As the only American city under direct congressional control, Washington has served historically as a testing ground for federal policy initiatives and social experimentswith decidedly mixed results. Well-intentioned efforts to introduce measures of social justice for the district's largely black population have failed. Yet federal plans and federal money have successfully created a large federal presencea triumph, argues Howard Gillette, of beauty over justice. In a new afterword, Gillette addresses the recent revitalization and the aftereffects of an urban sports arena.

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