Amy Bridges is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego and the author of Democratic Beginnings: Founding the Western States; Morning Glories: Municipal Reform in the Southwest; and A City in the Republic: Antebellum New York and the Origins of Machine Politics. Michael Javen Fortner is Assistant Professor and Academic Director of Urban Studies at the CUNY School of Professional Studies, Murphy Institute. He is the author of Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment.
When the news broke in 1975 that New York City was on the brink of fiscal collapse, few believed it was possible. How could the country’s largest metropolis fail? How could the capital of the financial world go bankrupt? Yet the city was indeed billions of dollars in the red, with no way to pay back its debts. Bankers and politicians alike seized upon the situation as evidence that social liberalism, which New York famously exemplified, was unworkable. The city had to slash services, freeze wages, and fire thousands of workers, they insisted, or financial apocalypse would ensue.
In this vivid account, historian Kim Phillips-Fein tells the remarkable story of the crisis that engulfed the city. With unions and ordinary citizens refusing to accept retrenchment, the budget crunch became a struggle over the soul of New York, pitting fundamentally opposing visions of the city against each other. Drawing on never-before-used archival sources and interviews with key players in the crisis, Fear City shows how the brush with bankruptcy permanently transformed New York—and reshaped ideas about government across America.
At once a sweeping history of some of the most tumultuous times in New York's past, a gripping narrative of last-minute machinations and backroom deals, and an origin story of the politics of austerity, Fear City is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the resurgent fiscal conservatism of today.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a feminist classic, a haunting critique of the isolation treatment for female hysteria wrapped up in a superb psychological horror story. Over a century later women are still battling gender bias in the treatment of mental illness. Here are 15 stories of very different women who have in common the fact that they are fighting for control of their worlds and of their minds. Traci Orsi's "Waiting for Jordan" finds Julia hallucinating at home when her husband is shipped off to Iraq. Leah Chaffin's "Last Caress" delves into the sad and savage story of a rare female serial killer while in "An Obedient Girl" Amy Bridges relates her experience as an average girl who has a singular experience with a lobotomized woman. Age, religion, motherhood, sex and work life are all explored in these gripping stories of women who remain Behind the Yellow Wallpaper, battling valiantly and sometimes viciously to break free by any means necessary. Each story is paired with original photographic art by Loreal Prystaj. Prystaj’s dark, gripping art evoke the same despair, fear, anger, hopelessness, heartache, and fight for survival that make up these extraordinary New Tales of Madness.