The Problem of Jobs: Liberalism, Race, and Deindustrialization in Philadelphia - Historical Studies of Urban America (Paperback)
  • The Problem of Jobs: Liberalism, Race, and Deindustrialization in Philadelphia - Historical Studies of Urban America (Paperback)
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The Problem of Jobs: Liberalism, Race, and Deindustrialization in Philadelphia - Historical Studies of Urban America (Paperback)

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£30.00
Paperback 400 Pages / Published: 01/11/2018
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Contesting claims that postwar American liberalism retreated from fights against unemployment and economic inequality, The Problem of Jobs reveals that such efforts did not collapse after the New Deal but instead began to flourish at the local, rather than the national, level.

With a focus on Philadelphia, this volume illuminates the central role of these local political and policy struggles in shaping the fortunes of city and citizen alike. In the process, it tells the remarkable story of how Philadelphia's policymakers and community activists energetically worked to challenge deindustrialization through an innovative series of job retention initiatives, training programs, inner-city business development projects, and early affirmative action programs. Without ignoring the failure of Philadelphians to combat institutionalized racism, Guian McKee's account of their surprising success draws a portrait of American liberalism that evinces a potency not usually associated with the postwar era. Ultimately interpreting economic decline as an arena for intervention rather than a historical inevitability, The Problem of Jobs serves as a timely reminder of policy's potential to combat injustice.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226598420
Number of pages: 400
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Based on extensive archival research, clearly written, and vigorously and persuasively argued, The Problem of Jobs offers an original interpretation of post-World War II liberal reform and late twentieth-century urban history. In the process, it excavates a local liberalism whose fascinating history remains largely buried. The story narrated in this exceptionally important book is both tragic and inspiring. The tragedy lies in the urban consequences of the nation's inability to conquer its historic politics of race. The inspiration comes from the refusal of local liberalism to die despite decades of assault and its vision of an alternative path that American cities might have followed. The story McKee tells so well is as provocative for thinking about the present and future of American cities as it is for revising the narrative of their past." --Michael Katz "Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography "

"Deeply and impressively researched, The Problem of Jobs offers an important corrective to the relentless narrative of policy failure and frustration one gets from looking at urban policy from the federal perspective or from the perspective of the ideological right. Especially notable is Guian McKee's focus on how Philadelphia perceived, experienced, and attempted to forestall transformations that were threatening its economic livelihood--a dimension of the urban crisis that is widely recognized but rarely understood as something more than historical inevitability, and still more rarely recognized as an arena for local policy innovation."

--Alice O'Connor, University of California, Santa Barbara

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