Transforming Industrial Hubs — A Review of The Medical Metropolis

Simpson, Andrew T. The Medical Metropolis: Health Care and Economic Transformation in Pittsburgh and Houston. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019. Reviewed by Kenneth Alyass The COVID-19 pandemic has made the geographies of health care systems visible in new ways, as cameras have focused on the harrowing scenes of filled-to-capacity ICUs, health care workers draped […]

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The Tokyo Moment: What Developing Cities Can Learn from the Postwar Japanese Capital

By Ben Bansal Tokyo is Asia’s first megacity: its urban agglomeration topped the symbolic ten million inhabitants marker sometime after World War II. While it had been one of the world’s largest cities for centuries, arguably its most relevant growth spurt took place between 1950 and 1970. It was during this period that the already […]

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Member of the Week: Matt Vitz

Matt Vitz Associate Professor of Latin American History UC San Diego Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest? I am currently working on several projects. First, I am devising a second book project that will examine the historical relationship between indigenous knowledges and elite and scientific imaginaries about indigenous peoples from the […]

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An Ode to Kenneth Kusmer (1945-2020)

When Kenneth Kusmer died in November, urban historians lost a (humble) giant in the field. In this ode, Walter Greason remembers and honors his dissertation advisor. By Walter Greason When I was a doctoral student in the late 1990s, Temple University’s graduate seminars in history met in Center City, Philadelphia, at 1616 Walnut Street. One […]

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To Queens, With Love

By Katie Uva In an essay first published in The New York Times in 2001, Colson Whitehead wrote, “You start building your private New York the first time you lay eyes on it.” I started building my private New York at the top of a hill, one of the several that gave my neighborhood, Forest […]

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What Makes an Inviting and Equitable Place? A Review of Neighborhood

Talen, Emily. Neighborhood. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. Reviewed by David J. Goodwin In his beloved 1949 essay “Here is New York,” E.B. White described the intricate network of businesses, shops, and encounters contained within an average New York City neighborhood. Residents could satisfy their daily needs by walking just a few blocks from […]

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An Ode to Students

By Allison Raven Of the many abstract nouns in the world, “injustice” is perhaps the one best suited for seventh graders. Middle schoolers in general have very profound senses of justice, and certainly know when they are experiencing an injustice in school. Homework: injustice. Uniforms: injustice. Ms. Raven counting them tardy when they intended to […]

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“A New Jerusalem”–A Review of The City-State of Boston

Peterson, Mark. The City-State of Boston: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630-1865. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019. Reviewed by Kristian Price Challenging the popular depiction of Boston as a “city upon a hill,” Mark Peterson sees the city as less a beacon of promise or righteousness than as mired in contradictions […]

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B’more Authentic: Teaching Difficult History in the College Classroom

By Menika Dirkson I’ll never forget my first mentor in graduate school. He was a black man from Baltimore who taught African American History at a predominantly white institution for over twenty years. I first met Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Little when I took his course as an undergraduate student at Villanova University. I thought he […]

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African Americans at St. Elizabeth’s — A Review of Madness in the City of Magnificent Expectations

Summers, Martin. Madness in the City of Magnificent Expectations: A History of Race and Mental Illness in the Nation’s Capital. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. Reviewed by Debra Kram-Fernandez Madness in The City of Magnificent Expectations is concerned with the history of psychiatric care for Black, Brown, and White Americans suffering from serious and/or chronic […]

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