Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Beryl Satter  

Pen Name: None

Genre: History Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1959 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Beryl Satter on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

She was raised in Chicago, Skokie, and Evanston, Illinois, and currently lives in New York City.

Biographical and Professional Information

Beryl Satter is Professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark, where she teaches courses on U.S. history, urban history, and women’s history. She has an M.A. degree from Harvard Divinity School and received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University in 1992. Her book Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America won the 2009 National Jewish Book Award in History, the 2010 Liberty Legacy Award from the Organization of American Historians, and an Honorable Mention from the 2010 Lukas Book Prize committee. It is her second book.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement, 1875-1920
ISBN: 0520217659

University of California Press. 1999

The New Thought Movement was an enormously popular late nineteenth-century spiritual movement led largely by and for women. Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science is but one example of the fascinating range of these groups, which advocated a belief in mind over matter and espoused women's spiritual ability to purify the world. This work is the first to uncover the cultural implications of New Thought, embedding it in the intellectual traditions of nineteenth-century America, and illuminating its connections with the self-help and New Age enthusiasms of our own fin-de-sičcle.

Beryl Satter examines New Thought in all its complexity, presenting along the way a captivating cast of characters. In lively and accessible prose, she introduces the people, the institutions, the texts, and the ideas that comprised the New Thought movement. This fascinating social and intellectual history explores the complex relationships among social reform, alternative religion, medicine, and psychology which persist to this day.

Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America
ISBN: 080507676X

Metropolitan Books. 2009

Part family story and part urban history, a landmark investigation of segregation and urban decay in Chicago—and cities across the nation

The "promised land" for thousands of Southern blacks, postwar Chicago quickly became the most segregated city in the North, the site of the nation’s worst ghettos and the target of Martin Luther King Jr.’s first campaign beyond the South. In this powerful book, Beryl Satter identifies the true causes of the city’s black slums and the ruin of urban neighborhoods throughout the country: not, as some have argued, black pathology, the culture of poverty, or white flight, but a widespread and institutionalized system of legal and financial exploitation.

In Satter’s riveting account of a city in crisis, unscrupulous lawyers, slumlords, and speculators are pitched against religious reformers, community organizers, and an impassioned attorney who launched a crusade against the profiteers—the author’s father, Mark J. Satter. At the heart of the struggle stand the black migrants who, having left the South with its legacy of sharecropping, suddenly find themselves caught in a new kind of debt peonage. Satter shows the interlocking forces at work in their oppression: the discriminatory practices of the banking industry the federal policies that created the country’s shameful "dual housing market" the economic anxieties that fueled white violence and the tempting profits to be made by preying on the city’s most vulnerable population.

A monumental work of history, this tale of racism and real estate, politics and finance, will forever change our understanding of the forces that transformed urban America.


  • 2009 National Jewish Book Award in History, ''Family Properties''

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

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