Political Deluge in Metro Manila: Flood Control and Municipal Politics Under Authoritarianism

By Michael D. Pante Metro Manila, the seat of political power and the economic center of the Philippines, is no stranger to natural disasters. It has been battered by numerous typhoons, earthquakes, and other calamities throughout history, with huge financial, social, and political costs. And it’s no exaggeration to suggest that the metropolis, composed of […]

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Urban Disaster and Recovery: An Overview and Bibliography of the Resilient City

Catastrophe has long shaped cities. Calamities have come in many forms and for varying durations; they have inflicted great costs in lives, suffering, and wealth. Different sorts of urban disasters—terrorist attacks, floods, earthquakes, diseases—have elicited different responses, policy prescriptions, and behaviors. Cities cannot be reduced to capital flows; they are more than built environment. “[T]hey […]

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A Remarkable Mix: A Review of Motor City Music

Slobin, Mark. Motor City Music: A Detroiter Looks Back. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. Reviewed by Bob Carey Detroit once meant cars, speed, and movement. In his new memoir Motor City Music, Mark Slobin takes us on a leisurely, unconventional ride through the city, telling the story of growing up and being shaped by the […]

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Digital Summer School: Baltimore Heritage

The pervasive effects of the coronavirus have forced numerous public history institutions to rethink their mission and the means by which an organization might still work toward long held goals in a radically different environment. Celebrating its 60thanniversary this year, Baltimore Heritage serves as just one example of this phenomena, as the historic preservation non-profit nimbly […]

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Rage and Despair in Chicago: A Review of An American Summer

Kotlowitz, Alex. An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago. New York: Knopf Doubleday, 2019. Reviewed by Sara Paretsky The demonstrations that swept America in the wake of George Floyd’s murder seemed to show that the country had reached a tipping point: centuries after the enslavement of Africans arrived in the New World, a majority of […]

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Cityscape Number 8: July 27, 2020

For now, Cityscape is The Metropole’s listing of recent, forthcoming, or overlooked writing. When movie theaters and museums re-open, we will again link to films and exhibits of interest to urban historians. Recent Books To Live and Defy in LA: How Gangsta Rap Changed America By Felicia Angeja Viator, Harvard University Press, 2020  An inquiry […]

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Architectural and Social History of Dormitories: A Review of Living on Campus

Yanni, Carla. Living on Campus: An Architectural History of the American Dormitory. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2019. Reviewed by Jim Wunsch After leaving for college, students may discover that the campus, if not exactly like those depicted in Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, is in certain respects like a city neighborhood. If […]

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When Conservatives Called to Freeze Police Budgets

By David Helps In 1984, Hollywood resident Jerry Martz wrote the Los Angeles Times to observe a political impasse. With the fear of crime reaching a crescendo, City Council faced calls to enlarge the Los Angeles Police Department to 8,500 officers, which Chief Daryl Gates sloganized as the “8500 Plan.” Martz’s support for police expansion ran up against his fiscal conservatism. Nevertheless, […]

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“History Is The Most Compelling Evidence Police Cannot Be Reformed”: Third UHA Panel Imagines an Abolitionist Future

Last night concluded the Urban History Association’s trio of virtual panels in response to the recent wave of Black-led urban uprisings against racist police brutality and renewed conversation about defunding and abolishing police. The Metropole’s Disciplining the City editors Matthew Guariglia and Charlotte Rosen moderated a discussion with historians Johanna Fernández, Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Marisol […]

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The Battle Against City State Complacency? A Review of Singapore, Singapura.

Walton, Nicholas. Singapore, Singapura: From Miracle to Complacency. London: Hurst & Company, 2018. By Taoyu Yang If territorial size were the critical factor in determining a country’s success, then Singapore, at 280 square miles (less than half the size of Houston), would seem little more than a curious throwback to antiquity: a city-state, somehow still […]

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