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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. Ben will appear in conversation with beloved Tribune columnist Mary Schmich.

"Austen’s impressive study of Chicago’s 23-tower Cabrini–Green public housing project, razed but looming still, was conducted during years of reporting and interviewing. Like Alex Kotlowitz’s seminal There Are No Children Here (1992), which chronicled the lives of two brothers living in Chicago’s Henry Horner homes yet was not solely the story of one family, building, or city, Austen offers a local history of profound national relevance. Built over the site of a notorious slum on Chicago’s Near North Side, Cabrini accepted its first residents in 1956, when “a spot in public housing felt like a leap into the middle class.” Throughout his painstaking chronology of the housing project and parallel Chicago and U.S. history, Austen intersperses biographies of several former residents. Highlighting these many-faceted lives and the care Cabrini residents took to safeguard and improve their part of an ever-changing neighborhood, Austen examines the finger-pointing and buck-passing among power players that gravely impacted the most vulnerable occupants. While Cabrini became a symbol of urban blight and ideological failure, for its residents it was, for all its recognized faults, more good than bad because it was home. As the buildings’ demolition, completed in 2011, has left former residents in worse and more precarious situations, Austen’s fascinating narrative demands much consideration." — Annie Bostrom, Booklist starred review

High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062235060
Availability: On Our Shelves 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
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