In charting the social history of one of the nation's oldest urban locales, Wilder contends that power relations -- in all their complexity -- are the starting point for understanding Brooklyn's turbulent racial dynamics. He spells out the workings of power -- its manipulation of resources, whether in the form of unfree labor, privileges of citizenship, better jobs, housing, government aid, or access to skilled trades. Wilder deploys an extraordinary spectrum of evidence to illustrate the mechanics of power that have kept African American Brooklynites in subordinate positions: from letters and diaries to family papers of Kings County's slaveholders, from tax records to the public archives of the Home Owners Loan Corporation.
Wilder illustrates his points through a variety of cases, including banking interests, the rise of Kings County's colonial elite, industrialization and slavery, race-based distribution of federal money in jobs, and mortgage loans during and after the Depression. He delves into the evolution of the Brooklyn ghetto, tracing how housing segregation corralled African Americans in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The book explores colonial enslavement, the rise of Jim Crow, labor discrimination and union exclusion, and educational inequality. Throughout, Wilder uses Brooklyn as a lens through which to view larger issues of race and power on a national level.
One of the few recent attempts to provide a comprehensive history of race relations in an American city, A Covenant with Color is a major contribution to urban history and the history of race and class in America.
Freedom Colonies is the first book to tell the story of these independent African American settlements. Thad Sitton and James Conrad focus on communities in Texas, where blacks achieved a higher percentage of land ownership than in any other state of the Deep South. The authors draw on a vast reservoir of ex-slave narratives, oral histories, written memoirs, and public records to describe how the freedom colonies formed and to recreate the lifeways of African Americans who made their living by farming or in skilled trades such as milling and blacksmithing. They also uncover the forces that led to the decline of the communities from the 1930s onward, including economic hard times and the greed of whites who found legal and illegal means of taking black-owned land. And they visit some of the remaining communities to discover how their independent way of life endures into the twenty-first century.
By mining court, town, and company records, letters, and public documents, Hamilton uncovers the impact that these immigrants had on the colony, not only by adding to the diversity and complexity of society but also by developing strong economic networks that helped bring the Bay Colony into the wider Atlantic world. These groups opened up important mercantile networks between their own homelands and allies, and by creating their own communities within larger Puritan networks, they helped create the provincial identity that led the colony into the eighteenth century.
Taking a multidisciplinary approach, the contributors examine the impact of offshoring and outsourcing and the growth of low-wage employment in the service sector, while also looking at the software industry and the future of high-tech jobs. The volume includes an overview of the economics of work in Massachusetts, an analysis of the experience of women and minorities in the workforce, and a case study of the fiscal crisis in Springfield and its relationship to employment issues. Several chapters address the challenges and prospects in the health care industry. Finally, a number of authors examine the complex ways in which these adjustments in the nature of work play out in families across the state, and how policy changes could help workers and their families adjust to these new environments.
In addition to Tom Juravich, contributors include Randy Albelda, Mark Brenner, Kate Bronfenbrenner, Heather Bourne, Alan Clayton-Matthews, Dan Clawson, Xiaogang Deng, Robert Forrant, Naomi Gerstel, Dana Huyser, Marlene Kim, Sarah Kuhn, William Lazonick, Stephanie Luce, Karen Meteyer, Maureen Perry-Jenkins, Steven Quimby, Pauala Rayman, Randall P. Wilson, and Lening Zhang.
San Francisco is changing at warp speed. Famously home to artists and activists, and known as the birthplace of the Beats, the Black Panthers, and the LGBTQ movement, in recent decades the Bay Area has been reshaped by Silicon Valley, the engine of the new American economy. The richer the region gets, the more unequal and less diverse it becomes, and cracks in the city’s facade—rapid gentrification, an epidemic of evictions, rising crime, atrophied public institutions—have started to show.
Inspired by Studs Terkel’s classic works of oral history, writer and filmmaker Cary McClelland spent several years interviewing people at the epicenter of the recent change, from venture capitalists and coders to politicians and protesters, from native sons and daughters to the city’s newest arrivals. The crisp and vivid stories of Silicon City’s diverse cast capture San Francisco as never before.
The book opens with a longtime tour guide recounting the history of the original Gold Rush and observing how little the people of his city pay attention to its history; it ends on Fisherman’s Wharf, with the proprietor of an arcade game museum reminding us that even today’s technology will become relics of the past. In between we hear from people who have passed through Apple, Google, eBay, Intel, and the other big tech companies of our time. And we meet those who are experiencing the changes at the grassroots level: a homeless advocate in Haight-Ashbury, an Oakland rapper, a pawnbroker in the Mission, a man who helped dismantle and rebuild the Bay Bridge, and a woman who runs a tattoo parlor in the Castro.
Silicon City masterfully weaves together a candid conversation across a divided community to create a dynamic portrait of a beloved city—and a cautionary tale for the entire country.
When America first became a nation, Salem was the richest city in the republic, led by a visionary merchant who still ranks as one of the wealthiest men in history. For decades, Salem connected America with the wider world, through a large fleet of tall ships and a pragmatic, egalitarian brand of commerce taht remains a model of enlightened international relations.
But America's emerging big cities and westward expansion began to erode Salem's national political importance just as its seafaring economy faltered in the face of tariffs and global depression. With Salem's standing as a world capital imperiled, two men, equally favored by fortune, struggled for its future: one, a progressive merchant-politician, tried to build new institutions and businesses, while the other, a reclusive crime lord, offered a demimonde of forbidden pleasures. The scandalous trial that followed signaled Salem's fall from national prominence, a fall that echoed around the world in the loss of friendly trade and in bloody reprisals against native peoples by the U.S. Navy.
Death of an Empire is an exciting tale of a remarkably rich era, shedding light on a little-known but fascinating period of Ameriacn history in which characters such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster interact with the ambitious merchants and fearless mariners who made Salem famous around the world.
Ranching brought the first settlers to West Texas in the 1870s and dominated the economy until 1900. In the 1880s farmers began to arrive, and between 1900 and 1930 agricultural production replaced ranching as the most important industry.
With the influx of population came the railroad, and small settlements were established along its route. Those with sufficient water supply prospered and, as counties were organized, became county seats and supply centers for the surrounding agricultural regions.
The land could not support a large agricultural population, and agriculture-related manufactures soon drew population to the towns. However, it was not until the oil discoveries of the 1920's that the modern city emerged. After World War II, oil production and oil-related industries generated great wealth and caused a boom in population growth and urban development. Despite the growth in prosperity, the economy is precariously balanced. Urban centers dependent on oil—an industry of limited life—have matured in an area without sufficient water or agricultural resources to support them. Martin concludes that, without careful planning and a solution to the water problem, these cities could some day become ghost towns on the plains.
Nancy Foner's introduction describes New York's role as a special gateway to America. Subsequent essays focus on the Chinese, Dominicans, Jamaicans, Koreans, Liberians, Mexicans, and Jews from the former Soviet Union now present in the city and fueling its population growth. They discuss both the large numbers of undocumented Mexicans living in legal limbo and the new, flourishing community organizations offering them opportunities for advancement. They recount the experiences of Liberians fleeing a war torn country and their creation of a vibrant neighborhood on Staten Island's North Shore. Through engaging, empathetic portraits, contributors consider changing Korean-owned businesses and Chinese Americans' increased representation in New York City politics, among other achievements and social and cultural challenges. A concluding chapter follows the prospects of the U.S.-born children of immigrants as they make their way in New York City.
Hopi, Navajo, Rio Grande Puebloan, Hispano, and Anglo cultures are represented in three sections of interviews that respectively address shifting cultural boundaries, explore the effects in New Mexico of the New Deal's attempts to reinvigorate the economy and mainstream American culture, and suggest ways of delving into the difficult situations that face the West today. Together, these diverse perspectives reveal the rich cultural mosaic that has evolved in this extraordinary landscape.
Boston's metropolitan landscape has been two hundred years in the making. From its proto-suburban village centers of 1800 to its far-flung, automobile-centric exurbs of today, Boston has been a national pacesetter for suburbanization. In The Hub's Metropolis, James O'Connell charts the evolution of Boston's suburban development.
The city of Boston is compact and consolidated—famously, “the Hub.” Greater Boston, however, stretches over 1,736 square miles and ranks as the world's sixth largest metropolitan area. Boston suburbs began to develop after 1820, when wealthy city dwellers built country estates that were just a short carriage ride away from their homes in the city. Then, as transportation became more efficient and affordable, the map of the suburbs expanded. The Metropolitan Park Commission's park-and-parkway system, developed in the 1890s, created a template for suburbanization that represents the country's first example of regional planning.
O'Connell identifies nine layers of Boston's suburban development, each of which has left its imprint on the landscape: traditional villages; country retreats; railroad suburbs; streetcar suburbs (the first electric streetcar boulevard, Beacon Street in Brookline, was designed by Frederic Law Olmsted); parkway suburbs, which emphasized public greenspace but also encouraged commuting by automobile; mill towns, with housing for workers; upscale and middle-class suburbs accessible by outer-belt highways like Route 128; exurban, McMansion-dotted sprawl; and smart growth. Still a pacesetter, Greater Boston has pioneered antisprawl initiatives that encourage compact, mixed-use development in existing neighborhoods near railroad and transit stations.
O'Connell reminds us that these nine layers of suburban infrastructure are still woven into the fabric of the metropolis. Each chapter suggests sites to visit, from Waltham country estates to Cambridge triple-deckers.
These two themes, they state, are es�sential for an understanding of the prob�lem and for the formulation of policy. Poverty is not simply the result of poor education, skills, and work habits but one outcome of the structure and func�tioning of the economy. Solutions re�quire more than policies that seek to change people: they await a recognition that basic economic relationships must be changed.