Around The Block

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Around The Block: The Business of a Neighborhood by Tom ShachtmanAROUND THE BLOCK: The Business of a Neighborhood

“A ‘near-classic’ … One of the best descriptions of American business in microcosm to come out of the 1990s [and] the sort of business book that is published too rarely …. Its subject goes to the heart of modern American business — and in the process tells you more about social conflicts, immigration, education and, indeed, America itself than countless loftier works …. Most memorable are the characters …. Mr. Shachtman is wonderful at detailing the obstinacy of small businessmen …. One of the book’s best chapters is on the stout defence put up by a gym and a video store against two national chains that move in across the street …. Another fascinating section looks at the economics of three deli-groceries ….” — The Economist

“To answer such questions as whether small businesses create jobs and how they survive the competition with big business, Shachtman spent a year exploring the assorted enterprises in a square block of Manhattan’s Chelsea. The book is crowded with real people speaking candidly about plans and problems as varied as their occupations, which range from dog grooming to wholesale plumbing supplies. A grand idea, splendidly executed.” — The New Yorker

“Fascinating detail, [a] terrific new book … a lively, insightful chronicle of a year in the business life of a Manhattan block …. AROUND THE BLOCK is a wonderful weave of personal stories and big-picture trends. Mr. Shachtman has mastered the art of the disciplined digression: his side trips into architecture, history and macroeconomics are short and sharply illuminating.” — The New York Times, Business Section

“A complex and detailed [study of] the gradual, almost invisible creation of jobs, wealth and economic growth through the establishment and nurturing of small businesses …. A thoughtful, interesting book ….. Tom Shachtman has written a good and useful book that — unlike so much else these days — gives cause to look to the future with hope.” — Washington Post Book World

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