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urban history



  • Chicago Versus Lake Michigan

    The history of Chicago is defined by efforts to tame water for navigation, sanitation, and drinking. Climate change is raising the stakes of that battle. 


  • The Girders of Steel City's History

    by Ed Simon

    The author of a new book on Pittsburgh considers the first written history of the city and reflects on what preceded and what might follow the steel era. 



  • The Unknown History of Black Uprisings

    by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

    Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor reviews Elizabeth Hinton's new "America on Fire" and explains how it shakes up established accounts of a "good" and "nonviolent" civil rights movement giving way to protest and violence.



  • The Rise and Fall of an American Tech Giant

    Writer Kaitlyn Tiffany considers the impact of the Kodak company's product on American culture and the city of Rochester where she grew up, and the way that digital technology has changed both. 



  • Will We Ever Get Beyond "The Fire Next Time"?

    by Elizabeth Hinton

    "What we witnessed in 2020 was the latest manifestation of an ongoing crisis that could have been solved if elected officials had properly understood the root causes the first time around."



  • The Housing Market is Booming but Remains Deeply Unequal

    by LaDale Winling

    The standards and practices of real estate appraisal were developed in the context of white supremacy in the 1920s and since then have worked to make home ownership a path toward building wealth that has favored white Americans. 



  • What The Tulsa Race Massacre Destroyed

    "Piecing together archival maps and photographs, with guidance from historians, The New York Times constructed a 3D model of the Greenwood neighborhood as it was before the destruction."


  • Jerusalem: A Divided and Invented City

    by James A.S. Sunderland

    Both Hamas and the Israeli right base their claims to Jerusalem on understandings of the city as shaped by the orientalist and segregationist values of British governors during the Mandate period, and not on the city's longer heterogenous and multicultural history. Peace activists look to that history as an example of coexistence.