Saving Stuy Town: New York’s Middle Class and the 2021 Mayoral Race

By Dan Garodnick As New York City gets ready to choose its new mayor, one community is watching the results with particular interest. Having recently seen a decade of tumult across two mayoralties, the residents of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village understand that the occupant of Gracie Mansion matters to their safety and security. […]

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Member of the Week: Mario Hernandez

Mario Hernandez Assistant Professor, Social and Historical Department Mills College @mario22h Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest? My research focuses on relationship between race and gentrification. My current book project, Bushwick’s Bohemia: Art and Revitalization in Gentrifying Brooklyn, will be published by Routledge Press in the spring of 2022. The book […]

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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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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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To Queens, With Love

By Katie Uva In an essay first published in The New York Times in 2001, Colson Whitehead wrote, “You start building your private New York the first time you lay eyes on it.” I started building my private New York at the top of a hill, one of the several that gave my neighborhood, Forest […]

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Stretching to Understand Renegade Urban Fireworks

This piece by Marika Plater is the first entrant into the Fourth Annual UHA/The Metropole Graduate Student Blogging Contest. We invited graduate students to “write about a moment in urban history when the inflexible was asked to bend,” and in this essay Plater asks readers to stretch their interpretation of the fireworks that seemed ubiquitous […]

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Member of the Week: LaShawn Harris

LaShawn Harris Associate Professor of History Michigan State University Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest?  My current research project focuses on the policing of New York’s Black women during the 1980s, a period widely remembered for urban decay, economic instability, political conservativism, crime, racial violence, and new cultural music and art forms. […]

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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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Political Broken Promises: Self-Serving Officials and Unrealistic Expectations in the History of the NYC Subway

By Philip Mark Plotch New York City’s subway system, once the best in the world, is now frequently unreliable, uncomfortable, and overcrowded (at least when the city is not experiencing a pandemic). One of the reasons for its sorry state is a series of uninformed and self-serving elected officials who have fostered false expectations about […]

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