For anyone interested in nonprofit community development, and especially its history, Tony Proscio's Becoming What We Can Be is a treasure. It provides the untold story of the comeback of Washington's neighborhoods -- such as Columbia Heights, Marshall Heights, H Street, and the Parklands -- that in the 1980s many thought were beyond redemption. Proscio also draws individual portraits of the unknown heroes of this surprising movement to save the District. He does not shy from describing the challenges and setbacks to community development, including the devastating 2002 Washington Post article that exposed the waste in the local system without acknowledging the substantial achievements. Anyone who wants to know more about the recent history of the nation's capital and the remarkable people who cultivated attractive new stores, schools, and low-income housing in its once depressed neighborhoods should read Proscio's book.
Alexander von Hoffman
(reviewed the day of purchase)