their own verdict.

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Beyond Chron

Excellent
Reviewed by Randy Shaw on May 31 2012

...Ehrenhalt’s argument appears incontrovertible.... the trends Ehrenhalt chronicles do not bode well for these once iconic communities.

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Citiwire.net

Excellent
Reviewed by Neal Peirce on May 11 2012

He makes a strong case for how today’s young adults, in sharp contrast to the choices their parents made, are opting for lively, walkable urban streets with parks, shops, transit and school choices.

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New Geography

Below average
Reviewed by Joel Garreau on Apr 23 2012

His “great inversion” thesis isn’t supported by the 2010 Census data, the location of high paying white-collar jobs, or the rise of the Internet as a social and economic force.

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The Road Before Us

Good
Reviewed by Peter Bratt on May 29 2012

I really enjoyed The Great Inversion, and immediately thought of how lessons from this book might apply communities past and present that I have lived in.

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Reader Rating for The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City
87%

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