Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.16 X 9.26 X 0.64 inches | 0.95 pounds
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About the Author

Bryant Simon has taught at the University of Georgia and is now Professor of History at Temple University. He is the author of A Fabric of Defeat: The Politics of South Carolina Millhands, 1910-1948 and co-editor of 'Jumpin Jim Crow': Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights. He grew up in southern New Jersey.


"Perhaps the finest book ever written about Atlantic City, an....incisive history of the tension between the 'resort' and the less-glitzy urban reality tourists rush past."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"A gifted writer as well as a clear-eyed historian, Simon moves effortlessly in Boardwalk of Dreams between the fantasies that Atlantic City sold and the social, economic and political worlds that underlay them. The result is a lively, evocative, eminently readable book that looks beyond the Jersey beach town to the inner pulse of urban America."--The Chicago Tribune

"Professor Bryant is onto something here, and it is refreshing....[A] sober look at urban degeneration and regeneration against the backdrop of a changing nation enjoying its post-World War II prosperity, and a burgeoning middle class eager to parade its riches on the Boardwalk."--The New York Times

"Simon's love for the city and its history is clear...[He] masterfully recreates [a] lost world full of music, whimsy, culture, and style."--Times-Picayune

"For historians interested in the intersection of race and class in the 20th century, this work is a must read."--CHOICE

"This enviably sparkling book is more a work of the scholarly journalist than the typical fare of academic urban history....Simon's themes are presented in a model of narrative detail and memorable images."--Journal of Social History

"Boardwalk of Dreams is passionately argued, and Simon writes of his own personal connection to Atlantic City with sincerity but not sentimentality....This is a very entertaining read, a fact which may distract readers from Simon's serious call to rethink the city's past."--Urban History Review

"Simon has added a somewhat grandiose subtitle to his book on Atlantic City, New Jersey, thus declaring his intention not only to narrate the story of this famous site but also to make it a metaphor for the U.S. urban crisis of the twentieth century. Simon actually succeeds quite well in making this case. This is a very fine book. The prose is excellent, the thesis is clear, and the evidence is well marshaled." --American Historical Review

"[A] fascinating and well-written book chockfull of detail." --Journal of Popular Culture