Ben Austen, author of High Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing

Join us for an evening in celebration of Ben Austen's High Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing.

In his first book, journalist Austen surveys the development and demise of Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing project through the stories of four African-American residents who lived there at various points in their lives, beginning in the 1950s and up until the building's demolition in 2011. Together their stories span the tenures of 10 mayors and illustrate Cabrini-Green residents' slide into overwhelming poverty, as well as the disintegration of the community and the rise of crime there, exemplified in the shooting of two policemen, James Severin and Anthony Rizzato, in 1970, and the shooting of seven-year-old Dantrell Davis in 1992. Cabrini-Green--and particularly its demolition--has been the subject of much media attention; Austen examines that treatment in newspaper accounts, as well as in several films and documentaries, which by and large perpetuate a one-dimensional view of the horrors of inner-city life. Austen is an expert on his subject, and the narrative at times feels bloated with an excess of his experience and research. Nevertheless, urban planners in particular will find this an instructive guide, or, perhaps more importantly, a cautionary tale about a failed attempt to provide affordable housing for the poor.

High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062235060
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Harper - February 6th, 2018

Event date: 
Monday, February 12, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
Unabridged Books, Inc.
Chicago, IL 60657