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The Cities on the Hill: How Urban Insitutions Transform National Politics - Studies in Postwar American Political Development (Paperback)
  • The Cities on the Hill: How Urban Insitutions Transform National Politics - Studies in Postwar American Political Development (Paperback)

The Cities on the Hill: How Urban Insitutions Transform National Politics - Studies in Postwar American Political Development (Paperback)

Paperback 352 Pages / Published: 02/08/2018
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Over the second half of the 20th century, American politics was reorganized around race as the tenuous New Deal coalition frayed and eventually collapsed. What drove this change? In The Cities on the Hill, Thomas Ogorzalek argues that the answer lies not in the sectional divide between North and South, but in the differences between how different kinds of places govern themselves. Using a wide range of evidence from Congress and an original dataset measuring the urbanicity of districts over time, he shows how the trajectory of partisan politics in America today was set in the very beginning of the New Deal. Both rural and urban America were riven with local racial conflict, but beginning in the 1930s, city leaders became increasingly unified in national politics and supportive of civil rights- and sowed the seeds of modern liberalism. As Ogorzalek powerfully demonstrates, the red and blue shades of contemporary political geography derive more from rural and urban perspectives than clean state or regional lines. Moreover, his analysis explains how city institutions can help build bridges over the divides that keep us apart.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190668884
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 494 g
Dimensions: 235 x 158 x 20 mm


"This major contribution to political understanding powerfully knits together urban and national political affairs. Intellectually inventive, innovative in data and argument, and a pleasure to read, its powerful analytical history of institutions and behavior guides understanding of why urban representatives came to form a cohesive, often effective, political force, and how today's hard-edged party polarization emerged." -Ira I. Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University and author of Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time

"With this landmark analysis of the links between the different levels of the federal system, Ogorzalek revives the study of urban politics as a central element in understanding American politics. Carefully documented and full of incisive, even paradoxical insights, he shows both how the imperative of overcoming the differences rife in city settings provided the political foundation for the liberalism of the long New Deal and why current metropolitan patterns have made it difficult to sustain." -John Mollenkopf, CUNY Graduate Center

"Reasoning from the most prominent characteristics of cities-size, density, and heterogeneity-Ogorzalek builds an elegant theory of urban politics and politicians. This is a brilliant book, teaching, organizing and illuminating the central characteristics of urbanicity." -Amy Bridges, University of California, San Diego

"This is a fascinating, theoretically sophisticated, and methodologically rigorous examination of the transformation of urban political regimes. The book is also incredibly timely: Ogorzalek offers a way forward for modern day political parties to reduce political and societal polarization. As he powerfully illuminates, political coalitions and potential understandings of shared interests are politically malleable and can be reconceived and reconciled in ways that bring diverse constituencies together." -Paul Frymer, Princeton University

"The Cities on the Hill is an exemplary and pioneering book by Thomas K. Ogorzalek. The book's title alone provides a helpful preview, as it brings together disparate bodies of research on urban politics, Congress, racial and ethnic politics, and political parties. - Perspectives on Politics

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