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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Member of the Week: Dave Hochfelder

David Hochfelder, PhD Associate Professor History Department, University at Albany, SUNY Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest? My current research is on the history of urban renewal, in particular, a public/digital history of urban renewal in New York State we’re calling Picturing Urban Renewal. I and my two colleagues, Ann Pfau and […]

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Making Fashion and Design Capitals — A Review of “Paris to New York”

Pouillard, Véronique. Paris to New York: The Transatlantic Fashion Industry in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2021. Reviewed by Lauren Laframboise If you’ve bought clothes in recent decades, chances are that they’re products of a dizzyingly complex supply chain, involving hundreds of different people’s labor across several distant towns and cities. Although […]

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“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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Where Do Bikes Belong? They Usually Don’t.

By Evan Friss The bicycle first appeared in American cities 201 years ago. Americans first began worrying about how bicycles would ruin their cities 201 years ago. In the intervening years, those fears have shifted but never disappeared. What’s so scary about these relatively simple, two-wheeled devices? What’s so scary about the people riding them? […]

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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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The Bronx Burned: Sara Patenaude on the documentary Decade of Fire

By Sara Patenaude Decade of Fire. Directed by Vivian Vázquez Irizarry and Gretchen Hildebran. Red Nut Films, 2018. Decade of Fire tells the story of the South Bronx in the 1970s, when 80% of the housing stock in the neighborhood was ravaged by fires and 250,000 residents lost their homes. Such wide-spread devastation could easily […]

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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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