Houston: The Prophetic City
Evan Mintz reviews a new book called Prophetic City: Houston on the Cusp of a Changing America, written by Stephen Klineberg, founding director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University.
Throughout the review, Mintz makes it clear that this is a new kind of book about Houston. In most famous books about the city, "Houston is the place where outlandish stories just happen to take place," writes Mintz. "Portrayed as having little character of its own, it’s an exotic-enough setting for non-Texas readers, but it might as well be San Diego or Atlanta. So it’s a relief to read a book where Houston isn’t just the backdrop—it’s the story."
A key point from the book examined here by Mintz is Klineberg's discussion of how Houston has been spared the decline of Rust Belt cities, despite the working class lineage they share in common. The city owes its growth and continued success not to its Anglo population, but to continued waves of non-white immigrants, according to the book.