What Makes an Inviting and Equitable Place? A Review of Neighborhood

Talen, Emily. Neighborhood. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. Reviewed by David J. Goodwin In his beloved 1949 essay “Here is New York,” E.B. White described the intricate network of businesses, shops, and encounters contained within an average New York City neighborhood. Residents could satisfy their daily needs by walking just a few blocks from […]

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“A New Jerusalem”–A Review of The City-State of Boston

Peterson, Mark. The City-State of Boston: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630-1865. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019. Reviewed by Kristian Price Challenging the popular depiction of Boston as a “city upon a hill,” Mark Peterson sees the city as less a beacon of promise or righteousness than as mired in contradictions […]

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African Americans at St. Elizabeth’s — A Review of Madness in the City of Magnificent Expectations

Summers, Martin. Madness in the City of Magnificent Expectations: A History of Race and Mental Illness in the Nation’s Capital. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. Reviewed by Debra Kram-Fernandez Madness in The City of Magnificent Expectations is concerned with the history of psychiatric care for Black, Brown, and White Americans suffering from serious and/or chronic […]

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Early American Urban Protests — A Review of Boston’s Massacre

Hinderaker, Eric. Boston’s Massacre. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2019. Review by Bob Carey In this engaging study, Eric Hinderaker offers a masterclass in how to peel back the layers of data, scholarship, and propaganda to understand what we call the Boston Massacre. Such an approach, inviting views of a fraught […]

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Radical Movements in 1960s L.A. — A Review of Set the Night on Fire

Jon Wiener and Mike Davis. Set the Night on Fire: L. A. in the Sixties. New York: Verso Books, 2020. Reviewed by Ryan Reft Anyone who chooses to focus on Southern California history must consult the work of Mike Davis. Full stop. Keep in mind you don’t necessarily have to agree with Davis, but you […]

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The Growth of Market-Oriented Urban Policy — A Review of Neoliberal Cities

Diamond, Andrew J. and Thomas J. Sugrue, eds. Neoliberal Cities: The Remaking of Postwar Urban America. New York: New York University Press, 2020. Reviewed by Tracy Neumann Compared to their urbanist counterparts in other disciplines, urban historians—or at least Americanists—have been slow to grapple with neoliberalism. Some avoid the terminology because very few historical actors […]

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The Dynamics and Contradictions of Gentrification — A Review of The Battle of Lincoln Park

Hertz, Daniel Kay. The Battle of Lincoln Park: Urban Renewal and Gentrification in Chicago. Cleveland: Belt Publishing, 2018. Reviewed by David J. Goodwin As COVID-19 swept across the United States, every news cycle seemed to carry stories of affluent residents fleeing big cities for rural hamlets. As many white-collar workers settled into working remotely, suburban […]

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Pandemic Graffiti — The Rebel Bear

Editors Note: When museums and movie theaters were shuttered in March, The Metropole suspended its reviews of shows and films relevant to urban history. As we make our tentative way back to museums, some just beginning to re-open, we may encounter a changed city. The anxiety, frustration, and sometimes sheer rage following months of pandemic […]

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Seeing Race in Architectural History — A Review of Race and Modern Architecture

Cheng, Irene, Charles L. Davis II, and Mabel O. Wilson, eds. Race and Modern Architecture: A Critical History from the Enlightenment to the Present. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020. Reviewed by Vita Baselice When I proposed to organize a symposium on the topic of race and architecture, I received some resistance. One colleague asked […]

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