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Traci Parker’s book, Department Stores and the Black Freedom Movement: Workers, Consumers, and Civil Rights from the 1930s to the 1980s, is an engaging study of the intersections of race, class, gender, labour, and activism in an arguably quintessential 20th-century American space: the department store.
Late June 2020 was an extraordinary time to be reading Animal City. COVID-19, a zoonotic disease, had already killed around 130,000 people in the United States, with urban areas suffering the highest death rates. In New York City alone, 30,000 people had died.
In Caribbean New Orleans Cécile Vidal has brought together a prodigious volume and range of archival research in what is the most detailed social history of the city during the French period.
Much of the scholarship on American Jewry focuses on New York, the city that attracted the vast majority of Jewish immigrants. Yet a significant proportion of Jews settled in other cities, small towns, and even tiny outposts. Eric L. Goldstein and Deborah R.
A recent addition to the Early American Places series, Adam Costanzo’s George Washington’s Washington: Visions for the National Capital in the Early American Republic provides an overview of the development of and visions for Washington, DC, from 1790 to the late 1830s and, thus, spans the administrations of the first seven American presidents: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jef
Although ostensibly a book focused on New Orleans, in Slavery’s Metropolis Rashauna Johnson uses the experiences of individuals and groups of African heritage who resided in the city, as well as those who left from, arrived in, and passed through from local and transnational locations to outline a theory of ‘confined cosmopolitanism’.
On 25 March 1911, a fire broke out on the eighth floor of the Asch Building in Greenwich Village, New York, and quickly began to spread. This floor, as well as the ninth and tenth, housed the Triangle Waist Company, a sweat shop producing ladies’ blouses.
Although most Americans take pride in being ‘a nation of immigrants’ (a slogan apparently popularized by John F. Kennedy), the process of immigration causes perennial controversy in the United States. That is true even in New York City, which would not exist without it, and which stars in many historical narratives of it.
One of the oldest and most familiar tropes in the historiography of the American Civil War argues that the conflict posed an urban industrial Union against a rural agricultural Confederacy.
In 2009, when Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ ‘Empire State of Mind’ dominated the charts and the airwaves, the chorus phrase ‘concrete jungle where dreams are made up, there’s nothing you can’t do’ conjured images of New York’s iconic skyline as well as its promise, embodying the sentiment that no other American – if not world - city captures the imagination quite like New York.