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Crime and Governance in the Divided City
The National and International Influence of New York City
Capital of the American Century investigates the remarkable influence that New York City has exercised over the economy, politics, and culture of the nation throughout much of the twentieth century. New York's power base of corporations, banks, law firms, labor unions, artists and intellectuals has played a critical role in shaping areas as varied as American popular culture, the nation's political doctrines, and the international capitalist economy. If the city has lost its unique prominence in recent decades, the decline has been largely—and ironically—a result of the successful dispersion of its cosmopolitan values.
The original essays in Capital of the American Century offer objective and intriguing analyses of New York City as a source of innovation in many domains of American life. Postwar liberalism and modernism were advanced by a Jewish and WASP coalition centered in New York's charitable foundations, communications media, and political organizations, while Wall Street lawyers and bankers played a central role in fashioning national security policies. New York's preeminence as a cultural capital was embodied in literary and social criticism by the "New York intellectuals," in the fine arts by the school of Abstract Expressionism, and in popular culture by Broadway musicals. American business was dominated by New York, where the nation's major banks and financial markets and its largest corporations were headquartered.
In exploring New York's influence, the contributors also assess the larger social and economic conditions that made it possible for a single city to exert such power. New York's decline in recent decades stems not only from its own fiscal crisis, but also from the increased diffusion of industrial, cultural, and political hubs throughout the nation. Yet the city has taken on vital new roles that, on the eve of the twenty-first century, reflect an increasingly global era: it is the center of U.S. foreign trade and the international art market: The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have emerged as international newspapers; and the city retains a crucial influence in information-intensive sectors such as corporate law, accounting, management consulting, and advertising.
Capital of the American Century provides a fresh link between the study of cities and the analysis of national and international affairs. It is a book that enriches our historical sense of contemporary urban issues and our understanding of modern culture, economy, and politics.
Old Tensions, New Discoveries
Changing Landscapes of Singapore illuminates both the social and the physical terrains of modern Singapore. Geographers use the term landscape to refer to visible surfaces and to the spatial dimension of social relations. Landscapes arise from particular historical circumstances, and in turn help shape social arrangements and possible courses of future development. The authors describe how the settings inhabited by various social groups in Singapore affect life experiences, and explore the impact of broader regional and international forces on Singapore. Written for non-specialists, the volume reflects fresh perspectives from the scholarship of Singaporean academics. Their work is sensitive to historical and geographical trends in the region, and also engages with broader theoretical themes.
Race and Power in the South after the Civil Rights Movement
Once one of the wealthiest cities in America, Charleston, South Carolina, established a society built on the racial hierarchies of slavery and segregation. By the 1970s, the legal structures behind these racial divisions had broken down and the wealth built upon them faded. Like many southern cities, Charleston had to construct a new public image. In this important book, Steve Estes chronicles the rise and fall of black political empowerment and examines the ways Charleston responded to the civil rights movement, embracing some changes and resisting others.
Based on detailed archival research and more than fifty oral history interviews, Charleston in Black and White addresses the complex roles played not only by race but also by politics, labor relations, criminal justice, education, religion, tourism, economics, and the military in shaping a modern southern city. Despite the advances and opportunities that have come to the city since the 1960s, Charleston (like much of the South) has not fully reckoned with its troubled racial past, which still influences the present and will continue to shape the future.
Gangs, Gangsta Rap, and Social Class
On September 4, 2012, Joseph Coleman, an eighteen-year-old aspiring gangsta rapper, was gunned down in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Police immediately began investigating the connections between Coleman’s murder and an online war of words and music he was having with another Chicago rapper in a rival gang. In Chicago Hustle and Flow, Geoff Harkness points out how common this type of incident can be when rap groups form as extensions of gangs. Gangs and rap music, he argues, can be a deadly combination.
Set in one of the largest underground music scenes in the nation, this book takes readers into the heart of gangsta rap culture in Chicago. From the electric buzz of nightclubs to the sights and sounds of bedroom recording studios, Harkness presents gripping accounts of the lives, beliefs, and ambitions of the gang members and rappers with whom he spent six years. A music genre obsessed with authenticity, gangsta rap promised those from crime-infested neighborhoods a ticket out of poverty. But while firsthand experiences with gangs and crime gave rappers a leg up, it also meant carrying weapons and traveling collectively for protection.
Street gangs serve as a fan base and provide protection to rappers who bring in income and help to recruit for the gang. In examining this symbiotic relationship, Chicago Hustle and Flow ultimately illustrates how class stratification creates and maintains inequalities, even at the level of a local rap-music scene.
Identity Politics in Urban Spaces
Cities have long been associated with diversity and tolerance, but from Jerusalem to Belfast to the Basque Country, many of the most intractable conflicts of the past century have played out in urban spaces. The contributors to this interdisciplinary volume examine the interrelationships of ethnic, racial, religious, or other identity conflicts and larger battles over sovereignty and governance. Under what conditions do identity conflicts undermine the legitimacy and power of nation-states, empires, or urban authorities? Does the urban built environment play a role in remedying or exacerbating such conflicts? Employing comparative analysis, these case studies from the Middle East, Europe, and South and Southeast Asia advance our understanding of the origins and nature of urban conflict.
Two Centuries of Urban Life in Kentucky
From the 1780s, when Louisville and Lexington were tiny clusters of houses in the wilderness, to the 1980s, when more than half of all Kentuckians live in urban areas, the growth of cities has affected nearly all aspects of life in the Commonwealth. These urban centers have led the state in economic, social, and cultural change.
Cities in the Commonwealth examines the crises that have shaped the history of Kentucky's cities and sheds light on such continuing concerns as urban competition, provision of essential services, the importance of the arts, and the struggle for racial justice.
By allowing contemporaries to tell much of the story in their own words, Allen J. Share conveys a sense of the exuberance and dynamism of urban life and thought in Kentucky.