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The Address Book: What Street Addresses…
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The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race,… (edició 2020)

de Deirdre Mask (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
4542145,634 (3.85)31
"An exuberant work of popular history: the story of how streets got their names and houses their numbers, and why something as seemingly mundane as an address can save lives or enforce power. When most people think about street addresses, if they think of them at all, it is in their capacity to ensure that the postman can deliver mail or a traveler won't get lost. But street addresses were not invented to help you find your way; they were created to find you. Addresses arose out of a grand Enlightenment project to name and number the streets, but they are also a way for people to be identified and tracked by those in power. As Deirdre Mask explains, the practice of numbering houses was popularized in eighteenth-century Vienna by Maria Theresa, leader of the Hapsburg Empire, to tax her subjects and draft them into her military. In many parts of the world, your address can reveal your race and class, causing them to be a shorthand for snobbery or discrimination. In this wide-ranging and remarkable book, Mask looks at the fate of streets named after Martin Luther King, Jr., the wayfinding means of ancient Romans, how Nazis haunt the streets of modern Germany, and why numbered streets dominate in America but not in Europe. The flipside of having an address is not having one, and we see what that means for millions of people today, including those who live in the slums of Kolkata, on the streets of London, or in post-earthquake Haiti. Filled with fascinating people and histories, The Address Book illuminates the complex and sometimes hidden stories behind street names and their power to name,to hide, to decide who counts, who doesn't-and why"--… (més)
Membre:Rahmaniac
Títol:The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power
Autors:Deirdre Mask (Autor)
Informació:St. Martin's Press (2020), Edition: Illustrated, 336 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power de Deirdre Mask

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» Mira també 31 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 21 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Unrelated to the review: the Latin word "loci" reading by narrator as [low-sai] sounds like an offensive for my ears. There are other languages except English with different pronunciation rules, and the Cicero's loci method is one of them.

About the book.

Do you know that feeling, when you wake up one morning, open the twitter/insta feed, and literally a whole of your feed bursting with news about how some american political figure called names someone else and a large body of twitter accounts in my leftist twitter feed find this extremely offensive to the core of their dignity, and they think that the whole digital space should know about their indignation, like there's literally nothing more important in the world right now?

That kind of vibe i get from this book.

In the first half of the book: the meager bits and pieces about history of streets-naming in Rome, Vienna and London were interesting. Yet the text contains the large body of tourist thoughts from American person about the whole other world -- and I found it dull for the most part.

Another annoying thing that author does -- describing in every painful detail meetings with her interviewees. Like, what bisquits they ate during their meeting, what slippers they wear, and how many cats this person had in their house. Why did you do this in a book about street naming history?..

A biography about William Penn segwaying to a chapter about grid system is confusing. Why is it even in this book? It might be interesting in some other historical research, what does several elaborate paragraphs about his biography, imprisonment and trial in London have to do with creating state in Northern America? Nothing!

Moreover, i think the grid system (was introduced to PENNsylvania by Penn) is ugly and vaguely suicidal-provoking, and to listen about it even for ten minutes requires a lot of my mental resources. Ugh.

In Chapter 9 a very confusing paragraph about how some conceptual artists had put on the display in public places several offensive posters with slogan from nazi times, and it was A THING. There is no coherent story, is just a string of sentences, and every new one brings a new thesis without any link to the previous one. Absolutely no context for the story provided. Somehow this story ended up with political debate and renaming half of the street afterwards. But why to tell this in this painfully unrelated details, like, how some unnamed guy shouted “Haut ab, Judenschweine!” from his window? How this related to the whole? Why would you do this?..

As Chapter 10 and 11 revealed to be extremely political and NOT about the main topic of the book, i skipped it all. Life is too short, and if i want to read some american shit-on-a-fan about political anything, i can always open my leftist twitter feed. But this book? Disappointment. ( )
  pythonesque | Jul 31, 2022 |
With The Address Book Deirdre Mask has written a fascinating book on what may seem to be a mundane topic. Think of your own address. It probably has a house number, and a street name. How could there be anything exciting about that?

Well, Mask shows there are interesting stories to be told about the origins of both house numbering and street names. There are also controversies and societal differences to be explored. And there are usages of addresses we in the modern world take for granted, but work to the detriment of others.

For example, to apply for almost any job you’ll need to provide an address when you fill out the application form. Homeless people looking to find employment face discrimination as a result, as they don’t have an address to provide. How can a homeless person get a job to work their way out of homelessness, when the first requirement is that they provide an address?

That example shows that simply having a street address is a mark of social status and privilege. In countries like India, which the author explores at length, large segments of the population don’t have street addresses and are trapped in a cycle of poverty and lack of access to government programs as a result. And, as in so many other areas of life, race plays a role in street naming and the availability of street addresses as well, both here in the US and abroad.

Numbering conventions are another interesting topic. In the US many cities use a system that places even address numbers on one side of the street and odd address numbers on the other. This system actually started in colonial Philadelphia as a result of the desire for order the founding Quakers brought with them.

Mask looks back at the history of public health and explores the discovery of the source of cholera in 1800s London. Pioneering epidemiologist John Snow was able to map cholera cases and track the source of the disease to an infected public water tap. He was able to do this detective work in large part because London had street addresses by which the cholera cases could be tracked and mapped.

Street addresses offer other benefits. They ensure that the ambulance or fire truck driver knows where they are going. They ensure that our mail and packages get to us on time.

But street addresses didn’t start out as a scheme to benefit the individuals in society. They started out as a scheme to assist the government. Street addresses help governments take censuses and know where the draft age males live. Street addresses make it easier for governments to know where to go to apprehend crime suspects. The original street addressing efforts were seen by many citizens as government intrusions and signs of governmental control, and were protested as a result.

The Address Book wanders through these topics and more, including the social perceptions that accompany street names. For many Americans, Martin Luther King Boulevard in their city or town is where you will find a preponderance of African Americans. Naming streets for significant or popular figures has a long history and can be controversial depending on the figure being honored by the street name.

Mask unpeels one aspect of street addresses after another. With The Address Book she takes us on a fun, informative and entertaining journey through the history and impacts of something that most of us don’t give a second thought. I learned a lot and had fun reading this book. Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐. ( )
  stevesbookstuff | Jul 22, 2022 |
2.25 stars. It was okay. Took to skimming through this to get this finished. ( )
  pacbox | Jul 9, 2022 |
A kaleidoscopic look at a subject that might seem mundane. The table of contents touches on areas few think about when filing out a service slip or credit application:
Kolkata : how can street addresses transform the slums? --
Haiti : could street addresses stop an epidemic? --
Rome : how did the ancient Romans navigate? --
London : where do street names come from? --
Vienna : what can house numbers teach us about power? --
Philadelphia : why do Americans love numbered streets? --
Korea and Japan : must streets be named? --
Iran : why do street names follow revolutionariess? --
Berlin : what do Nazi street names tell us about Vergangenheitsbewältigung? --
Hollywood, Florida : why can't Americans stop arguing about Confederate street names? --
St. Louis : what do Martin Luther King Jr. Streets reveal about race in America? --
South Africa : who belongs on South Africa's street signs? --
Manhattan : how much is a street name worth? --
Homelessness : how do you live without an address? -- ( )
  Lemeritus | Dec 27, 2021 |
This was terrific! Read it and then we can talk about it all day. ( )
  jollyavis | Dec 14, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 21 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Structurally, narrative nonfiction tends to work either like a freight train (progressing in a straight line from Point A to Point B) or like a horseback rider (jumping fences to gallop across fields of unwieldy facts); count Mask among the horsy set. “The Address Book” is her first book, and she is already a master at shoehorning in fascinating yet barely germane detours just for kicks.... How can a book about class, poverty, disease, racism and the Holocaust be so encouraging? Mask populates her daunting inquiries with a cast of stirring meddlers whose curiosity, outrage and ambition inspire them to confront problems ignored by indifferent bureaucracies.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaNew York Times, Sarah Vowell (Web de pagament) (Apr 14, 2020)
 
Journalist Mask’s entertaining and wide-ranging debut investigates the history of street addresses and their “power to decide who counts, who doesn’t, and why.” ... Mask’s fluid narration and impressive research uncover the importance of an aspect of daily life that most people take for granted, and she profiles a remarkable array of activists, historians, and artists whose work intersects with the evolution and meaning of street addresses. This evocative history casts its subject in a whole new light.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaPublisher's Weekly (Jan 15, 2020)
 
An impressive book-length answer to a question few of us consider: “Why do street addresses matter?” In her first book, Mask, a North Carolina–born, London-based lawyer–turned-writer who has taught at Harvard and the London School of Economics—combines deep research with skillfully written, memorable anecdotes to illuminate the vast influence of street addresses as well as the negative consequences of not having a fixed address.... A standout book of sociological history and current affairs.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaKirkus Reviews (Jan 13, 2020)
 
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"In Lübeck, on 20 March (1933), a large number of people were taken into so-called protective custody. Soon after began the renaming of the streets."

--Willy Brandt, Links und frei. Mein Weg 1930-1950
(Left and Free: My Path 1930-1950)
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For Paul, as he well knows
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In some years, more than 40 percent of all laws passed by the New York City Council have been street name changes. -Introduction
On a hot, fragrant February morning in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), I took a walk with Subhashis Nath, a social workers, to the Bank of Baroda in Kalighat, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. -Chapter 1, How Can Street Addresses Transform the Slums?
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Addresses, the UPU argues, are one of the cheapest ways to lift people out of poverty, facilitating access to credit, voting rights, and worldwide markets. But this is not just a problem in the developing world. Soon, I learned that parts of the rural United States don’t have street addresses either.
The slums seemed to have more serious needs than addresses—sanitation, sources of clean water, healthcare, even roofs to protect them from the monsoon. But the lack of addresses was depriving those living in the slums a chance to get out of them. Without an address, it’s nearly impossible to get a bank account. And without a bank account, you can’t save money, borrow money, or receive a state pension.
In the 1980s, the World Bank was zeroing in on one of the driving forces behind poor economic growth in the developing world: insecure land ownership. In other words, there was no centralized database of who owned any given property, which made it difficult to buy or sell land, or use it to get credit. And it’s hard to tax land when you don’t know who owns it.
Street addresses boosted democracy, allowing for easier voter registration and mapping of voting districts. They strengthened security, as unaddressed territories make it easy for crime to flourish. (On a less positive note, they also make it easy to find political dissidents.)
inclusion is one of the secret weapons of street addresses. Employees at the World Bank soon found that addresses were helping to empower the people who lived there by helping them to feel a part of society.
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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"An exuberant work of popular history: the story of how streets got their names and houses their numbers, and why something as seemingly mundane as an address can save lives or enforce power. When most people think about street addresses, if they think of them at all, it is in their capacity to ensure that the postman can deliver mail or a traveler won't get lost. But street addresses were not invented to help you find your way; they were created to find you. Addresses arose out of a grand Enlightenment project to name and number the streets, but they are also a way for people to be identified and tracked by those in power. As Deirdre Mask explains, the practice of numbering houses was popularized in eighteenth-century Vienna by Maria Theresa, leader of the Hapsburg Empire, to tax her subjects and draft them into her military. In many parts of the world, your address can reveal your race and class, causing them to be a shorthand for snobbery or discrimination. In this wide-ranging and remarkable book, Mask looks at the fate of streets named after Martin Luther King, Jr., the wayfinding means of ancient Romans, how Nazis haunt the streets of modern Germany, and why numbered streets dominate in America but not in Europe. The flipside of having an address is not having one, and we see what that means for millions of people today, including those who live in the slums of Kolkata, on the streets of London, or in post-earthquake Haiti. Filled with fascinating people and histories, The Address Book illuminates the complex and sometimes hidden stories behind street names and their power to name,to hide, to decide who counts, who doesn't-and why"--

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