The Unheavenly City Revisited: A Revision of the Unheavenly City

Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1974.

The Unheavenly City is one of the most widely read and widely debated books on contemporary American urban problems. In the more than twenty years since this book was written, the situation of the American city has not changed fundamentally. This is particularly true of the big cities an their larger, older suburbs. All of the old problems are still with us: racial injustice and animosity, poverty, crime, joblessness, ignorance and what goes with them. Some problems that at one time went almost unnoticed are now conspicuous: homelessness and drug abuse among them.

The Unheavenly City Revisited is an undated edition of The Unheavenly City. It explores what the social sciences have had to say about the problems facing American cities. It tries to make useful applications of some of the ideas and findings in economics, sociology, political science, psychology, history, planning and other fields.

“Edward C. Banfield’s The Unheavenly City was published in 1970, and almost immediately it came to dominate discussion of urban policy issues in serious academic and political circles…. Many who read The Unheavenly City were mightily disturbed by it, as Professor Banfield plainly intended them to be…. Professor Banfield’s essential argument is that the genuinely serious social problems of the American city are inaccessible to public (i.e. governmental)”solution” in a liberal democracy such as prevails here today.”  Christopher DeMuth 

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