Review: Nature, the City, and the Origins of American Environmentalism

Benjamin Heber Johnson, Escaping the Dark, Gray City: Fear and Hope in Progressive-Era Conservation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017) 311 pp. $40, ISBN: 9780300115505 By Alan Lessoff Urban historians should take particular note of Benjamin Heber Johnson’s Escaping the Dark, Gray City: Fear and Hope in Progressive-Era Conservation, which returns the city to the center […]

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Review – The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution

Slezkine, Yuri.  The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017) XVIII, 1104 pp. $39.95. By John W. Steinberg  Yuri Slezkine has written an extraordinary book. Building his epic around the lives of Soviet luminaries, he combines a host of topics ranging from intellectual to architectural history to reveal […]

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The Rise and Fall of “New Towns”: A Review of Rosemary Wakeman’s Practicing Utopia

Rosemary Wakeman, Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016) 392 pp. $45 ISBN: 9780226346175 By Sam Wetherell Rosemary Wakeman’s exquisitely written Practicing Utopia charts the rise and fall of new towns—the “deus ex machina” of developmental welfare states—in the mid-twentieth century. The new towns appear almost […]

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Confronting the Void: New York after 9/11

Susan Opotow and Zachary Baron Shemtob, editors, New York after 9/11. New York: Fordham University Press, 2018. For anyone in New York that day, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 remain very much in the present. But memory and raw emotions fade. Young men and women joining the armed forces today were not even […]

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The Inequality of Nashville Skylines: A Review of Ansley T. Erickson’s Making the Unequal Metropolis: School Desegregation and its Limits

Ansley T. Erickson, Making the Unequal Metropolis: School Desegregation and Its Limits (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016). 390 pp. notes, index. ISBN 978 0 226 02525 4. Reviewed by Walter C. Stern For decades the relationship between the value of housing and the desirability of schools has been practically inescapable. Realtors hype or pooh-pooh […]

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Fiscal Fright in NYC: A Review of Kim Phillips-Fein’s Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics

Kim Phillips-Fein. Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2017. 417pp. $9.98. (Paperback)  Review by Michael R. Glass By 1965, a $255 million gap had opened in the New York City budget. To cover the city’s operating expenses, Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr. decided to “borrow now, […]

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Rethinking “Old Shanghai”: A Review of Shaping Modern Shanghai: Colonialism in China’s Global City

­ By Taoyu Yang Isabella Jackson. Shaping Modern Shanghai: Colonialism in China’s Global City. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 274 pp. $99.99 (cloth). No Chinese city has attracted as much attention from academics and the public as Shanghai. The most cosmopolitan of Chinese cities, Shanghai for generations has been central both to China’s development and […]

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At Street Level in Mike Wallace’s Greater Gotham

By Thai Jones Wallace, Mike. Greater Gotham: A History of New York City From 1898 to 1919 (New York: Oxford University Press,2018). 1182pp. $45.ISBN 978-0-19-511635-9  Greater Gotham opens on New Year’s Eve, 1897, with thousands massing in Union Square before stepping off to join a parade celebrating consolidation of the five boroughs—including what were at […]

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Book Review: City of Inmates by Kelly Lytle Hernández

Kelly Lytle Hernández. City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017. We are living in an era of human caging on a massive scale. Each night, 2.2 million people fall asleep locked inside one of more than 6,000 prisons, jails, […]

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