A neoliberal Love Story, From Public Housing to Golf: A Review of East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story

East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story, directed by Sarah Burns and David McMahon (Washington, DC: Florentine Films and WETA, 2002). Review by Courtney Rawlings Following their Peabody Award-winning documentary The Central Park Five (2012), co-directors Sarah Burns and David McMahon’s newest film examines another depressing tale of race in America. East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story (2020), focuses […]

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Athens’s Revolutionaries: A Review of Cool Town

Hale, Grace Elizabeth. Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2020. Reviewed by Alex Sayf Cummings In his lovely new book on John Maynard Keynes, The Price of Peace, Zachary D. Carter paints a portrait of Bloomsbury, the economist’s artsy egghead neighborhood of […]

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Forgotten Women of Baltimore: A Review of Bawdy City

Hemphill, Katie M. Bawdy City: Commercial Sex and Regulation in Baltimore, 1790-1915. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020. Reviewed by Jessica R. Pliley Over 20 years ago, Timothy Gilfoyle challenged historians of prostitution to explore the flow of capital between urban brothels and the formal and informal economies of the city. More recently, Amy Dru Stanley framed the […]

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A Remarkable Mix: A Review of Motor City Music

Slobin, Mark. Motor City Music: A Detroiter Looks Back. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. Reviewed by Bob Carey Detroit once meant cars, speed, and movement. In his new memoir Motor City Music, Mark Slobin takes us on a leisurely, unconventional ride through the city, telling the story of growing up and being shaped by the […]

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Rage and Despair in Chicago: A Review of An American Summer

Kotlowitz, Alex. An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago. New York: Knopf Doubleday, 2019. Reviewed by Sara Paretsky The demonstrations that swept America in the wake of George Floyd’s murder seemed to show that the country had reached a tipping point: centuries after the enslavement of Africans arrived in the New World, a majority of […]

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Architectural and Social History of Dormitories: A Review of Living on Campus

Yanni, Carla. Living on Campus: An Architectural History of the American Dormitory. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2019. Reviewed by Jim Wunsch After leaving for college, students may discover that the campus, if not exactly like those depicted in Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, is in certain respects like a city neighborhood. If […]

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The Battle Against City State Complacency? A Review of Singapore, Singapura.

Walton, Nicholas. Singapore, Singapura: From Miracle to Complacency. London: Hurst & Company, 2018. By Taoyu Yang If territorial size were the critical factor in determining a country’s success, then Singapore, at 280 square miles (less than half the size of Houston), would seem little more than a curious throwback to antiquity: a city-state, somehow still […]

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Building the Chicago Police State: A Review of Occupied Territory

By Davarian L. Baldwin Balto, Simon. Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2019. By 2015, Chicago had become a symbol of the broken relationship between Black communities and the law enforcement apparatus. Outrage over the massive police cover-up of Laquan McDonald’s killing […]

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Neglected Gems: Soft City

By Richard Harris Raban, Jonathan. Soft City. New York: E.P.Dutton, 1974. Let me fess up: I’m cheating. Apart from the fact that this was written half a century ago, Soft City isn’t a neglected item of urban historical writing. It was one of the two books that made me into a student of cities. The other […]

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