Stymieing the People: A Review of Design for the Crowd: Patriotism and Protest in Union Square

By Thai Jones Merwood-Salisbury, Joanna. Design for the Crowd: Patriotism and Protest in Union Square. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019. Union Square today displays an extraordinary mania for subdivision. Its ten acres have been hardscaped by fencing and concrete into a multitude of distinct levels and impermeable zones. On the surface, these choices appear […]

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The Pandemic to End All Pandemics?: WWI, the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, and Urban America

In a recent fivethirtyeight podcast, political scientist Dan Chen noted that in China the population largely distrusts local authorities’ response to the COVID19 pandemic, while placing faith in the large central government. Host Galen Druke then noted that in the United States, at least over the past few months, the reverse is true: support for […]

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Plagued Administrative State?: A Review of Florence Under Siege

John Henderson. Florence Under Siege: Surviving Plague in an Early Modern City. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2019. By Bob Carey If it seems strange for Americans to find themselves sitting indoors waiting for COVID-19 to pass so they can return to the bargaining and trucking of everyday life, then for Italians it would […]

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Campaigning for Segregation: A Review of Threatening Property: Race, Class and Campaigns to Legislate Jim Crow Neighborhoods

Herbin-Triant, Elizabeth A. Threatening Property: Race, Class, and Campaigns to Legislate Jim Crow Neighborhoods. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019. By Paige Glotzer When such an enormous percentage of urban history grapples with the legacies of housing discrimination in the United States, it can be easy to overlook the efforts to segregate that did not […]

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How to Discover Visual Historical Storytelling, Without Leaving Home

By Avigail Oren On April 28th UHA past-president Richard Harris emailed me the link to Ariel Aberg-Riger’s newest visual story for CityLab, and my immediate response after reading it was “we should reach out and interview her for The Metropole about how she came up with this idea!!” I had the privilege of chatting with […]

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Finding Religion in the City: A Review of Mark Wild’s Renewal: Liberal Protestants in the American City after World War II

Mark Wild. Renewal: Liberal Protestants and the American City after World War II. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019. Review by Bob Carey Renewal: Liberal Protestants and the American City after World War II is a well written study of how liberal Protestants (liberal, white male Protestants, it is important to note) tried to establish […]

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Neglected Gems: Wrigley’s ‘Simple Model’

By Richard Harris Edward A. Wrigley. 1967. A simple model of London’s importance in changing English society and economy 1650-1750. Past and Present 37,1: 44-70. We all get bogged down in the weeds, figuring out who did what and when, and with what effect. Solidly grounded but wonderfully ambitious in scope, Tony Wrigley’s ‘simple model’ […]

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Histories of Police, Policing, and Police Unions in the United States

By Matt Guariglia and Charlotte Rosen Police and policing have been an integral theoretical component of liberal capitalist society since its inception—and a near constant in the everyday lives of citizen-subjects since at least the mid-nineteenth century. The Black Lives Matter movement—and the reactionary “Blue Lives Matter” response from U.S. law enforcement—have also recently brought […]

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Street Privilege: New Histories of Parking and Urban Mobility

By James Longhurst In 1979, a plainclothes police officer assaulted a uniformed parking agent in broad daylight on the steps of the courthouse in lower Manhattan. The New York Times summarized the fight between the policeman and the female parking enforcement agent, declaring that “the two were screaming at the top of their lungs. There […]

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