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

– tekijä: Deirdre Mask

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1198170,587 (3.97)1
"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"--… (lisätietoja)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
A History of Street Naming & Numbering (and Renaming & Renumbering)
Review of the Profile Books hardcover edition (April 2020)
House numbers were not invented to help you navigate the city or receive your mail, though they perform these two functions admirably. Instead, they were designed to make you easier to tax, imprison, and police. House numbers exist not to help you find your way, but rather to help the government find you. - pgs. 91-92 in The Address Book
Although there are examples of earlier instances, such as on a Paris bridge in 1512, house numbering had its largest onset in the 18th century, with Hapsburg Empress Maria Theresa (1717-1780) instituting a 1,100,399 empire-wide house numbering in order to track subjects for the possible “conscription of souls” for the Austro-Hungarian army in 1770.

Despite its major road infrastructure that emanated from Ancient Rome itself, with elaborate constructions such as the Appian Way, the actual streets of the ancient city were not named at all, so all directions had to be given by commonly known landmarks.

Facts and trivia such as the above are spread throughout The Address Book, and unless one is already an expert in urban geography, much of it will likely be new to average people such as myself. Your degree of interest in this sort of knowledge will likely drive your speed of reading of this book. I was fascinated by all of it, but it still took me over a month to read as there was only so much I could absorb at once.

Deidre Mask bookends this wonderful history with modern day world examples where the need of address has become a pressing requirement for those in need of social assistance such as in refugee camps or slums or for the homeless seeking employment or to simply identify locations without the need for conventional addresses. In Chapter 1 Kolkata, she investigates the NGO Addressing the Unaddressed, whose “sole mission is to give addresses to every slum in India, starting in Kolkata.” In Conclusion The Future: Are Street Addresses Doomed, she investigates the what3words project which divides the entire planet into 64 Trillion 3 metre by 3 metres squares which are each identified by a specific 3 word combination.

I read The Address Book thanks to my subscription to Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company's Year of Reading 2020 New Releases.

Trivia
“Even today, across Europe, instructions about street naming often include a rule rejecting the use of numbers. Estonia … has banned them by law.” – page 115 The Address Book ( )
  alanteder | Sep 26, 2020 |
I didn't know exactly what to expect from a book all about addresses, but I was still disappointed. I feel it lacked focus. I mean, it was all over the map. HA HA HA

I was pulled in by the story of the efforts to give everyone in West Virginia an address - how hard it was to find people, as apparently roads don't have names outside of a few major cities. And darned if the guy whose job it was to name all the roads didn't dang run out of names long before he was through!

I think my favorite quote was about some elderly Chinese immigrants who referred to streets that their new tenant didn't recognize. "Mulberry Street, with its many funeral homes, had turned into Dead Person Street... Division Street was Hatsellers Street, Rutgers Street was Garbage Street, and Kosciuszko Bridge, named after a Polish leader who fought in the American Revolutionary War, somehow became 'the Japanese Guy Bridge.'"

I'm gonna call it that from now on. ( )
  Tytania | Sep 6, 2020 |
The book sounded super intriguing. I had read 'The Color of Law' which had dealt with a related subject (housing vs. street addresses) and I thought this would be similar. The book purposes to talk about how street addresses can reveal about inequalities such as wealth and power, what your address may say about you or your neighbors, and why without an an address such as those who are unhoused can make things incredibly difficult.

The author takes reader from Tokyo to London to South Africa to Manhattan, etc. talking about these topics. The history, political/societal commentary, right down to the layouts and why certain cities/places are laid out the way they are for whatever reason. It's clear there's a lot of research and thought that went into it.

That said, I have to agree with a lot of the negative reviews. This is clearly a book for someone who is into urban planning, a historical/political scientists, economists, etc. As someone who was simply curious and just a layperson, I found the book to be mostly inaccessible and really more of a compilation of articles (or parts of articles expanded into whole chapters) rather than a cohesive narrative that was going to be US-centric.

I don't mind that it's not and was pleased to see entries on places like India and Haiti but it somewhat added to the feeling that it was disjointed and I never quite understood what the author was trying to say about these places. It would have read better, I think as a magazine longform article or a piece in the Sunday papers, etc.

It would probably be of interest to particular groups, though. And it might be useful to also read 'The Color of Law' by Rothstein as a supplement to this book as well. Bought this as a bargain book and would recommend you try the library unless you need it for a class or as a resource. ( )
  HoldMyBook | Aug 22, 2020 |
Deirdre Mask did a tremendous amount of work to produce this exhaustive and fully researched explanation of where and how addresses have come from historically. Her travels and conversations with an extraordinary number of people were truly exhaustive. I was fascinated how much overlap there was in the other current book, Caste, I just finished. Both are amazing in the depth of information they provide. Mask manages to add some humorous personal comments along the way as she describes her investigations. There is SO much more TO an address, or the lack of one, than one would ever imagine without reading Mask's book. It is not exactly a book you would pick up from the title but it is SO worth reading!!! ( )
  nyiper | Aug 21, 2020 |
The Address Book explores street addresses and how and where they began and why they matter. But that sounds so dull compared to the fascinating stories that fill this book. Deirdre Mask first discusses why addresses matter. Anyone who has tried to register houseless citizens knows how important it is. An address is how you connect with your government and how it connects with you. That last part is really how it began, in an effort to know who lived where in order to draft them.

Mask travels the world, to Kolkata to go out with Address the Unaddressed that works to give people addresses for identification and the ability to open a bank account for example and to Haiti to learn how lack of street addresses impeded the efforts to stop the cholera epidemic there. She writes about geographies that are hard to imagine, big cities without street names, not just Ancient Rome but modern Tokyo.

Mask also writes about the power of street names and why people will pay $11,000 for a vanity address in New York City. We learn why we have numbered streets in America, something uncommon elsewhere. Street names also change, they change after revolutions and with changing social mores. The name a street has may also change it. When a street is named to honor Martin Luther King, for example, it often leads to a loss in property value. She tackles the controversy of streets named after Confederate soldiers and contrasts that with street names in South Africa.

How do we live without an address? This book made me wonder how many of the houseless will receive the Economic Impact Payment they are owed. Mask also looks forward to the digital solutions that have been developed using GPS. It is all incredibly fascinating and wonderful.

The Address Book is one of those books that make me want to run around to everyone I know and say “Read this book!” I love those books written by people who are passionately curious and somewhat obsessed with a topic, with the kind of obsession that leads them to dig into the ins and outs and implications it elicits. It’s the obsession that takes something so simple as a street address and asks what does it represent in terms of class, race, power, history, and everything in between.

She also writes with the kind of enthusiasm that makes me smile. It’s full of the “did you know” kind of factoids that make for a happy reader. So, enough of this review, go read this book!

I received an ARC of The Address Book from the publisher through Shelf Awareness

The Address Book at St. Martin’s Press | Macmillan
Deirdre Mask author site

https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2020/04/29/9781250134769/ ( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Apr 30, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Omistuskirjoitus
Ensimmäiset sanat
Sitaatit
Viimeiset sanat
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Alkuteoksen kieli
Canonical DDC/MDS

Viittaukset tähän teokseen muissa lähteissä.

Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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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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