City Desk

A Bookseller’s Dream

Last week, a capacity crowd gathered to hear Tom Sherwood and Harry S. Jaffe discuss Dream City: Race, Power, and the Decline of Washington, D.C. The size of the audience at the Waltha T. Daniel/Shaw public library was a testament to the landmark status of the 1994 chronicle of Marion Barry’s rise and (apparent) fall. There was just one problem: No books were available. Dream City may be locally beloved, but, like most of other historic books about hometown D.C., it’s out of print.

That’s not to say readers will have to wait until the impending ebook release to get their Sherwood and Jaffe on. Plenty of copies are available online—for a price. If Dream City’s fate was the same as that of other tomes about race, power, and hometown D.C., its price on the secondary market underscores its lingering influence. A tale of the tape, via Amazon.com:

Dream City, Other Classic D.C. Books Out of Print

BookThe Secret City: A History of Race Relations in the Nation’s Capital

AuthorConstance McLaughlin Green

Published: 1967

Current Price: $26.50 (used). New copies unavailable.

Dream City, Other Classic D.C. Books Out of Print

BookAlley Life in Washington: Family, Community, Religion and Folklife in the City, 1850-1970

AuthorJames Borchert

Published: 1980

Current Price: $18.95 (new); $2.44 (used)

Dream City, Other Classic Books About D.C. Out of Print

BookMarion Barry: The Politics of Race

Author: Jonathan I.Z. Agronsky

Published: 1991

Current Price: $42.14 (new); $0.01 (used)

Dream City, Other Classic D.C. Books Out of Print

BookDream City: Race, Power, and the Decline of Washington D.C.

Authors: Tom Sherwood and Harry S. Jaffe

Published: 1994

Current Price: $80 (new); $39.68 (used)

Dream City, Other Classic D.C. Books Out of Print

BookThe Last of the Black Emperors: The Hollow Comeback of Marion Barry in a New Age of Black Leaders

AuthorJonetta Rose Barras

Published: 1998

Current Price: $21.81 (new); $0.01 (used)

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