The Fights for Public Space Book Review by Nicky

The Fights for Public Space
A review of the book, "The Right to the City, Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space" by Don Mitchell.
# 148179 | 701 words | 1 source | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Sep 21, 2011 in Literature (American) , Law (Constitution)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper outlines how Mitchell, in "The Right to the City, Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space", addresses a series of case studies on the controversial use of public space, including the early 20th century labor movement's demand that unions have the freedom to assemble, the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the battle over People's Park; and the rise of anti-homeless legislation in the 1980s. The paper asserts that the main criticism of his book is that he fails to consider the consequences of some of his protest activities upon bystanders. The paper suggests that perhaps the moral of this book is that every freedom we exercise impedes upon the freedom of another to some degree, and striking a balance between those freedoms in a way that does not reinforce the social order in a negative fashion can be difficult.

From the Paper:

"One aspect of this book that is very surprising is that despite the Constitutions' language about the right of the people to assemble, the right of organized political protest in public spaces has often been very fragile within the court system. The U.S. Supreme Court's 1939 landmark decision in Hague v. CIO, stated that the right to use public spaces, such as parks, must be subordinated to the needs of the "general order" (Mitchell 70). The case was seen as a landmark because it did not regulate activities to protect private property or order, but that of the public order (Mitchell 71). Thus the ability to freely assemble has never been absolute--even today, in the case of the anti-abortion movement; protests may take the form of illegal actions that inhibit the rights of others."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Mitchell, Don. The Right to the City, Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space. Guildford Press, 2003.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

The Fights for Public Space (2011, September 21) Retrieved October 02, 2022, from

MLA Format

"The Fights for Public Space" 21 September 2011. Web. 02 October. 2022. <>