In Pursuit of Privilege: A History of New York City’s Upper Class and the Making of a Metropolis.
By Clifton Hood
Columbia University Press, 512 pp.
By Maureen Montgomery
This is an interesting time to be reviewing a history of New York’s upper class, especially one that discusses its members’ involvement in politics and the development of the city’s infrastructure, as well as their sense of civic responsibility and their self-fashioning as privileged. Privilege, rather than power, is the focus of Clifton Hood’s book and the form of privilege Hood focuses on is expressed in various exclusive practices and pursuits, and in the exercise of influence over local and national government for the advancement and protection of upper-class economic interests.
Clifton Hood's In Pursuit of Privilege: A History of New York City’s Upper Class and the Making of a Metropolis
The following is an excerpt from the author's new book, The Roots of Urban Renaissance:
Gentrification and the Struggle over Harlem, courtesy of Harvard University Press.
By Jason M. Barr and Gerard Koeppel
The Manhattan street grid plan of 1811 -- both figuratively and literally -- defines the city. It has created its identity while prompting continuing debate about whether it’s the “greatest grid” or “one of the worst city plans.” Despite the endless fascination after 200 years and counting, the grid’s history and its effect on Gotham are still not fully understood. We aim to correct the record. Here, we introduce some key misconceptions and their corrections; in eight monthly installments, we will discuss each one in more detail.
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