The struggle for racial equality in the North has been a footnote in most books about civil rights in America. Now this monumental new work from one of the most brilliant historians of his generation sets the record straight. Sweet Land of Liberty is an epic, revelatory account of the abiding quest for justice in states from Illinois to New York, and of how the intense northern struggle differed from and was inspired by the fight down South.

Thomas Sugrue’s panoramic view sweeps from the 1920s to the present–more than eighty of the most decisive years in American history. He uncovers the forgotten stories of battles to open up lunch counters, beaches, and movie theaters in the North; the untold history of struggles against Jim Crow schools in northern towns; the dramatic story of racial conflict in northern cities and suburbs; and the long and tangled histories of integration and black power.

Appearing throughout these tumultuous tales of bigotry and resistance are the people who propelled progress, such as Anna Arnold Hedgeman, a dedicated churchwoman who in the 1930s became both a member of New York’s black elite and an increasingly radical activist; A. Philip Randolph, who as America teetered on the brink of World War II dared to threaten FDR with a march on Washington to protest discrimination–and got the Fair Employment Practices Committee (“the second Emancipation Proclamation”) as a result; Morris Milgram, a white activist who built the Concord Park housing development, the interracial answer to white Levittown; and Herman Ferguson, a mild-mannered New York teacher whose protest of a Queens construction site led him to become a key player in the militant Malcolm X’s movement.

Filled with unforgettable characters and riveting incidents, and making use of information and accounts both public and private, such as the writings of obscure African American journalists and the records of civil rights and black power groups, Sweet Land of Liberty creates an indelible history. Thomas Sugrue has written a narrative bound to become the standard source on this essential subject.
In less than a generation, the dominant image of American cities has transformed from one of crisis to revitalization. Poverty, violence, and distressed schools still make headlines, but central cities and older suburbs are attracting new residents and substantial capital investment. In most accounts, native-born empty nesters, their twentysomething children, and other educated professionals are credited as the agents of change. Yet in the past decade, policy makers and scholars across the United States have come to understand that immigrants are driving metropolitan revitalization at least as much and belong at the center of the story. Immigrants have repopulated central city neighborhoods and older suburbs, reopening shuttered storefronts and boosting housing and labor markets, in every region of the United States.

Immigration and Metropolitan Revitalization in the United States is the first book to document immigrant-led revitalization, with contributions by leading scholars across the social sciences. Offering radically new perspectives on both immigration and urban revitalization and examining how immigrants have transformed big cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as newer destinations such as Nashville and the suburbs of Boston and New Jersey, the volume's contributors challenge traditional notions of revitalization, often looking at working-class communities. They explore the politics of immigration and neighborhood change, demolishing simplistic assumptions that dominate popular debates about immigration. They also show how immigrants have remade cities and regions in Latin America, Africa, and other places from which they come, linking urbanization in the United States and other parts of the world.

Contributors: Kenneth Ginsburg, Marilynn S. Johnson, Michael B. Katz, Gary Painter, Robert J. Sampson, Gerardo Francisco Sandoval, A.K. Sandoval-Strausz, Thomas J. Sugrue, Rachel Van Tosh, Jacob L. Vigdor, Domenic Vitiello, Jamie Winders.

A powerful history of the making and unmaking of American democracy and global power, told in sweeping scope and intimate detailIn the winter of 1936, Franklin Roosevelt remarked in a fireside chat, "I do not look upon these United States as a finished product. We are still in the making." Certainly apt in the midst of the Great Depression, the idea of a nation in the making still resonates today as we measure the achievements and shortcomings of our democracy. Over the twentieth century, Americans have worked, organized, marched, and fought to make the nation's ideals a reality for all. This shared commitment to achieving an American democracy is the inspiring theme of These United States. Acclaimed historians Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore and Thomas J. Sugrue forge the panoramic and the personal into an authoritative narrative. They give us insightful accounts of the century's large events-war, prosperity, and depression; astute leadership and arrogant power; the rise and decline of a broad middle class. And they ground the history in the stories of everyday Americans such as William Hushka, a Lithuanian immigrant who makes and loses an American life; Stan Igawa, a Japanese-American who never doubts his citizenship despite internment during World War II; and Betty Dukes, a Wal-Mart cashier who takes on America's largest corporation over wage discrimination.The history begins and ends in periods of concentrated wealth, with immigration roiling politics and racial divisions flaring. Its arc over those hundred-plus years raises key questions: How far has our democracy come? Were the postwar decades of middle-class prosperity and global power a culmination of the American Century or the exception in a long history of economic and political division? Gilmore and Sugrue frame these questions by drawing the illuminating connections characteristic of the best historical writing.
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