The address book : what street addresses reveal about identity, race, wealth, and power / Deirdre Mask

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Material Type
Book
Author
Mask, Deirdre,
Publication Info.
New York : St. Martin's Press, an imprint of St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2020.
Publication Info.
©2020

Details

Edition
First edition.
Description
x, 326 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 273-313) and index.
Contents
Introduction: Why do street addresses matter? -- 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 revolutionaries? -- 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? -- Conclusion: The future : are street addresses doomed?
Summary
"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."-- Provided by publisher.
Subject
Street addresses -- Social aspects.
Street names -- Social aspects.
HISTORY / Modern / General.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Demography.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes & Economic Disparity.
ISBN
9781250134769 (hardcover)
1250134765 (hardcover)
9781250134783 (ebook)