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White Ethnic New York

Author: Joshua M. Zeitz
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807872802
Size: 22.96 MB
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Historians of postwar American politics often identify race as a driving force in the dynamically shifting political culture. Joshua Zeitz instead places religion and ethnicity at the fore, arguing that ethnic conflict among Irish Catholics, Italian Catholics, and Jews in New York City had a decisive impact on the shape of liberal politics long before black-white racial identity politics entered the political lexicon. Understanding ethnicity as an intersection of class, national origins, and religion, Zeitz demonstrates that the white ethnic populations of New York had significantly diverging views on authority and dissent, community and individuality, secularism and spirituality, and obligation and entitlement. New York Jews came from Eastern European traditions that valued dissent and encouraged political agitation; their Irish and Italian Catholic neighbors tended to value commitment to order, deference to authority, and allegiance to church and community. Zeitz argues that these distinctions ultimately helped fracture the liberal coalition of the Roosevelt era, as many Catholics bolted a Democratic Party increasingly focused on individual liberties, and many dissent-minded Jews moved on to the antiliberal New Left.

Staying Italian

Author: Jordan Stanger-Ross
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226770761
Size: 79.12 MB
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Despite their twin positions as two of North America’s most iconic Italian neighborhoods, South Philly and Toronto’s Little Italy have functioned in dramatically different ways since World War II. Inviting readers into the churches, homes, and businesses at the heart of these communities, Staying Italian reveals that daily experience in each enclave created two distinct, yet still Italian, ethnicities. As Philadelphia struggled with deindustrialization, Jordan Stanger-Ross shows, Italian ethnicity in South Philly remained closely linked with preserving turf and marking boundaries. Toronto’s thriving Little Italy, on the other hand, drew Italians together from across the wider region. These distinctive ethnic enclaves, Stanger-Ross argues, were shaped by each city’s response to suburbanization, segregation, and economic restructuring. By situating malleable ethnic bonds in the context of political economy and racial dynamics, he offers a fresh perspective on the potential of local environments to shape individual identities and social experience.

An Unlikely Union

Author: Paul Moses
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 147981024X
Size: 54.66 MB
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They came from the poorest parts of Ireland and Italy and met as rivals on the sidewalks of New York. Beginning in the nineteenth century, the Irish and Italians clashed in the Catholic Church, on the waterfront, at construction sites, and in the streets. Then they made peace through romance, marrying each other on a large scale in the years after World War II. An Unlikely Union tells the dramatic story of how two of America’s largest ethnic groups learned to love and laugh with each other after decades of animosity. The vibrant cast of characters features saints such as Mother Frances X. Cabrini, who stood up to the Irish American archbishop of New York when he tried to send her back to Italy, and sinners like Al Capone, who left his Irish wife home the night he shot it out with Brooklyn’s Irish mob. The book also highlights the torrid love affair between radical labor organizers Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Carlo Tresca; the alliance between Italian American gangster Paul Kelly and Tammany’s “Big Tim” Sullivan; heroic detective Joseph Petrosino’s struggle to be accepted in the Irish-run NYPD; and the competition between Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby to become the country’s top male vocalist. In this engaging history of the Irish and Italians, veteran New York City journalist and professor Paul Moses offers a classic American story of competition, cooperation, and resilience. At a time of renewed fear of immigrants, An Unlikely Union reminds us that Americans are able to absorb tremendous social change and conflict—and come out the better for it.

Metropolitan Jews

Author: Lila Corwin Berman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022624783X
Size: 35.95 MB
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In this provocative urban history, Lila Corwin Berman considers the role that Detroit s Jews have played in the city s well-known narratives of migration and decline. Like other Detroiters in the 1960s and 1970s, Jews left the city for the suburbs in large numbers. But Berman makes the case that they nevertheless constituted themselves as urban people, and she shows how complex spatial and political relationships existed within the greater metropolitan region. By insisting on the existence and influence of a metropolitan consciousness, Berman reveals the complexity and contingency of what did and didn t change as regions expanded in the postwar era."

Black Power Jewish Politics

Author: Marc Dollinger
Publisher: Brandeis University Press
ISBN: 1512602582
Size: 21.42 MB
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Marc Dollinger charts the transformation of American Jewish political culture from the Cold War liberal consensus of the early postwar years to the rise and influence of Black Power-inspired ethnic nationalism. He shows how, in a period best known for the rise of black antisemitism and the breakdown of the black-Jewish alliance, black nationalists enabled Jewish activists to devise a new Judeo-centered political agenda - including the emancipation of Soviet Jews, the rise of Jewish day schools, the revitalization of worship services with gender-inclusive liturgy, and the birth of a new form of American Zionism. Undermining widely held beliefs about the black-Jewish alliance, Dollinger describes a new political consensus, based on identity politics, that drew blacks and Jews together and altered the course of American liberalism.

Crossing Broadway

Author: Robert W. Snyder
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801455170
Size: 29.89 MB
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In the 1970s, when the South Bronx burned and the promise of New Deal New York and postwar America gave way to despair, the people of Washington Heights at the northern tip of Manhattan were increasingly vulnerable. The Heights had long been a neighborhood where generations of newcomers—Irish, Jewish, Greek, African American, Cuban, and Puerto Rican—carved out better lives in their adopted city. But as New York City shifted from an industrial base to a service economy, new immigrants from the Dominican Republic struggled to gain a foothold. Then the crack epidemic of the 1980s and the drug wars sent Washington Heights to the brink of an urban nightmare. But it did not go over the edge. Robert W. Snyder's Crossing Broadway tells how disparate groups overcame their mutual suspicions to rehabilitate housing, build new schools, restore parks, and work with the police to bring safety to streets racked by crime and fear. It shows how a neighborhood once nicknamed "Frankfurt on the Hudson" for its large population of German Jews became “Quisqueya Heights”—the home of the nation’s largest Dominican community. The story of Washington Heights illuminates New York City’s long passage from the Great Depression and World War II through the urban crisis to the globalization and economic inequality of the twenty-first century. Washington Heights residents played crucial roles in saving their neighborhood, but its future as a home for working-class and middle-class people is by no means assured. The growing gap between rich and poor in contemporary New York puts new pressure on the Heights as more affluent newcomers move into buildings that once sustained generations of wage earners and the owners of small businesses. Crossing Broadway is based on historical research, reporting, and oral histories. Its narrative is powered by the stories of real people whose lives illuminate what was won and lost in northern Manhattan’s journey from the past to the present. A tribute to a great American neighborhood, this book shows how residents learned to cross Broadway—over the decades a boundary that has separated black and white, Jews and Irish, Dominican-born and American-born—and make common cause in pursuit of one of the most precious rights: the right to make a home and build a better life in New York City.

Ed Koch And The Rebuilding Of New York City

Author: Jonathan Soffer
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231520905
Size: 44.75 MB
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In 1978, Ed Koch assumed control of a city plagued by filth, crime, bankruptcy, and racial tensions. By the end of his mayoral run in 1989 and despite the Wall Street crash of 1987, his administration had begun rebuilding neighborhoods and infrastructure. Unlike many American cities, Koch's New York was growing, not shrinking. Gentrification brought new businesses to neglected corners and converted low-end rental housing to coops and condos. Nevertheless, not all the changes were positive AIDS, crime, homelessness, and violent racial conflict increased, marking a time of great, if somewhat uneven, transition. For better or worse, Koch's efforts convinced many New Yorkers to embrace a new political order subsidizing business, particularly finance, insurance, and real estate, and privatizing public space. Each phase of the city's recovery required a difficult choice between moneyed interests and social services, forcing Koch to be both a moderate and a pragmatist as he tried to mitigate growing economic inequality. Throughout, Koch's rough rhetoric (attacking his opponents as "crazy," "wackos," and "radicals") prompted charges of being racially divisive. The first book to recast Koch's legacy through personal and mayoral papers, authorized interviews, and oral histories, this volume plots a history of New York City through two rarely studied yet crucial decades: the bankruptcy of the 1970s and the recovery and crash of the 1980s.

Mobilizing New York

Author: Tamar W. Carroll
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 146961989X
Size: 50.47 MB
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Examining three interconnected case studies, Tamar Carroll powerfully demonstrates the ability of grassroots community activism to bridge racial and cultural differences and effect social change. Drawing on a rich array of oral histories, archival records, newspapers, films, and photographs from post–World War II New York City, Carroll shows how poor people transformed the antipoverty organization Mobilization for Youth and shaped the subsequent War on Poverty. Highlighting the little-known National Congress of Neighborhood Women, she reveals the significant participation of working-class white ethnic women and women of color in New York City's feminist activism. Finally, Carroll traces the partnership between the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and Women's Health Action Mobilization (WHAM!), showing how gay men and feminists collaborated to create a supportive community for those affected by the AIDS epidemic, to improve health care, and to oppose homophobia and misogyny during the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s. Carroll contends that social policies that encourage the political mobilization of marginalized groups and foster coalitions across identity differences are the most effective means of solving social problems and realizing democracy.

Folk City

Author: Stephen Petrus
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190231041
Size: 39.27 MB
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From Washington Square Park and the Gaslight Caf? to WNYC Radio and Folkways Records, New York City's cultural, artistic, and commercial assets helped to shape a distinctively urban breeding ground for the folk music revival of the 1950s and 60s. Folk City explores New York's central role in fueling the nationwide craze for folk music in postwar America. It involves the efforts of record company producers and executives, club owners, concert promoters, festival organizers, musicologists, agents and managers, editors and writers - and, of course, musicians and audiences. In Folk City, authors Stephen Petrus and Ron Cohen capture the exuberance of the times and introduce readers to a host of characters who brought a new style to the biggest audience in the history of popular music. Among the savvy New York entrepreneurs committed to promoting folk music were Izzy Young of the Folklore Center, Mike Porco of Gerde's Folk City, and John Hammond of Columbia Records. While these and other businessmen developed commercial networks for musicians, the performance venues provided the artists space to test their mettle. The authors portray Village coffee houses not simply as lively venues but as incubators of a burgeoning counterculture, where artists from diverse backgrounds honed their performance techniques and challenged social conventions. Accessible and engaging, fresh and provocative, rich in anecdotes and primary sources, Folk City is lavishly illustrated with images collected for the accompanying major exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York in 2015.