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‘Under the Boardwalk: An Unsatisfying Telling of the Decline of Atlantic City’ by Bryant Simon, Book Response
The book Under the Boardwalk: An Unsatisfying Telling of the Decline of Atlantic City presents an overview of the decline of Atlantic City that experienced a dramatic shocking waning in prosperity. The author Bryant Simon explains a gradual popularization of a city that once had a number of flavors that captured many. Back in 1920, the city made a valuable contribution in its visual power based on the extent of its appealing stylishness hotels, excellent streets, and marvelous restaurants. Nonetheless, Simon describes the socio-economic set up of the previous Atlantic City as self-sustaining based on the typical interaction rates of its inhabitants. Surprisingly, a multidecade period was enough to ‘wither’ Atlantic into an ugly meager municipality. For this reason, there could be possible motives that contributed to the collapse of the city.
First, Simon relates the downfall of the popular Atlantic City to a steady collapse of its middle class. Before, a visit to the city was a “performance of personal experience” whereby its population offered to support the reputation of their wonderful home (35). The City’s peak decades had a classy vocational facility that could support tourist from all corners of the world. However, Simon claims of the change of the America vocation based on the complex background of the ‘whites’ racial discrimination. Again, there were overwhelming controversies ranging from classy attitudes through high incidence of treatments; different races lived on their own. Repeatedly, the book cites several occurrences of racial conflicts that hindered interpersonal cooperation. Simon goes ahead in outsourcing more facts behind the decline on claims provocative gambling at casinos, high greedy levels, and impunity that deterred people from supporting the enriched socio-economic developments. All the same, the city depended on its visitors who could not bear with the discontenting policies.
Nevertheless, the city experienced high level of segregation compelling most of its middle class group to relocate to other urban centers. In the late 1960s, the level of commitment towards development discouraged the public’s efforts towards development (12). Apart from the complex experience of urban challenges, the city declined due to unreasonable changes in trade and commerce behavior. Most visitors became convinced that success was a lost glory. Technologically, multiple alterations from a high standard mechanical drive to a totally changed face drove away vocational and leisure desires. Altogether, the city witnessed a historical emigration that deprived local businesses to lose customers. There were also high levels of economic struggles especially in the local banks that later resorted for financial borrowing to support the town.
Ultimately, the reasons behind the fall of Atlantic City reveal much about urban development. Simon’s narration in the book clearly shows irresponsibility of citizens towards maintaining prosperity. Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America is a classical woeful description of urban historic downfall that generally outlines the fate of America’s urban setup experiencing multiple controversies. Specifically, it suggests that an urban setup is such a critical environment thus, resistant to societal discrepancies. The author achieves in narrating a nostalgic tale of unmanaged urban setup based on picture presentations of the decline of Atlantic City. Relatively, Simon’s analysis of the decline of Atlantic City is substantially acceptable on grounds that most of his arguments are plausible.
Simon, Bryant. Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2006. Print.