Between Justice and Beauty
Race, Planning, and the Failure of Urban Policy in Washington, D.C.
Howard Gillette, Jr.
"A superb piece of urban and planning history."—American Historical Review
"Sets a new standard for effectively placing planning issues in their larger social and political context."—Planning Perspectives
"Howard Gillette is our leading expert on the politics of planning for Washington, DC. . . . Between Justice and Beauty is the best introduction to the political choices that have shaped our national city."—American Planning Association Journal
"Between Justice and Beauty is written for readers who do not necessarily have a deep interest in Washington, although the wealth of detailed historical information contained in its pages will provide plenty for a student of the city to digest. The historical narrative provides insight into the development of the city and could be used as a case study text in a graduate seminar in urban planning or geography."—Urban Geography
"Gillette's clear focus on government gives thematic coherence to his insightful and engaging history, highlighting matters of physical development such as slum clearance, public housing construction, urban renewal, commercial development, transportation, and the planning of the monumental core."—Journal of Urban History
As the only American city under direct congressional control, Washington has served historically as a testing ground for federal policy initiatives and social experiments—with decidedly mixed results. Well-intentioned efforts to introduce measures of social justice for the district's largely black population have failed. Yet federal plans and federal money have successfully created a large federal presence—a triumph, argues Howard Gillette, of beauty over justice. In a new afterword, Gillette addresses the recent revitalization and the aftereffects of an urban sports arena.
Howard Gillette, Jr. is Professor of History at Rutgers University and the author of Camden After the Fall: Decline and Renewal in a Post-Industrial City, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.