Friday, December 17, 2010

What is Larry Bennett reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Larry Bennett, author of The Third City: Chicago and American Urbanism.

His entry begins:
I’ve been an avid reader since youth, for instance, reading and rereading Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee several times. These days I read books for a variety of reasons: to keep up with research on urban studies topics, “trying out” books that I may decide to assign in the DePaul University classes that I teach, and pleasure. Some of this reading overlaps. This past summer I very pleasurably read the late Gerald Boyd’s memoir, My Times in Black and White. Boyd was one of the Times editors bounced in the wake of the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal in the early 2000s. Boyd’s book is a candid exploration of the particular challenges that will be encountered by a black man moving into the upper reaches of American institutional (in this case, media) culture. The book’s excavation of the inner workings of the Times newsroom is fascinating. And—the...[read on]
Among the early praise for The Third City:
The Third City provides a first-rate account of the ways that the second Mayor Daley has transformed the image of Chicago. Both succinct and wide-ranging, the book strikes an exemplary balance between nuanced observation of the city’s political history and deft evaluation of diverse urban development theories that attempt to explain Chicago’s trajectory. The result is an engagingly written, ceaselessly questioning, fair-minded tale of urban reinvention. For those wondering how and why Chicago has been able to move past the 'second city’ Rust Belt decline that has paralyzed so many other former industrial powerhouses, this book is a great place to seek answers.”
—Lawrence J. Vale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Learn more about The Third City at the publisher's website, and read an excerpt.

Larry Bennett is professor of political science at DePaul University. He is the author and coauthor of numerous books, including Fragments of Cities: The New American Downtowns and Neighborhoods, Neighborhood Politics: Chicago and Sheffield, and It’s Hardly Sportin’: Stadiums, Neighborhoods, and the New Chicago.

The Page 99 Test: The Third City.

Writers Read: Larry Bennett.

--Marshal Zeringue