Chicago was incorporated as a town on this day in 1833, so our Review of the Week looks back through history at Chicago's changing neighborhoods

Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect

Sampson, Robert J. Chicago, 2012
534p, 9780226734569 $27.50

Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect book cover. Colorful district map of Chicago.

Harvard sociologist Sampson anchors his work on the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN), critically reviewing and revising some prior key findings from “the old Chicago School of urban sociology.” This reviewer very much agrees with the eminent William J. Wilson, who wrote the book’s foreword, that the empirical coverage is very detailed yet thoroughly comprehensive and sophisticated. Sampson’s very readable PHDCN research findings are theoretically rich, cutting-edge in urban research, and should be inspirational for future researchers in urban sociology. High praise from prestigious scholars at impressive universities covers the book jacket. This very lengthy and in-depth read consists of 5 parts and 17 chapters, most of which cover Sampson’s PHDCN findings, with data and intriguing graphs and images showing changes in Chicago’s neighborhoods over time. Many of the graphs and images are novel and unique in their coverage. A definite must read for anyone interested in groundbreaking upper-level urban sociology.

Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
Reviewer: P. J. Venturelli, Valparaiso University
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Sociology
Choice Issue: Oct 2012