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Gotham Center Forums Archive, Spring 2003



New York's Fiscal Crisis, Then and Now
Tuesday, February 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

co-sponsored by
Baruch College School of Public Affairs
CANCELLED due to snow
Possible reschedule FALL 2003

This forum will examine the Fiscal Crises of the 1970s and today. The forum will be in three parts. Fiscal Crisis THEN will feature comments from scholars who have studied the 1970s event, including STEVE LONDON, Professor of Political Science, Brooklyn College, and JOSH FREEMAN, Professor of History, CUNY Graduate Center. We will also screen short excerpts from several of the interviews taped with leading 1970s participants by JACK BIGEL, himself a major player in those events. In part two, Fiscal Crisis NOW, we will examine the causes of and proposed solutions to our current situation. This will take the form of a conversation between JAMES PARROTT, of the Fiscal Policy Institute, and E.J. McMAHON, of The Manhattan Institute, with each making a 10-15 minute presentation, and then engaging in free form discussion. Finally, MIKE WALLACE will offer a comparative look at both fiscal crises, and we have invited some members of city government to join this part of the evening.


The History of the NAACP in New York
Thursday, March 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
CANCELLED due to snow

This forum will examine the history of the NAACP. After our program, KENNETH JANKEN will sign copies of his new biography, White: The Biography of Walter White, Mr. NAACP (The New Press).




The Civil War in New York—From Print to Pixels
Wednesday, March 26, 6-8 p.m. Martin E. Segal Theatre

co-sponsored with The Center for Media and Learning

New York during the Civil War was the hub of the northern war effort and also a city at war with itself. Defined and divided by wealth and poverty, privilege and sacrifice, patriotism and dissent, and abolitionism and racism, it was a social and political powder keg that finally exploded in the draft riots of July 1863. Novelist Kevin Baker, historian Jeanie Attie, and media producer Andrea Ades Vasquez will discuss and demonstrate the ways the story of New York during the Civil War years has been told and interpreted in recent fiction, scholarship, and new media.

KEVIN BAKER, author, Paradise Alley; JEANIE ATTIE, Associate Professor of History, Long Island University; author, Patriotic Toil: Northern Women and the American Civil War; ANDREA ADES VASQUEZ, Project Director, The Lost Museum, American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning; JOSHUA BROWN (Moderator), Executive Director, American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning.


Recent Historical Scholarship on Harlem
Tuesday, April 22, 6:30 p.m. | Room C-201


NEW YORK INTELLECTUALS: THE BLACK LEFT AND THE COLD WAR, 1950-1965, by Rebeccah E. Welch, New York University



Capital City by Tom Kessner
Thursday, May 22 6:30-8:30 p.m. Martin E. Segal Theatre

Historian TOM KESSNER will discuss his new book: Capital City: New York City and the Men Behind America's Rise to Economic Dominance, 1860-1900 (Simon and Schuster). Capital City investigates the central role played by New York City and its investors in transforming the American economy in the years following the Civil War. It describes how Gotham's speculative class led by Jay Gould, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan helped develop the new corporate economy that catapulted the United States to international economic dominance by the end of the nineteenth century. Book signing to follow.


Civil Rights in Post-War NYC: Book Talk and Signing by Martha Biondi
Wednesday, June 11, 6:30 p.m. | Rooms 9206/9207

The story of the civil rights movement typically begins with the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 and culminates with the 1965 voting rights struggle in Selma. But as Martha Biondi shows in To Stand and Fight: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City (Harvard University Press), a grassroots struggle for racial equality in the urban North began a full ten years before the rise of the movement in the South. This story is an essential first chapter, not only to the southern movement that followed, but to the riots that erupted in northern and western cities just as the civil rights movement was achieving major victories. To Stand and Fight demonstrates how black New Yorkers launched the modern civil rights struggle and left a rich legacy.

Biondi is Assistant Professor of African-American Studies and History at Northwestern University.



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