No one today thinks of Brooklyn, New York, as an agricultural center. Yet Kings County enjoyed over two centuries of farming prosperity. Even as late as 1880 it was one of the nation's leading vegetable producers, second only to neighboring Queens County.
In Of Cabbages and Kings County, Marc Linder and Lawrence Zacharias reconstruct the history of a lost agricultural community. Their study focuses on rural Kings County, the site of Brooklyn's tremendous expansion during the latter part of the nineteenth century. In particular, they question whether sprawl was a necessary condition of American industrialization: could the agricultural base that preceded and surrounded the city have survived the onrush of residential real estate speculation with a bit of foresight and public policies that the politically outnumbered farmers could not have secured on their own?
The first part of the book reviews the county's Dutch American agricultural tradition, in particular its conversion after 1850 from extensive farming (e.g., wheat, corn) to intensive farming of market garden crops. The authors examine the growing competition between local farmers and their southern counterparts for a share of the huge New York City market, comparing farming conditions and factors such as labor and transportation.
In the second part of the book, the authors turn their attention to the forces that eventually destroyed Kings County's farming—ranging from the political and ideological pressures to modernize the city's rural surroundings to unplanned, market-driven attempts to facilitate transportation for more affluent city dwellers to recreational outlets on Coney Island and, once transportation was at hand, to replace farms with residential housing for the city's congested population.
Drawing on a vast range of archival sources, the authors refocus the history of Brooklyn to uncover what was lost with the expansion of the city. For today, as urban planners, ecologists, and agricultural developers reevaluate urban sprawl and the need for greenbelts or agricultural-urban balance, the lost opportunities of the past loom larger.
Spy romances of Cold War counterespionage evoke scenes of heroic FBI and CIA agents dedicated to smashing communism and its subversive coterie of intellectual fellow travelers bent on painting the world red.
John Rodden cuts this tall tale down to its authentic pint size, refusing to indulge the public relations myth promoted by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. In Of G-Men and Eggheads, Rodden portrays federal agents’ hilarious obsession with monitoring that ever-present threat to national security, the American literary intellectual. Drawing on government dossiers and archives, Rodden focuses on the onetime members of a radical political sect of ex-Trotskyists (barely numbering a thousand at its height), the so-called New York intellectuals. He describes the nonsensical decades-long pursuit of this group of intellectuals, especially Lionel Trilling, Dwight Macdonald, and Irving Howe. The Keystone Cops style of numerous FBI agents is documented carefully in Rodden's meticulous case studies of how Hoover's men recruited informants to snoop on the "Commies," opened their personal mail, tracked their movements, and reported on their wives and friends.
At a critical, transitional moment in the history of Broadway—and, by extension, of American theatre itself—former Broadway stage manager Steven Adlerenlists insider perspectives from sixty-six practitioners and artists to chronicle the recent past and glimpse the near future of the Great White Way. From marquee names to behind-the-scenes power brokers, Adler has assembled a distinctly knowledgeable cast of theatre’s elite, including Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Des McAnuff, Frank Rich, Robin Wagner, Rocco Landesman, Robert Longbottom, Todd Haimes, Bernard Gersten, and Alan Eisenberg.
On Broadway: Art and Commerce on the Great White Way spotlights the differing vantage points of performers, artists, writers, managers, producers, critics, lawyers, theatre owners, union leaders, city planners, and other influential players. Each details his or her firsthand account of the creative and economic forces that have wrought extraordinary changes in the way Broadway theatre is conceived, produced, marketed, and executed. Once the paramount site of American theatre, Broadway today is becoming a tourist-driven, family-friendly, middle-class entertainment oasis in Midtown, an enterprise inextricably bound to the larger mosaic of national and international professional theatre.
Accounting for this transformation and presaging Broadway’s identity for the twenty-first century, Adler and his interviewees assess the impact of the advent of corporate producers, the ascendance of not-for-profit theatres on Broadway, and the growing interdependence between regional and Broadway productions. Also critiqued are the important roles of the radical urban redevelopment staged in Times Square and the changing demographics and appetites of contemporary theatre audiences in New York and around the globe.
Actors and administrators, performers and producers, theatre students and theatregoers will all benefit from the perceptive insights in this authoritative account of theatre making for the new millennium.
For the first time, the traumatic removal of the Oneida Indians from New York to Wisconsin is examined in a groundbreaking collection of essays, The Oneida Indian Journey from New York to Wisconsin, 1784–1860. To shed light on this vital period of Oneida history, editors Laurence Hauptman and L. Gordon McLester, III, present a unique collaboration between an American Indian nation and the academic community. Two professional historians, a geographer, anthropologist, archivist and attorney join in with eighteen voices from the Oneida community—local historians, folklorists, genealogists, linguists, and tribal elders—discuss tribal dispossession and community; Oneida community perspectives of Oneida history; and the means of studying Oneida history.
Contributors include: Debra Anderson, Eileen Antone, Jim Antone, Abrahms Archiquette, Oscar Archiquette, Jack Campisi, Richard Chrisjohn, Amelia Cornelius, Judy Cornelius, Katie Cornelius, Melissa Cornelius, Jonas Elm, James Folts, Reginald Horsman, Elizabeth Huff, Francis Jennings, Arlinda Locklear, Jo Margaret Mano, Loretta Metoxen, Liz Obomsawin, Jessie Peters, Sarah Summers, and Rachel Swamp
Orphan Trains to Missouri
Michael D. Patrick & Evelyn Goodrich Trickel University of Missouri Press, 1997 Library of Congress HV985.P39 1997 | Dewey Decimal 362.7340973
As an "orphan train" crossed the country, it left part of its cargo at each stop, a few children in one small town and a few in another. Even though farmers needed many hands for labor, most of the small farm communities could not or would not take all of the children on the train. As the train moved to its next stop, those children not taken feared no one would ever want them.
Early immigration laws encouraged the poor of Europe to find new hope with new lives in the United States. But sometimes the immigrants exchanged a bad situation in their native country for an even worse one on the streets of New York and other industrial cities. As a result, the streets were filled with crowds of abandoned children that the police called "street arabs." Many New York citizens blamed the street arabs for crime and violence in the city and wanted them placed in orphan homes or prisons.
In 1853 a man by the name of Charles Loring Brace, along with other well-to-do men in New York City, founded the Children's Aid Society. The society planned to give food, lodging, and clothing to homeless children and provide educational and trade opportunities for them. But the number of children needing help was so large that the Children's Aid Society was unable to care for them, and Brace developed a plan to send many of the children to the rural Midwest by train. He was convinced that the children of the streets would find many benefits in rural America. In 1854 he persuaded the board of the society to send the first trainload of orphans west. With this, the orphan trains were born.
Cheap fares, the central location of the state, and numerous small farming towns along the railroad tracks made Missouri the perfect hub for the orphan trains, even though many areas of the state were still largely unsettled. Researchers have estimated that from 150,000 to 400,000 children were sent out on orphan trains, with perhaps as many as 100,000 being placed in Missouri.
Orphan Trains to Missouri documents the history of the children on those Orphan Trains--their struggles, their successes, and their failures. Touching stories of volunteers who oversaw the placement of the orphans as well as stories of the orphans themselves make this a rich record of American and midwestern history.
Though New York’s Lower East Side today is home to high-end condos and hip restaurants, it was for decades an infamous site of blight, open-air drug dealing, and class conflict—an emblematic example of the tattered state of 1970s and ’80s Manhattan.
Those decades of strife, however, also gave the Lower East Side something unusual: a radical movement that blended urban homesteading and European-style squatting in a way never before seen in the United States. Ours to Lose tells the oral history of that movement through a close look at a diverse group of Lower East Side squatters who occupied abandoned city-owned buildings in the 1980s, fought to keep them for decades, and eventually began a long, complicated process to turn their illegal occupancy into legal cooperative ownership. Amy Starecheski here not only tells a little-known New York story, she also shows how property shapes our sense of ourselves as social beings and explores the ethics of homeownership and debt in post-recession America.