Chapter

Power and Its Limitations

in Robert Clifton Weaver and the American City

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780226684482
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226684505 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226684505.003.0016
Power and Its Limitations

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The year 1966 marked a significant change in the attitudes of many Americans toward their government, including their representatives in Washington. Fading was the short-lived optimism that the federal government could solve all (or even most) societal problems. Nowhere was this change in attitude more profound than in the two areas to which Weaver had devoted his career. By the end of the year, the problems of race relations and the “crisis of the city” were merged. At the same time, the traditional liberal approaches to both these issues — the belief that professionally managed urban redevelopment programs could solve city decline and that legislation combined with professional mediation could overcome racial prejudice — were under attack. The Department of Housing and Urban Development's first year witnessed dramatic changes in the nation's understanding of these issues. As the nation's “urban czar” and its highest black official, Weaver was at the center of these conflicts.

Keywords: Robert C. Weaver; societal problems; race relations; urban redevelopment programs; urban policy

Chapter.  9406 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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