Packing Them In: An Archaeology of Environmental Racism in Chicago, 1865-1954
This important new book by Sylvia Washington adds a vital new dimension to our understanding of environmental history in the United States. Washington excavates and tells the stories of Chicago's poor, working class, and ethnic minority neighborhoods―such as Back of the Yards and Bronzeville―that suffered disproportionately negative environmental impacts and consequent pollution related health problems. She provides a new frame for interpreting the social, political, and administrative initiatives of the early 20th century that influenced public health and urban revitalization movements in some of Chicago's most disenfranchised communities. This pioneering work will be essential reading not only for historians, but for urban planners, sociologists, citizen action groups and anyone interested in understanding the precursors to the contemporary environmental justice movement.