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urban history



  • How White Fears of ‘Negro Domination’ Kept D.C. Disenfranchised for Decades

    George Derek Musgrove and Chris Myers-Asch, authors of "Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation's Capital" have recently written a report for a nonprofit advocating DC statehood. They argue that Congressional efforts to disempower DC residents after 1871 have reflected White fears of Black political power. 



  • The Health Care Crucible (Review)

    Gabriel Winant's "The Next Shift" examines the shift from industrial manufacturing toward care work as the economic base of the Rust Belt, where profit comes from treating the old, sick, and poor of one generation of the working class through the labor of the next generation.



  • How a Plan to Save Buildings Fell Apart

    The imperatives of historic preservation are often at cross-purposes with the goals of community organizations. Does the failure of one preservation plan in Chicago offer lessons for the future?



  • What Manhattan Beach’s Racist Land Grab Really Meant

    by Alison Rose Jefferson

    Debates over  the redress of past racial injustice must acknowledge that some past actions have harmed communities in ways that can't be repaired, including the loss of space for communal leisure or equal access to everyday pleasures. 



  • The Age of Care (Review of Gabriel Winant's "The Next Shift")

    by Nelson Lichtenstein

    Labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein says Gabriel Winant's book on the rise of the care industry is the story of community change in the last 50 years, with union retiree health care dollars reabsorbed by capital through the treatment of diseases of despair provoked by deindustrialization (with care provided by a workforce of women and people of color).



  • The Myth And The Truth About Interstate Highways

    by Sarah Jo Peterson

    A historian with experience in transportation planning takes a close look at the way that canonical texts in the highway planning field have erased the politics of road building and the way that the interstate highway system was always tied to urban land use planning and urban renewal. 



  • A Mansion Sale Built on the Myth of a Notorious Cow

    The Chicago Fire of 1871 has been the wellspring of plenty of myths. A real estate listing for a southside mansion is just the latest. Historians Carl Smith and Ann Durkin Keating comment. 



  • The Roots of Racial and Spatial Inequality

    by Kimberley S. Johnson

    As part of the AAIHS's roundtable on Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor's "Race For Profit," urban studies scholar Kimberley Johnson looks at the ways that generations of housing policy enabled banks to write predatory loans to Black buyers, profiting first by high interest, then by foreclosure, while blaming outcomes on the individual irresponsibility of Black borrowers. 



  • A New York Drugstore Nearly as Storied as the City Itself

    "The store, on Sixth Avenue between West 8th and 9th Streets, is in the very center of Greenwich Village. And its landmark interior, which dates to 1902, is wonderfully preserved, with its original tiled floor and oak shelves."



  • Online Roundtable: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s ‘Race for Profit’

    Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society, will sponsor a virtual roundtable on the award-winning "Race For Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership" with new essays being released beginning March 8. 


  • Should Black Northerners Move Back to the South?

    by Tanisha C. Ford

    Historian Tanisha C. Ford reviews Charles M. Blow's book, which advocates for a Reverse Great Migration to empower both Black Americans and progressive policies. She concludes it's an intriguing idea but oversimplifies the history of migration, disenfranchisement, and activism by Black southerners and their allies.



  • Searching for Our Urban Future in the Ruins of the Past

    Annalee Newitz's book on lost cities debunks the idea of sudden, catastrophic collapse. But the death of cities does show that humanity is vulnerable to change that makes centuries-old ways of life untenable.