Stories of Newark’s postwar decline are easy to find. But in The Fixers, Julia Rabig supplements these tales of misery with the story of the many imaginative challenges to the city’s decline mounted by Newark’s residents and suburban neighbors. In these pages, we meet the black nationalists whose dynamic organizing elected African American candidates in unprecedented numbers. There are tenants who mounted a historic rent strike to transform public housing and renegade white Catholic priests who joined black laywomen to pioneer the construction of low-income housing and influence housing policy. These are just a few of the “fixers” we meet—people who devised ways to work with limited resources and pull together the threads of a patchwork welfare state.
Rabig argues that fixers play dual roles. They support resistance, but also mediation; they fight for reform, but also more radical and far-reaching alternatives; they rally others to a collective cause, but sometimes they broker factions. Fixers reflect longer traditions of organizing while responding to the demands of their times. In so doing, they end up fixing (like a fixative) a new and enduring pattern of activist strategies, reforms, and institutional expectations—a pattern we continue to see today.
Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart is one of the United States’ greatest cathedrals and most exceptional Gothic Revival buildings. Rising from Newark’s highest ground and visible for miles, it spectacularly evokes its historic models. Gothic Pride sets Sacred Heart in the context of American cathedral building and, blending diverse fields, accounts for the complex circumstances that produced it.
Calling upon a wealth of primary sources, Brian Regan describes in a compelling narrative the cathedral’s almost century-long history. He traces the project to its origins in the late 1850s and the great expectations held by the project’s prime movers—all passionate about Gothic architecture and immensely proud of Newark—that never wavered despite numerous setbacks and challenges. Construction did not begin until 1898 and, when completed in 1954, the cathedral became New Jersey’s largest church—and the most expensive Catholic church ever built in America. During Pope John Paul II’s visit to the United States in 1995, he celebrated evening prayer at the Cathedral. On that occasion, the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart was elevated to a basilica to become the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
Meticulously researched, Gothic Pride brings to life the people who built, contributed to, and worshipped in Sacred Heart, recalling such remarkable personalities as George Hobart Doane, Jeremiah O’Rourke, Gonippo Raggi, and Archbishop Thomas Walsh. In many ways, the cathedral’s story is a lens that lets us look at the history of Newark itself—its rise as an industrial city and its urban culture in the nineteenth century; its transformation in the twentieth century; its immigrants and the profound effects of their cultures, especially their religion, on American life; and the power of architecture to serve as a symbol of community values and pride..
For the first time in forty years, the story of one of America's most maligned cities is told in all its grit and glory. With its open-armed embrace of manufacturing, Newark, New Jersey, rode the Industrial Revolution to great prominence and wealth that lasted well into the twentieth century. In the postwar years, however, Newark experienced a perfect storm of urban troublesùpolitical corruption, industrial abandonment, white flight, racial conflict, crime, poverty. Cities across the United States found themselves in similar predicaments, yet Newark stands out as an exceptional case. Its saga reflects the rollercoaster ride of Everycity U.S.A., only with a steeper rise, sharper turns, and a much more dramatic plunge.
How Newark Became Newark is a fresh, unflinching popular history that spans the city's epic transformation from a tiny Puritan village into a manufacturing powerhouse, on to its desperate struggles in the twentieth century and beyond. After World War II, unrest mounted as the minority community was increasingly marginalized, leading to the wrenching civic disturbances of the 1960s. Though much of the city was crippled for years, How Newark Became Newark is also a story of survival and hope. Today, a real estate revival and growing population are signs that Newark is once again in ascendance.
For decades, leaders in Newark, New Jersey, have claimed their city is about to return to its vibrant past. How accurate is this prediction? Is Newark on the verge of revitalization? Robert Curvin, who was one of New Jersey’s outstanding civil rights leaders, examines the city, chronicling its history, politics, and culture. Throughout the pages of Inside Newark, Curvin approaches his story both as an insider who is rooting for Newark and as an objective social scientist illuminating the causes and effects of sweeping changes in the city
Based on historical records and revealing interviews with over one hundred residents and officials, Inside Newark traces Newark’s history from the 1950s, when the city was a thriving industrial center, to the era of Mayor Cory Booker. Along the way, Curvin covers the disturbances of July 1967, called a riot by the media and a rebellion by residents; the administration of Kenneth Gibson, the first black mayor of a large northeastern city; and the era of Sharpe James, who was found guilty of corruption. Curvin examines damaging housing and mortgage policies, the state takeover of the failing school system, the persistence of corruption and patronage, Newark’s shifting ethnic and racial composition, positive developments in housing and business complexes, and the reign of ambitious mayor Cory Booker.
Inside Newark reveals a central weakness that continues to plague Newark—that throughout this history, elected officials have not risen to the challenges they have faced. Curvin calls on those in positions of influence to work for the social and economic improvement of all groups and concludes with suggestions for change, focusing on education reform, civic participation, financial management, partnerships with agencies and business, improving Newark’s City Council, and limiting the term of the mayor. If Newark’s leadership can encompass these changes, Newark will have a chance at a true turnaround.
Louis Bamberger (1855–1944) was the epitome of the merchant prince as public benefactor. Born in Baltimore, this son of German immigrants built his business—the great, glamorous L. Bamberger & Co. department store in Newark, N.J.—into the sixth-largest department store in the country. A multimillionaire by middle age, he joined the elite circle of German Jews who owned Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Filene’s. Despite his vast wealth and local prominence, Bamberger was a reclusive figure who shunned the limelight, left no business records, and kept no diaries. He remained a bachelor and kept his private life and the rationale for his business decisions to himself. Yet his achievements are manifold. He was a merchandising genius whose innovations, including newspaper and radio ads and brilliant use of window and in-store displays, established the culture of consumption in twentieth-century America. His generous giving, both within the Jewish community and beyond it, created institutions that still stand today: the Newark YM-YWHA, Beth Israel Hospital, and the Newark Museum. Toward the end of his career, he financed and directed the creation of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, which led to a friendship with Albert Einstein. Despite his significance as business innovator and philanthropist, historians of the great department stores have paid scant attention to Bamberger. This full-length biography will interest historians as well as general readers of Jewish history nationally, New Jerseyans fascinated by local history, and the Newarkers for whom Bamberger’s was a beloved local institution.
What does it mean to turn the public library or museum into a civic forum? Made in Newark describes a turbulent industrial city at the dawn of the twentieth century and the ways it inspired the library's outspoken director, John Cotton Dana, to collaborate with industrialists, social workers, educators, and New Women.
This is the story of experimental exhibitions in the library and the founding of the Newark Museum Associationùa project in which cultural literacy was intertwined with civics and consumption. Local artisans demonstrated crafts, connecting the cultural institution to the department store, school, and factory, all of which invoked the ideal of municipal patriotism. Today, as cultural institutions reappraise their relevance, Made in Newark explores precedents for contemporary debates over the ways the library and museum engage communities, define heritage in a multicultural era, and add value to the economy.
In 1970, Kenneth Gibson was elected as Newark, New Jersey’s first African-American mayor, a position he held for an impressive sixteen years. Yet even as Gibson served as a trailblazer for black politicians, he presided over a troubled time in the city’s history, as Newark’s industries declined and its crime and unemployment rates soared.
This book offers a balanced assessment of Gibson’s leadership and his legacy, from the perspectives of the people most deeply immersed in 1970s and 1980s Newark politics: city employees, politicians, activists, journalists, educators, and even fellow big-city mayors like David Dinkins. The contributors include many of Gibson’s harshest critics, as well as some of his closest supporters, friends, and family members—culminating in an exclusive interview with Gibson himself, reflecting on his time in office.
Together, these accounts provide readers with a compelling inside look at a city in crisis, a city that had been rocked by riots three years before Gibson took office and one that Harper’s magazine named “America’s worst city” at the start of his second term. At its heart, it raises a question that is still relevant today: how should we evaluate a leader who faced major structural and economic challenges, but never delivered all the hope and change he promised voters?
Pioneering anthropologist Sherry B. Ortner is renowned for her work on the Sherpas of Nepal. Now she turns her attention homeward to examine how social class is lived in the United States and, specifically, within her own peer group. In New Jersey Dreaming, Ortner returns to her Newark roots to present an in-depth look at Weequahic High School's Class of 1958, of which she was a member. She explores her classmates’ recollected experiences of the neighborhood and the high school, also written about in the novels of Philip Roth, Weequahic High School’s most famous alum. Ortner provides a chronicle of the journey of her classmates from the 1950s into the 1990s, following the movement of a striking number of them from modest working- and middle-class backgrounds into the wealthy upper-middle or professional/managerial class.
Ortner tracked down nearly all 304 of her classmates. She interviewedabout 100 in person and spoke with most of the rest by phone, recording her classmates’ vivid memories of time, place, and identity. Ortner shows how social class affected people’s livesin many hidden and unexamined ways. She also demonstrates that the Class of ‘58’s extreme upward mobility must be understood in relation to the major identity movements of the twentieth century—the campaign against anti-Semitism, the Civil Rights movement, and feminism.
A multisited study combining field research with an interdisciplinary analytical framework, New Jersey Dreaming is a masterly integration of developments at the vanguard of contemporary anthropology. Engaging excerpts from Ortner's field notes are interspersed throughout the book. Whether recording the difficulties and pleasures of studying one's own peer group, the cultures of driving in different parts of the country, or the contrasting experiences of appointment-making in Los Angeles and New York, they provide a rare glimpse into the actual doing of ethnographic research.
To many, Newark seems a profound symbol of postwar liberalism’s failings: an impoverished, deeply divided city where commitments to integration and widespread economic security went up in flames during the 1967 riots. While it’s true that these failings shaped Newark’s postwar landscape and economy, as Mark Krasovic shows, that is far from the whole story.
The Newark Frontier shows how, during the Great Society, urban liberalism adapted and grew, defining itself less by centralized programs and ideals than by administrative innovation and the small-scale, personal interactions generated by community action programs, investigative commissions, and police-community relations projects. Paying particular attention to the fine-grained experiences of Newark residents, Krasovic reveals that this liberalism was rooted in an ethic of experimentation and local knowledge. He illustrates this with stories of innovation within government offices, the dynamic encounters between local activists and state agencies, and the unlikely alliances among nominal enemies. Krasovic makes clear that postwar liberalism’s eventual fate had as much to do with the experiments waged in Newark as it did with the violence that rocked the city in the summer of 1967.
Winner of the Richard P. McCormick 2003 Prize for Scholarly Publication, given by the New Jersey Historical Commission
For three weeks in 1970 and for eleven weeks in 1971, the schools in Newark, New Jersey, were paralyzed as the teachers went on strike. In the wake of the 1971 strike, almost two hundred were arrested and jailed. The Newark Teachers Union said their members wanted improved education for students. The Board of Education claimed the teachers primarily desired more money. After interviewing more than fifty teachers who were on the front lines during these strikes, historian Steve Golin concludes that another, equally important agenda was on the table, and has been ignored until now. These professionals wanted power, to be allowed a voice in the educational agenda.
Through these oral histories, Golin examines the hopes of the teachers as they picketed, risking arrest and imprisonment. Why did they strike? How did the union represent them? How did their action—and incarceration—change them? Did they continue to teach in impoverished schools? Golin also discusses the tensions arising during that period. These include differences in attitudes toward unions among black, Jewish, and Italian teachers; different organizing strategies of men and women; and conflict between teachers’ professional and working-class identities.
The first part of the book sets the stage by exploring the experience of teachers in Newark from World War II to the 1970 strike. After covering both strikes, Golin brings the story up to 1995 in the epilogue, which traces the connection between educational reform and union democracy. Teacher Power enhances our understanding of what has worked and what hasn’t worked in attempts at reforming urban schools. Equally importantly, the teachers’ vivid words and the author’s perceptive analysis enables us to view the struggles of not just Newark, but the entire United States during a turbulent time.
Winner of the 2000 New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance Book Award
Michael Immerso traces the history of the First Ward from the arrival of the first Italian in the 1870s until 1953 when the district was uprooted to make way for urban renewal. Richly illustrated with photographs culled from the albums and shoeboxes in the private collections of hundreds of former First Ward families from all across the United States, the book documents the evolution of the district from a small immigrant quarter into a complex Italian-American neighborhood that thrived during the first half of this century.
Physics: The First Science
Lindenfeld, Peter Rutgers University Press, 2011 Library of Congress RA643.84.N49C43 2011 | Dewey Decimal 362.196979200975
Today's physics textbooks have become encyclopedic, offering students dry discussions, rote formulas, and exercises with little relation to the real world. Physics: The First Science takes a different approach by offering uniquely accessible, student-friendly explanations, historical and philosophical perspectives and mathematics in easy-to-comprehend dialogue. It emphasizes the unity of physics and its place as the basis for all science. Examples and worked solutions are scattered throughout the narrative to help increase understanding. Students are tested and challenged at the end of each chapter with questions ranging from a guided-review designed to mirror the examples, to problems, reasoning skill building exercises that encourage students to analyze unfamiliar situations, and interactive simulations developed at the University of Colorado. With their experience instructing both students and teachers of physics for decades, Peter Lindenfeld and Suzanne White Brahmia have developed an algebra-based physics book with features to help readers see the physics in their lives. Students will welcome the engaging style, condensed format, and economical price.
Drawing from almost a decade of ethnographic research in largely Brazilian and Puerto Rican neighborhoods in Newark, New Jersey, Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas, in Street Therapists,examines how affect, emotion, and sentiment serve as waypoints for the navigation of interracial relationships among US-born Latinos, Latin American migrants, blacks, and white ethnics. Tackling a rarely studied dynamic approach to affect, Ramos-Zayas offers a thorough—and sometimes paradoxical—new articulation of race, space, and neoliberalism in US urban communities.
After looking at the historical, political, and economic contexts in which an intensified connection between affect and race has emerged in Newark, New Jersey, Street Therapists engages in detailed examinations of various community sites—including high schools, workplaces, beauty salons, and funeral homes, among others—and secondary sites in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and San Juan to uncover the ways US-born Latinos and Latin American migrants interpret and analyze everyday racial encounters through a language of psychology and emotions. As Ramos-Zayas notes, this emotive approach to race resurrects Latin American and Caribbean ideologies of “racial democracy” in an urban US context—and often leads to new psychological stereotypes and forms of social exclusion. Extensively researched and thoughtfully argued, Street Therapists theorizes the conflictive connection between race, affect, and urban neoliberalism.
Surviving HIV/AIDS in the Inner City explores the survival strategies of poor, HIV-positive Puerto Rican women by asking four key questions: Given their limited resources, how did they manage an illness as serious as HIV/AIDS? Did they look for alternatives to conventional medical treatment? Did the challenges they faced deprive them of self-determination, or could they help themselves and each other? What can we learn from these resourceful women?
Based on her work with minority women living in Newark, New Jersey, Sabrina Marie Chase illuminates the hidden traps and land mines burdening our current health care system as a whole. For the women she studied, alliances with doctors, nurses, and social workers could literally mean the difference between life and death. By applying the theories of sociologist Pierre Bourdieu to the day-to-day experiences of HIV-positive Latinas, Chase explains why some struggled and even died while others flourished and thrived under difficult conditions. These gripping, true-life stories advocate for those living with chronic illness who depend on the health care "safety net." Through her exploration of life and death among Newark's resourceful women, Chase provides the groundwork for inciting positive change in the U.S. health care system.
When people think of the hottest cities of the Jazz Age and Swing Era, New York, Nashville, New Orleans, Memphis, Kansas City, and Chicago immediately spring to mind. But Newark, New Jersey was just as happening as each of these towns. On any given evening, you could listen to a legendary singer like Sarah Vaughan or laugh at the celebrated comedy of Red Foxx. Newark was a veritable maze of thriving theaters, clubs, and after-hours joints where the sporting folks rambled through the night. There were plenty of jobs for musicians and entertainers, so the city was teaming with musical talent.
Swing City reveals Newark’s role as an undocumented entertainment mecca between 1922 and 1950. The book is based on interviews with musicians, singers, dancers, comedians, bartenders, waitresses, nightclub owners, and their families and is heavily illustrated with rare photographs from the author’s personal collection. Barbara J. Kukla presents a musical tour of the city, covering the vaudeville acts, the musicians who started at Newark’s Orpheum Theater and went on to join famous bands, and the teenage dancers who started as chorus girls and eventually toured with famous tap dancers. She also describes the house rent parties of the 1930s, the “colored only” clubs, the entertainment at Newark’s 1,000 saloons during Prohibition, and the Coleman Hotel where Billie Holiday often stayed. Throughout the book, which concentrates on performers’ lives and personalities, Kukla discusses music and other forms of entertainment as social and economic survival tools in Newark’s Third Ward during a time of ruthless segregation.
Swing City includes several appendixes that provide a virtual “Who’s Who” of 25 years of nightlife activities in Newark. Music and nostalgia buffs, students of African American history, and anyone who’s ever been to Newark will find in this bookfabulous entertainment.