Manhattan’s Many Congregations — A Review of God in Gotham

Butler, Jon. God in Gotham: The Miracle of Religion in Modern Manhattan. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2020. Reviewed by Bob Carey If I were still teaching Introduction to Religion in American History, I would assign Jon Butler’s God in Gotham, with its excellent cameos of Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, Abraham […]

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The Police and Black Rebellion — A Review of America on Fire

Hinton, Elizabeth. America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s. New York: Liverlight, 2021. Reviewed by Simon Balto Few historians are defter at helping us make sense of our present than Elizabeth Hinton. Her first book, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime (2016), recalibrated […]

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The Emergence of Gangsta Rap — A Review of To Live and Defy in LA

Viator, Felicia Angeja. To Live and Defy in LA: How Gangsta Rap Changed America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2020. Reviewed by Katherine Rye Jewell What does it mean to sell out? A generation of scholars have addressed this idea in hip hop and popular music, connecting it to questions of authenticity, artistic representation, and […]

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Slave Trading Scofflaws of New York — A Review of The Last Slave Ships

Harris, John. The Last Slave Ships: New York and The End Of The Middle Passage. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2020. Reviewed by Bob Cary There is something of a “close parenthesis” quality to John Harris’s engrossing discussion of the closing days of the Atlantic Slave trade. Harris focuses on the trade as it played […]

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Transforming Industrial Hubs — A Review of The Medical Metropolis

Simpson, Andrew T. The Medical Metropolis: Health Care and Economic Transformation in Pittsburgh and Houston. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019. Reviewed by Kenneth Alyass The COVID-19 pandemic has made the geographies of health care systems visible in new ways, as cameras have focused on the harrowing scenes of filled-to-capacity ICUs, health care workers draped […]

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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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