Blogs > Cliopatria > Three New Books Provide In-Depth Assessment of New York City's Recovery

Aug 31, 2005 12:22 pm

Three New Books Provide In-Depth Assessment of New York City's Recovery

NEW YORK, Aug. 31 (AScribe Newswire) -- The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, altered the political, social, and economic landscape of the United States and the world. On that day, thousands of lives were lost, the structure of the U.S. economy was shaken, and the bonds of community in a multicultural world were put to the test. Shortly after the attacks, the Russell Sage Foundation convened a special Working Group made up of distinguished economists, political scientists, and sociologists to analyze New York's recovery from that devastating day. After nearly four years of rigorous study and analysis, the Foundation is releasing three pioneering books providing a wealth of new information on the effects of the attack and its aftermath on the economic, social, and political life of the city: Resilient City:

The Economic Impact of 9/11, Contentious City: The Politics of Recovery in New York City, and Wounded City: The Social Impact of 9/11. Together, the three books shed new light on both the short- and long-term effects of the attack and provide the most in-depth assessment to date of the impact of 9/11 on New York City.

Resilient City: The Economic Impact of 9/11, edited by Howard Chernick, Professor of Economics at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center, analyzes both the immediate and longer-run economic effects of 9/11 on New York, including the losses in the downtown business district, damage to key sectors of the city's economy, the destruction of small businesses, and the flight of larger firms out of the city. The book examines how the economic aftershocks of the attack affected the city's fiscal capacity, the consequences of budgetary constraints on the quality of municipal services, and the economic effects of the attack on the residents near Ground Zero, as well as on low-skill workers, and immigrants - the groups most likely to be adversely affected by cuts in city services. Overall, it paints a portrait of a vital New York City economy, where employment, wages, and company value have remained strong despite the destruction the city sustained during the terrorist attacks.

Wounded City: The Social Impact of 9/11, edited by Nancy Foner, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center, examines how September 11th and its aftermath have changed the social life of the city, documenting how a broad range of communities residential, occupational, ethnic, and civic were affected and changed by the World Trade Center attacks. Using survey data and in-depth ethnographies, the book offers sophisticated analysis and gives voice to the human experiences behind the summary statistics, revealing how the nature of these communities shaped their response to the disaster.

Contentious City: The Politics of Recovery in New York City, edited by John Mollenkopf, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center, profiles the politics of recovery, from the politically fraught process of rebuilding at Ground Zero to the repercussions of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the electoral landscape in New York, where politicians at the city and state level were forced to adapt to a new political climate after 9/11 to win elected office. The book takes an in-depth look at the competing interests and demands of the numerous stakeholders who have sought to influence the direction of the recovery process. The contributors address the complicated institutional politics behind the memorializing and rebuilding processes, and tell a cautionary tale of the way the immediate political pressures and financial interests of key players have dominated the planning process - possibly to the detriment of the city's long-run well being.

To mark the publication of these important new books, the Foundation will host a symposium on Fri., Sept. 9, from 2 - 5 p.m.
in the Elebash Recital Hall at CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York City. The symposium will consist of three sessions
- one each on the social, economic, and political effects of the attack. Each session will consist of a discussion of the findings presented in each book led by the editor of the book and two independent panelists, followed by an open discussion among the members of the Working Group and everyone in attendance. The symposium will provide an important public forum for assessing how far the city has traveled in the four years since the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

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