The Cruel Theater of Carceral Capitalism—A Review of Captives: How Rikers Island Took New York City Hostage.

Shanahan, Jarrod. Captives: How Rikers Island Took New York City Hostage. New York: Verso, 2022. Reviewed by David Helps Thirty years ago this September, some six thousand off-duty members of New York’s Finest descended on City Hall, ostensibly to oppose Mayor David Dinkins’s plan for a police civilian review board. The nearly all-white mob drank […]

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📖A City within a City—A Review of “Freedomland: Co-op City and the Story of New York”

Sammartino, Annemarie H. Freedomland: Co-op City and the Story of New York. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2022. Reviewed by Katie Uva East of I-95 and west of the Hutchinson River Parkway, on 320 acres of marshy land that was once, briefly, home to a United States-themed (and United States-shaped) amusement park called Freedomland, stands […]

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Rethinking “Haussmannization”—A Review of “Dividing Paris: Urban Renewal and Social Inequality, 1852-1870”

da Costa Meyer, Esther. Dividing Paris: Urban Renewal and Social Inequality, 1852–1870. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2022. Reviewed by Sun-Young Park A student of Second Empire Paris and modern urbanism faces no shortage of monographs to guide them in their investigations. From David Pinkney’s Napoleon III and the Rebuilding of Paris (1958), to Jeanne Gaillard’s Paris, […]

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Precarious Space and Chicago in Flux—A Review of “Making Mexican Chicago”

Amezcua, Mike. Making Mexican Chicago: From Postwar Settlement to the Age of Gentrification. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022. Reviewed by Emiliano Aguilar In December 2019 the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) received considerable backlash for painting over murals at the 18th Street Pink Line station. The murals—painted in 1998 by a partnership of artist Francisco […]

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Leading the Afro-American Realty Company—A Review of “Philip Payton: The Father of Black Harlem”

McGruder, Kevin. Philip Payton: The Father of Black Harlem. New York: Columbia University Press, 2021. Reviewed by Carla DuBose-Simons In his latest work, Philip Payton: The Father of Black Harlem,  Kevin McGruder continues to explore the processes by which Harlem became the “Culture Capital” for African Americans. This book, which follows his first book, Race […]

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Sexual Policing—A Review of “The Streets Belong to Us: Sex, Race, and Police Power from Segregation to Gentrification”

Fischer, Anne Gray. The Streets Belong to Us: Sex, Race, and Police Power from Segregation to Gentrification (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2022). Reviewed by DeAnza A. Cook Making sense of systemic violence in modern American cities requires reckoning with sexual criminalization and its entangled carceral effects throughout this nation and beyond. Anne […]

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Public Good and Private Profit, Historic Preservation in Early America—A Review of “Historic Real Estate”

Martinko, Whitney. Historic Real Estate: Market Morality and the Politics of Preservation in the Early United States. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020. Reviewed by Stephanie Gray The practice of historic preservation is and always has been political. While “the politics of preservation” are time and place specific, in Whitney Martinko’s Real Estate: Market Morality […]

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Religious Separatists to Political Players—A Review of “American Shtetl: The Making of Kiryas Joel”

Stolzenberg, Nomi M. and Myers, David N. American Shtetl: The Making of Kiryas Joel, a Hasidic Village in Upstate New York. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2021. Reviewed by Bob Carey This is a big, readable study about how Satmer Hasidic Jews became an influential Republican voting bloc in Orange County, New York. You must work […]

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White-Collar Workplace Activism in NYC—A Review of “The Making of the American Creative Class”

Clark, Shannan. The Making of the American Creative Class: New York’s Culture Workers and Twentieth-Century Consumer Capitalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021. Reviewed by Stephen Petrus As the middle class increasingly shaped consumption habits and social practices in America in the 1950s, it became the subject of scathing critiques in scholarly and popular sociological […]

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The B&O Railroad from Municipal Enterprise to Private Corporation—A Review of “Steam City”

Schley, David. Steam City: Railroads, Urban Space, and Corporate Capitalism in Nineteenth-Century Baltimore. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020. Reviewed by Matthew A. Crenson The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad has disappeared. It descended into bankruptcy toward the end of the nineteenth century, with ownership passing from Baltimore to investors in Chicago and New York. Now, […]

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