The old neighborhood

In his new book, Professor of English Carlo Rotella mixes journalism and memoir to write about his hometown, Chicago, and about the greater question of what defines a neighborhood. Rotella interviewed current and former residents of the neighborhood where he grew up, Chicago’s South Shore. As detailed in The World Is Always Coming to an End: Pulling Together and Apart in a Chicago Neighborhood (University of Chicago Press, May 2019) South Shore is a study in contrasts, shaped over the past 50 years by issues of race, class, crime, and other influences. As the middle class disappeared, South Shore became a place of the haves and have-nots, making it difficult for residents to recognize each other as neighbors. A microcosm for the American urban neighborhood, Chicago’s South Shore challenges one to think about how neighbors can build bridges and take down walls in order to create a vibrant community.Rotella, who teaches in BC’s American Studies program, is also the author of Cut Time: An Education at the Fights and Good With Their Hands: Boxers, Bluesmen, and Other Characters from the Rust Belt, among other titles. Read an interview with Rotella in the Chicago Tribune.

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