The Infrastructure of Movement: Moving the City, an Overview and Bibliography for Urban Transit History

It would be hard to overstate the importance of infrastructure in the lives of Americans. In the nineteenth century, Henry Clay viewed the construction of transportation infrastructure – largely roads and canals – as a means to bind the nation’s communities together as one nation. Abraham Lincoln advocated for much the same. In the twentieth […]

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Introducing a New Mini-Series: Neglected Gems

By Richard Harris You know how Breitbart carries stories with captions like “The Democrats’ Five Steps to Socialism”? Or how the New York Times regularly updates its count of “The Whoppers that Trump Tells”? Well, herewith is my “Seven Neglected Gems in Urban History.” I’m hopeful it, too, will go viral. The inspiration, if such […]

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The Bronx Burned: Sara Patenaude on the documentary Decade of Fire

By Sara Patenaude Decade of Fire. Directed by Vivian Vázquez Irizarry and Gretchen Hildebran. Red Nut Films, 2018. Decade of Fire tells the story of the South Bronx in the 1970s, when 80% of the housing stock in the neighborhood was ravaged by fires and 250,000 residents lost their homes. Such wide-spread devastation could easily […]

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The Needle of the Nation: Eric Michael Rhodes on Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s Race for Profit

“He sits upon the landlord’s operating table, the needle of the nation sucking his soul.” —Henry Dumas Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2019. By Eric Michael Rhodes When Michael Bloomberg blamed the end of redlining for […]

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Thessaloniki at the edge of the 19th and 20th centuries: A look back at the history of a multinational city

By Efthymios-Spyridon Georgiou The modern history of Thessaloniki, a Mediterranean port city in northern Greece, began in the mid-nineteenth century. The Ottoman ruler at the time, Tanziman, was influenced by modernism and Western lifestyles. So while the Ottoman state remained anachronistic in administrative and military structures, Tanziman promoted the modernization of the city. The period […]

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Book Review: Ballparks, Baseball, and the Built Environment in the American City

By Steven Tischler Goldberger, Paul. Ballpark: Baseball in the American City. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2019. Paul Goldberger deftly analyzes changing relationships between professional baseball and urban environments from the mid-19th century to the present day in Ballpark: Baseball in the American City. Goldberger uses ballparks as a lens through which to observe and […]

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Review: Frank Rizzo and White Working Class Philly in Tim Lombardo’s Blue-Collar Conservatism

Timothy J. Lombardo, Blue-Collar Conservatism: Frank Rizzo’s Philadelphia and Populist Politics (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). By Christopher Whann Since 1960, urban politics in America have been defined by massive changes like the civil rights movement, the related issue of “white flight” and suburbanization, deindustrialization, and economic transformation. Northeastern cities were certainly affected by these […]

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From Cold War Counterinsurgency to Policing in Ferguson: A Review of Stuart Schrader’s Badges Without Borders

Schrader, Stuart. Badges without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2019. By Charlotte Rosen As heavily-armed SWAT teams rained rubber bullets and tear gas on Ferguson protestors in August 2014, Palestinians on Twitter offered not only solidarity, but tactical advice. Given that the same tear gas […]

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Review: SPIT SPREADS DEATH: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 in Philadelphia

By Bob Carey At the end of the First World War, influenza swept across the globe killing fifty million. But this, the deadliest pandemic in history, has never been given the prominence of say, the bubonic plague, cholera, or AIDS. The Mütter Museum of medical history has now launched a most welcome, and what promises […]

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