In Barack Obama's America public works is once again a part of the national dialogue. Today it is offered as a solution to the economic downturn and to the public infrastructure crisis. This timely book examines the reasons for the economic crisis facing Main Street, and connects them to why the nation has structurally deficient bridges, weak levees, poorly maintained dams, and dilapidated schools. This book explores the new emerging dominant paradigm that will govern the nation, with a particular focus on the federal government s new emphasis to create jobs and build infrastructure. The book analyzes the history of U.S. public works, drawing upon and updating lessons from the New Deal, to understand the most effective way to organize a modern U.S. civic works project, as well as a civic works pilot project for the Gulf Coast. The pilot project is based on the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, which would create a minimum of 100,000 prevailing wage jobs and training opportunities for local and displaced workers on infrastructure projects and restoring the coastal environment using emerging green building technologies. One chapter features new contributions from Howard Zinn, Angela Glover Blackwell, and other leading scholars, public policy advocates, and community organizers weighing in on how an U.S. civic works project might solve our economic, infrastructure, and environmental crises. Issues discussed in this section include using civic works to create green jobs, to alleviate poverty, to train the next generation of Rosie the Riveters, to organize Gulf Coast residents, to end the human rights crisis in the region, and to implement a national government-run public works project.