Researching and writing a book about community development was a little like community development itself. It was a gradual process—fact by fact, story by story—whose success depended upon the support, assistance, and advice of scores of people. I am deeply grateful to all of them for their help and apologize in advance to those whose names have been inadvertently omitted from the following list.
Let me begin by heartily thanking those without whose help the book might never have seen the light of day. These include Jack Beatty, Cullen Murphy, and William Whitworth, the editors of the Atlantic Monthly, who back in 1997 saw fit to publish my article on community-based housing, which became a springboard to the current work. Paul Grogan, author of the insightful Comeback Cities, gave crucial early encouragement to my idea for a book on the subject of inner-city rebirth and community development. In this he was assisted by others then at LISC, including Rick Cohen and Susan Shapiro, and also the late Mitchell Sviridoff. The Atlantic Philanthropies, and Joel Fleishman and Suzanne Gaba Aisenberg in particular, provided support for the research and writing of the book. Bill Apgar first and Nicolas Retsinas later invited me to pursue the project under the auspices of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Literary agent extraordinaire Richard P. McDonough found it a home at Oxford University Press.
I greatly appreciate those who took the time to read and respond to the manuscript at various stages in its development. Richard McDonough, Robert Laubacher, and the anonymous reviewers of the early draft offered sage advice about how to improve the manuscript. Lawrence Anderson, Marc Jahr, Anita Landecker, Andrew Mooney, Susan Motley, Matthew Thall, and Melissa Turner carefully scrutinized individual chapters dealing with the cities about which they are experts.
I am beholden to the many, many people who spent the time and effort to describe their work, explain the history and conditions of particular inner cities, and connect me to other informed persons. For help with New York, they include Carol Abrams, Joseph Bodak, Peter Bray, Genevieve Brooks Brown,