Prophetic City: Houston on the Cusp of a Changing America


Product Details

$28.00  $25.76
Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
Publish Date
June 02, 2020
6.1 X 8.5 X 1.5 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Stephen Klineberg, a graduate of Haverford College, with an MA from the University of Paris and a PhD from Harvard, is the founding director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, a multi-disciplinary "think-and-do tank" housed on the Rice University campus in central Houston, working to advance understanding of the most important issues facing Houston and other leading urban centers. Klineberg joined Rice University's Sociology Department in 1972, and in 1982 he and his students initiated the annual Houston Area Survey, now in its 38th year of tracking the remarkable changes in the demographic patterns, economic outlooks, experiences, attitudes, and beliefs of Harris County residents.


"A trailblazing study . . . Klineberg supports his case with a wealth of survey research, interviews with experts, and user-friendly graphs, all of which make this book invaluable for anyone seeking a deep understanding of an underappreciated city. A unique blend of analysis and research that is likely to become a classic work of scholarship on Houston." --Kirkus (starred review)
"Houston epitomizes the America that has emerged over the last half century--immense fortunes coupled with widespread privation; world-class cultural institutions nestled alongside impoverished slums; ethnically diverse and ambivalent about it; divided between the religiously devout and the religiously disconnected; a sprawling metropolis with colossal commutes; environmentally challenged; culturally individualistic. This book summarizes four decades of the longest, most systematic, and yet perhaps least known research project in American sociology. Its lively prose is must reading not just for Houstonians, but for any Americans interested in where we are headed." --Robert D. Putnam, Research Professor, Harvard University, and author of Bowling Alone, Our Kids, and The Upswing

"Stephen L. Klineberg's Prophetic City is a masterfully researched and eloquently written investigation about what makes America's fourth largest city tick. All stereotypes about Houston are shattered. There is a staggering amount of fresh historical observations, environmental concerns, and urban lore in his epic book. Highly recommended!" --Douglas Brinkley, Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History, Rice University, and author of American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race

"Houston is one of America's largest and most vibrant cities. Stephen Klineberg does a great service illuminating the key factors that have driven this city's remarkable wave of growth and change, while detailing its pressing challenges with inequality, gentrification, and climate change. Based on four decades of detailed research, Klineberg's insights provide an alternative story, and model, of urban development that adds much to what we know from existing models based on cities like New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco. A must-read for all those concerned with the future of cities and urban development." --Richard Florida, author of The New Urban Crisis
"Klineberg's meticulous research makes a strong case that Houston, with its growing inequalities, demographic shift to a nonwhite majority, and rising social and environmental consciousness, is at the forefront of America's future. This eye-opening and accessible study deserves a wide readership." --Publishers Weekly