Member of the Week: Felix Cowan

Felix Cowan PhD Candidate Department of History University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest? My current research is on the Russian penny press in the early twentieth century: small, accessible, hugely popular newspapers that sold for a single kopeck per issue and targeted the Russian Empire’s growing […]

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Religious Separatists to Political Players—A Review of “American Shtetl: The Making of Kiryas Joel”

Stolzenberg, Nomi M. and Myers, David N. American Shtetl: The Making of Kiryas Joel, a Hasidic Village in Upstate New York. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2021. Reviewed by Bob Carey This is a big, readable study about how Satmer Hasidic Jews became an influential Republican voting bloc in Orange County, New York. You must work […]

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Digital Documentary History of Police Violence in Detroit—A Review of “Detroit Under Fire”

By Matt Guariglia and Charlotte Rosen The purpose of the Disciplining the Nation project is to make the history of policing, incarceration, and criminalization in the United States more accessible and teachable by highlighting the documents which shaped it. In addition to looking at specific documents, we also want to highlight specific public history projects […]

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Planning for the People y Qué? From Advocacy Planners to Hardcore Punks

The Metropole Bookshelf is an opportunity for authors of forthcoming or recently published books to let the UHA community know about their new work in the field. by Mike Amezcua Punk fliers are planning documents. Not the official kind produced by city planning departments, of course, nor the grassroots plans by neighborhood activists resisting investment […]

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White-Collar Workplace Activism in NYC—A Review of “The Making of the American Creative Class”

Clark, Shannan. The Making of the American Creative Class: New York’s Culture Workers and Twentieth-Century Consumer Capitalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021. Reviewed by Stephen Petrus As the middle class increasingly shaped consumption habits and social practices in America in the 1950s, it became the subject of scathing critiques in scholarly and popular sociological […]

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“A Double Dose of Ecological Backfires”: Rat Control, Barry Commoner, and Early Environmental Justice in St. Louis

by Josh Levy In 1968 the St. Louis Health Division determined that around 70 percent of the rat bites reported in the city came from the same corridor, a roughly two-mile strip of predominately Black neighborhoods stretching west from downtown, between Delmar Boulevard and Natural Bridge Road.[1] The same year Barry Commoner, founder of the […]

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Member of the Week: Marcio Siwi

Marcio Siwi Assistant Professor in Latin American History and Metropolitan Studies Towson University  Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest? As an urban historian working at the intersection of race, class, and urban development, I am interested in exploring the city as a site of contestation where diverse populations with conflicting attachments […]

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The B&O Railroad from Municipal Enterprise to Private Corporation—A Review of “Steam City”

Schley, David. Steam City: Railroads, Urban Space, and Corporate Capitalism in Nineteenth-Century Baltimore. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020. Reviewed by Matthew A. Crenson The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad has disappeared. It descended into bankruptcy toward the end of the nineteenth century, with ownership passing from Baltimore to investors in Chicago and New York. Now, […]

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Shifting a Timeline—A Review of “The Misunderstood History of Gentrification”

Gale, Dennis. The Misunderstood History of Gentrification: People, Planning, Preservation, Urban Renewal, 1915-2020. Temple University Press, 2021. Reviewed by David J. Goodwin Gentrification entered the scholarly discourse on cities in 1964 with London: Aspects of Change, Ruth Glass’s study regarding the influx of middle-income residents moving into historically working-class London neighborhoods and the gradual transformation […]

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Member of the Week: Michelle Nickerson

Michelle Nickerson Associate Professor of History Loyola University Chicago Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest? I am currently finishing a book called Spiritual Criminals: How the Camden 28 Put the Vietnam War on Trial about a group of activists in the long 1960s who raided a draft board to disrupt the conscription […]

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