“Entrepreneurial Greed” — A Review of Crack: Rock Cocaine, Street Capitalism, and the Decade of Greed

Farber, David. Crack: Rock Cocaine, Street Capitalism, and the Decade of Greed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. Reviewed by Kim Hewitt In Crack: Rock Cocaine, Street Capitalism, and the Decade of Greed, David Farber does dual duty—first recapping contemporary drug policies and then tracing the US history of cocaine use and cocaine business operations. The […]

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Rage and Despair in Chicago: A Review of An American Summer

Kotlowitz, Alex. An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago. New York: Knopf Doubleday, 2019. Reviewed by Sara Paretsky The demonstrations that swept America in the wake of George Floyd’s murder seemed to show that the country had reached a tipping point: centuries after the enslavement of Africans arrived in the New World, a majority of […]

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Building the Chicago Police State: A Review of Occupied Territory

By Davarian L. Baldwin Balto, Simon. Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2019. By 2015, Chicago had become a symbol of the broken relationship between Black communities and the law enforcement apparatus. Outrage over the massive police cover-up of Laquan McDonald’s killing […]

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Neglected Gems: Chicago Made

By Richard Harris Robert Lewis. 2008. Chicago Made. Factory Networks in the Industrial Metropolis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Many fine works are neglected because they treat a subject that is important but unfashionable. Chicago Made falls squarely into that category. Now not all of the overlap between urban and business historians has been neglected. […]

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The Needle of the Nation: Eric Michael Rhodes on Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s Race for Profit

“He sits upon the landlord’s operating table, the needle of the nation sucking his soul.” —Henry Dumas Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2019. By Eric Michael Rhodes When Michael Bloomberg blamed the end of redlining for […]

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Member of the Week: Mike Amezcua

Mike Amezcua Assistant Professor of History and Urban Studies New York University https://www.razalandscapes.com/ Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest? I am in the process of completing my first book manuscript which centers on the making of Mexican Chicago and its distinct neighborhoods from postwar urban renewal to the era of gentrification. […]

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Beacons of Truth: Newspaper Buildings in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

This piece by Lily Corral is the sixth and final entrant into the Third Annual UHA/The Metropole Graduate Student Blogging Contest. Corral takes on the life cycle of the media industry, and shows how the architecture built by newspapers reflects the industry’s birth, heyday, and now legacy. Daily news comes to us in all forms. […]

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Member of the Week: Charlotte Rosen

Charlotte Rosen PhD Candidate in History Northwestern University  @CharlotteERosen Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest? I just became ABD five seconds ago, and so I still feel kind of silly describing my current research since I know its bound to change, but: in the broadest sense, I am researching mass incarceration […]

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All Stick No Carrot: Racism, Property Tax Assessments, and Neoliberalism Post 1945 Chicago

Our focus on the new edited volume, Shaped by the State: Toward a New Political History of the Twentieth Century continues as we discuss race and property tax assessments with University of Virginia historian, Andrew Kahrl who contributed the essay, “The Short Ends of Both Sticks: Property Assessments and Black Taxpayer Disadvantage in Urban America.” […]

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