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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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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Documenting Moynihan: Charlotte Rosen Reviews the 2018 Documentary about the Late New York Senator

By Charlotte Rosen There is no dearth of historical scholarship demonstrating the dangerous afterlife of Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,” or what would become commonly known as the “Moynihan Report.” An internal document written when Moynihan was the Assistant Secretary of Labor under President Lyndon Johnson, the report argued […]

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Book Review: Boston on Sam Stein’s Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State

Samuel Stein. Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State. Brooklyn, NY: Verso, 2019. By Amanda Boston The process of exclusionary development we know as “gentrification”—and the working-class communities and cultures it displaces—has preoccupied urban residents and other stakeholders for decades. Scholars have explored transformation of the process from a scattered residential phenomenon into a […]

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Review: The New, New Urban American History? Richard Harris on The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Urban History

Timothy J. Gilfoyle, editor. The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Urban History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.  2 volumes. ISBN 9780190853860 (set) By Richard Harris No question, The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Urban History stands as a major achievement testifying to the extraordinary quantity, quality, and diversity of contemporary research on American cities and suburbs. […]

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March is The Metropole’s Month of Books

By Eric Michael Rhodes Gone (thankfully) from our profession is Leopold von Ranke’s old fantasy of history as objective science. And yet, while we cannot test our hypotheses in laboratories, peer review has remained central to the process of the production of historical truth—our main objective. We all learn in graduate school that we should […]

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