Author Benjamin Herold discusses teaching Disillusioned: Five Families and the Unraveling of America’s Suburbs

By Spenser Stevens | April 23 2024 | General

Outside Atlanta, a middle-class Black family faces off with a school system seemingly bent on punishing their teenage son. North of Dallas, a conservative white family relocates to an affluent suburban enclave, but can’t escape the changes sweeping the country. On Chicago’s North Shore, a multiracial mom joins an ultraprogressive challenge to the town’s liberal status quo. In Compton, California, whose suburban roots are now barely recognizable, undocumented Hispanic parents place their gifted son’s future in the hands of educators at a remarkable elementary school. And outside Pittsburgh, a Black mother moves to the same street where author Benjamin Herold grew up, then confronts the destructive legacy left behind by white families like his.

Disillusioned braids these human stories together with penetrating local and national history to reveal a vicious cycle undermining the dreams upon which American suburbia was built.

Here, author Benjamin Herold discusses researching this book, as well as the impact that it has had on his undergraduate students:

 

Read an excerpt here

Disillusioned
Five Families and the Unraveling of America's Suburbs
9780593298183
Through the stories of five American families, a masterful and timely exploration of how hope, history, and racial denial collide in the suburbs and their schools
Hardcover