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Americans Are Protesting, But What Keeps Full-Scale Riots From Breaking Out?

Michael Katz's new book traces the lack of urban unrest to America's complex web of freedoms and repression.

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Katz ends his book with a cry against despair. Too often, he argues, leftists have internalized a fatalistic view of urban problems, when progress has been and is being made. The public housing high-rises that justly earned so much scorn in the 1960s, have largely been torn down and today public housing is often better and cheaper than the offerings of the private housing market. The living-wage movement carries on, and on a parallel track, market-oriented anti-poverty programs are generating new interest in social programs. Defeat is not inevitable.

Jake Blumgart is a freelance reporter-researcher based in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter.

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