Education Failed to be an Equalizer in Boston — A Review of “The Education Trap”

Groeger, Cristina Viviana. The Education Trap: Schools and the Remaking of Inequality in Boston. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2021. Reviewed by Erika M. Kitzmiller For centuries, social reformers and elected officials have insisted that education is central to reducing the inequities between the rich and poor, and in turn, to generating a more equitable […]

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Anti-Black Punitive Traditions in Early American Policing

By DeAnza A. Cook Editors Note: This post, part of our Disciplining the City series, expounds upon the central thesis of “The Mass Criminalization of Black Americans: A Historical Overview” and examines the development of anti-black punitive traditions in American policing that first surfaced in the era of slavery and settler colonization. An English court […]

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Topography and Poverty — A Review of “Urban Lowlands”

Moga, Steven T. Urban Lowlands: A History of Neighborhoods, Poverty, and Planning. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020. Reviewed by Henry C. Binford This fine book weaves together several strands of United States urban history over the period from Reconstruction to the New Deal. Urban Lowlands: A History of Neighborhoods, Poverty, and Planning is an examination […]

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Cold War Roots of Pittsburgh’s Renaissance — A Review of “Nuclear Suburbs”

Vitale, Patrick. Nuclear Suburbs: Cold War Technoscience and the Pittsburgh Renaissance. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2021. Reviewed by Alex Sayf Cummings In the 1979 cult classic The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, a down-on-their-luck basketball team called the Pittsburgh Pythons is desperate for a change of fortune. They lose constantly, despite being led by the […]

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Thorough and Damning — A Review of “In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower”

Editor’s note: It’s summer, and that means (hopefully!) more time to catch up on new work in urban history. For our Month of Books this June, we’re running eleven reviews of recently published monographs on everything from the immigrant Sunbelt to Rust Belt racism. Thanks to the reviewers who worked hard to make this happen! […]

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Displaced by Tourists — A Review of “Gentrification Down the Shore”

Makris, Mary Vollman and Mary Gatta. Gentrification Down the Shore. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2020. Reviewed by David J. Goodwin During the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy stood in front of Asbury Park Convention Hall and pledged the state’s delegates to then-presidential candidate Joe Biden. Just an hour from […]

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Cityscape Number 10: May 12, 2021

The Metropole’s listing of recent, forthcoming, or overlooked writing.  Recent Books Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of EuropeBy Judith Herrin, Princeton University Press, 2020 O lone Ravenna! many a tale is toldOf thy great glories of the days of old;Two thousand years have passed since thou didst seeCaesar ride forth to royal victoryRavenna, Oscar Wilde […]

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Tearing Down Misconceptions — A Review of “The Life and Death of Ancient Cities”

Woolf, Greg. The Life and Death of Ancient Cities: A Natural History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020. Reviewed by Kathryn Grossman On December 21, 2020, then-President Donald Trump signed an executive order titled “Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture.” Stipulating that “classical architecture shall be the preferred and default architecture for Federal public buildings” in Washington, […]

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A Contemporary Path to Transportation Justice

Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a series of articles during April that examine the construction of the Interstate Highway System over the past seven decades. The series, titled Justice and the Interstates, opens up new areas for historical inquiry, while also calling on policy makers and the transportation and urban planning professions to […]

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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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