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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Shifting a Timeline—A Review of “The Misunderstood History of Gentrification”

Gale, Dennis. The Misunderstood History of Gentrification: People, Planning, Preservation, Urban Renewal, 1915-2020. Temple University Press, 2021. Reviewed by David J. Goodwin Gentrification entered the scholarly discourse on cities in 1964 with London: Aspects of Change, Ruth Glass’s study regarding the influx of middle-income residents moving into historically working-class London neighborhoods and the gradual transformation […]

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New York of the Future – Science Fiction Writers and The City

By Carl Abbott New Yorkers have gumption. They’ve got moxie. They don’t slow down and they don’t take crap from anyone. They’re also survivors who can sometimes figure out how to work together for the common good. That’s the shared message of two compelling and very different books by science fiction stars: N. K. Jemisin’s The […]

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