Gotham Logo Gotham Logo  
 
About The Gotham Center
Recent Books on NYC History
back to book list
Civic Engagement: Social Science and Progressive-Era Reform in New York City
by John Louis Recchiuti
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press 2007
Category: Non-fiction19th century20th centuryPolitics
Avg Rating: (1 review)
John Recchiuti recounts the history of a vibrant network of young American scholars and social activists who helped transform a city and a nation. New York, in the late Gilded Age and Progressive Era, was the nation's financial capital, its principal hub for immigration, and its premier center for the arts. It was also a center of civic engagement: most of the nation's main reform organizations were headquartered there. As public intellectuals, members of the city's social science network championed the fight for civil rights through the NAACP and National Urban League; sought solutions to labor problems through the American Association for Labor Legislation, National Consumers' League, and National Child Labor Committee; founded the nation's first settlement houses; and established the first center for social science and social work, the New York School of Philanthropy. In New York, which one group of social scientists called "the greatest social science laboratory in the world," these men and women lived and worked in Greenwich Village's working-class haunts, amid immigrant poverty on the Lower East Side, and on Columbia University's Upper West Side campus. They debated how much government should regulate laissez-faire capitalism, whether poverty was caused by individual character flaws, and how, through the New York Bureau of Municipal Research, to thwart municipal corruption. Some promulgated a racist eugenics, while others fought racism in the name of social science. And, in their reach for leadership, they confronted an essential question: was social science to be the herald of a reinvigorated democracy, or an instrument of technocracy? In this deeply researched study, Recchiuti focuses on more than a score of Progressive reformers, including Florence Kelley, W. E. B. Du Bois, E. R. A. Seligman, Charles Beard, Franz Boaz, Frances Perkins, Samuel Lindsay, Edward Devine, Mary Simkhovitch, and George Edmund Haynes. He reminds us how people from markedly diverse backgrounds forged a movement to change a city and, beyond it, a nation.

Reviews

- April 5th, 2007
This is a book all about New York City and its history! A must read for those interested in turn-of-the-twentieth century Gotham.

Write a Review

On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the best,
How do you rate this book?
Please enter a title for your review:
Type your review in the space below:

Search Books
 

Featured Books

Trying Leviathan: The Nineteenth-Century New York Court Case That Put the Whale on Trial and Challenged the Order of Nature
by D. Graham Burnett
More

740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building
by Michael Gross
More

A House On The Heights
by Truman Capote
More

A Moment in the Sun
by John Sayles
More

Abandoned: Foundlings in Nineteenth-Century New York City
by Julie Miller
More

American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, The Birth of the "It" Girl and The Crime of the Century.
by Paula Uruburu
More

Fat of the Land: The Garbage Behind New York-The Last Two Hundred Years
by Benjamin Miller
More

Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners during the American Revolution
by Edwin G. Burrows
More

Gastropolis: Food and New York City
by Annie Hauck-Lawson and Jonathan Deutsch, eds.
More

Gravesend, Brooklyn: Then and Now
by Joseph Ditta
More

Half Slave Half Free
by David Manning
More

Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s
by Stefan M. Bradley
More

Here is New York
by E. B. White
More

Life on the Lower East Side: Photographs by Rebecca Lepkoff, 1937-1950
by Rebecca Lepkoff, Suzanne Wasserman, Peter Dans
More

Manhattan Projects: The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York
by Samuel Zipp
More

Nearest Thing to Heaven: The Empire State Building and American Dreams
by Mark Kingwell
More

New York City Trees: A Field Guide for the Metropolitan Area
by Edward Sibley Barnard
More

On the Town: One Hundred Years of Spectacle in Times Square
by Marshall Berman
More

On the Wall: Four Decades of Community Murals in NYC
by Janet Braun-Reinitz and Jane Weissman
More

Other People’s Money: Inside the Housing Crisis and the Demise of the Greatest Real Estate Deal Ever Made
by Charles Bagli
More

Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus
by Dean Jensen
More

The City’s End: Two Centuries of Fantasies, Fears, and Premonitions of New York’s Destruction
by Max Page
More

Categories
19th century
20th century
Architecture/Built Environment
Bronx
Brooklyn
Dutch/Colonial
Fiction
Immigration
Journal Articles
Leisure
Manhattan
Neighborhoods
Non-fiction
Papers/Dissertations
Photography/Art/Design
Politics
Queens
Reference
Staten Island
Tours
Transit
Urbanism
Wall Street
Waterfront

Donate Now!
Help support the Gotham Center.


Municipal Art Society's

Urban Center Books
Specializing in architecture and related subjects.



© 2004-2007 Gotham Center for New York City History. All Rights Reserved.

The Gotham Center for New York City History
The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, Room 6103
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309
Telephone: 212-817-8460
FAX: 212-817-1541
E-mail: gotham@gc.cuny.edu