By Aaron Welt
One hundred years ago, a Jewish, immigrant Socialist almost became New York's mayor. For months, detractors watched in horror as the candidate, Morris Hillquit, galvanized much of the city. In April of that tumultuous year, President Woodrow Wilson had reversed course, and bucked popular opinion, asking Congress for permission to send U.S. troops to fight in the "Great War." Hillquit’s campaign galvanized antiwar sentiment in New York. It was also a flash-point for ethno-religious politics in the city. Jewish New Yorkers, in particular, sparred over what Hillquit’s improbable run meant for America’s increasingly immigrant Jewish population. The Socialist lost the election, accruing about half as many votes as the winner, Tammany Democrat John Hylan. But his campaign was a turning point for many communities in New York, and continues to leave its mark on the city.
Michael Fabricant & Stephen Brier's Austerity Blues: Fighting for the Soul of Public Higher Education
Few, if any, New York neighborhoods have been studied as intensively as Harlem, and no period in Harlem’s history has received as much attention as the Roaring Twenties. In his debut book, Whose Harlem Is This, Anyway?, the historian Shannon King shows us a less familiar, yet more representative and perhaps ultimately more telling, side of interwar Harlem. In place of the tales of towering intellectuals, brilliant artists (and their canny boosters), and “the making of a ghetto,” King shines a light on the grassroots struggles — with police, landlords, and employers — which collectively “comprised the fulcrum of Harlem’s political culture” and paved the way for the remarkable upsurge of protest politics of the 1930s and 1940s. An associate professor of history at the College of Wooster, King is also a native New Yorker, raised in Harlem and the South Bronx. A Scholars-in-Residence fellowship from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture allowed him to return to Harlem to conduct research for Whose Harlem Is This, Anyway?
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