Cities in American Political History

ISBN 13: 9780872899117

Cities in American Political History

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9780872899117: Cities in American Political History
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Profiling the ten most populous cities in the United States during ten critical eras of political development, 'Cities in American Political History' presents a unique singular focus on American cities, their government and politics, industry, commerce, labor, and race and ethnicity.

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About the Author:

Richardson Dilworth (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University) is Professor of Politics and Director of the Center for Public Policy at Drexel University. His research focuses on urban political development and urban public policy. He is the author of The Urban Origins of Suburban Autonomy (2005) and the editor of Cities in American Political History (CQ Press, 2011), The City in American Political Development (Routledge, 2009), and Social Capital in the City: Community and Civic Life in Philadelphia (Temple University Press, 2006). In 2008, he was a visiting scholar at the Legislative Office for Research Liaison of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and in 2009 a visiting scholar at the Center for Environmental Policy at the Academy of Natural Sciences. In 2008, he was appointed by Mayor Michael Nutter to serve on the Philadelphia Historical Commission, where he is chair of the Historic Designation Committee. He is also the Director of Drexel's Center for Public Policy (CPP). The CPP supports interdisciplinary policy-oriented scholarship among Drexel faculty and other external affiliates and engages students in this research through its Master of Science in Public Policy degree program.

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The key to appreciating this work lies in understanding its scope: it profiles the 10 most populous cities in the U.S. during 10 critical eras of political development. Thus, Williamsburg, Virginia, is excluded, while Gloucester, Massachusetts (pop. 5,317 in 1790), made the cut for the first chapter, “Cities in the Revolutionary Era”—despite the political importance of the former. The other nine chapters cover the early republic, the age of Jackson, Civil War and Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, the Progressive era, the Great Depression, WWII and the postwar period, the Cold War era, and the neoliberal age. Maps preceding each chapter illustrate the “steady southwesterly progression” of the nation’s largest cities, with seven now located in Texas, Arizona, and California. Three themes are captured in each entry: “Government and Politics”; “Industry, Commerce, and Labor”; and “Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration,” along with helpful “Quick Facts” that list mayors, major industries and employers, major newspapers, and major events. “By the Numbers” tables allow quick comparisons of demographic data. Photographs are used effectively throughout the work to illustrate themes. Each entry includes a bibliography. A lengthy chronology lists national and local urban events; an index concludes the work. As noted above, the scope of this book is narrow and may limit its utility as a reference work. Many readers may question the editorial decision that “size matters” above all else. For example, New Orleans is the only city in the Confederacy included in “Cities in the Civil War and Reconstruction.” Libraries with comprehensive urban- or political-history collections will want to add this work; others may find it optional. --Jan Lewis

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