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Faith in the City
Preaching Radical Social Change in Detroit
Angela D. Dillard
University of Michigan Press, 2009

“The dynamics of Black Theology were at the center of the ‘Long New Negro Renaissance,’ triggered by mass migrations to industrial hubs like Detroit. Finally, this crucial subject has found its match in the brilliant scholarship of Angela Dillard. No one has done a better job of tracing those religious roots through the civil rights–black power era than Professor Dillard.”

—Komozi Woodard, Professor of History, Public Policy & Africana Studies at Sarah Lawrence College and author of A Nation within a Nation: Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Black Power Politics

“Angela Dillard recovers the long-submerged links between the black religious and political lefts in postwar Detroit. . . . Faith in the City is an essential contribution to the growing literature on the struggle for racial equality in the North.”

—Thomas J. Sugrue, University of Pennsylvania, author of The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit

Spanning more than three decades and organized around the biographies of Reverends Charles A. Hill and Albert B. Cleage Jr., Faith in the City is a major new exploration of how the worlds of politics and faith merged for many of Detroit’s African Americans—a convergence that provided the community with a powerful new voice and identity. While other religions have mixed politics and creed, Faith in the City shows how this fusion was and continues to be particularly vital to African American clergy and the Black freedom struggle.

Activists in cities such as Detroit sustained a record of progressive politics over the course of three decades. Angela Dillard reveals this generational link and describes what the activism of the 1960s owed to that of the 1930s. The labor movement, for example, provided Detroit’s Black activists, both inside and outside the unions, with organizational power and experience virtually unmatched by any other African American urban community.

Angela D. Dillard is Associate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. She specializes in American and African American intellectual history, religious studies, critical race theory, and the history of political ideologies and social movements in the United States.


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Feeding the City
From Street Market to Liberal Reform in Salvador, Brazil, 1780–1860
By Richard Graham
University of Texas Press, 2010

Winner, Bolton-Johnson Prize, Conference on Latin American History, 2011
Murdo J. McLeod Book Prize, 2011

On the eastern coast of Brazil, facing westward across a wide magnificent bay, lies Salvador, a major city in the Americas at the end of the eighteenth century. Those who distributed and sold food, from the poorest street vendors to the most prosperous traders—black and white, male and female, slave and free, Brazilian, Portuguese, and African—were connected in tangled ways to each other and to practically everyone else in the city, and are the subjects of this book. Food traders formed the city's most dynamic social component during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, constantly negotiating their social place. The boatmen who brought food to the city from across the bay decisively influenced the outcome of the war for Brazilian independence from Portugal by supplying the insurgents and not the colonial army. Richard Graham here shows for the first time that, far from being a city sharply and principally divided into two groups—the rich and powerful or the hapless poor or enslaved—Salvador had a population that included a great many who lived in between and moved up and down.

The day-to-day behavior of those engaged in food marketing leads to questions about the government's role in regulating the economy and thus to notions of justice and equity, questions that directly affected both food traders and the wider consuming public. Their voices significantly shaped the debate still going on between those who support economic liberalization and those who resist it.


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Filming the City
Urban Documents, Design Practices and Social Criticism through the Lens
Edited by Edward Clift, Mirko Guaralda, and Ari Mattes
Intellect Books, 2016
Filming the City brings together the work of filmmakers, architects, designers, video artists, and media specialists to provide three distinct prisms through which to examine the medium of film in the context of the city. The book presents commentaries on particular films and their social and urban relevance, offering contemporary criticisms of both film and urbanism from conflicting perspectives, and documenting examples of how to actively use the medium of film in the design of our cities, spaces and buildings. Bringing a diverse set of contributors to the collection, editors Edward Clift, Ari Mattes, and Mirko Guaralda offer readers a new approach to understanding the complex, multilayered interaction of urban design and film.

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Food and the City
Histories of Culture and Cultivation
Dorothée Imbert
Harvard University Press

Food and the City explores the physical, social, and political relations between the production of food and urban settlements. Its thirteen essays discuss the multiple scales and ideologies of productive landscapes—from market gardens in sixteenth-century Paris to polder planning near mid-twentieth century Amsterdam to opportunistic agriculture in today’s Global South—and underscore the symbiotic connection between productive landscape and urban form across times and geographies.

The physical proximity of fruit and vegetable production to urban consumers in pre-revolutionary Paris, or the distribution of fish in Imperial Edo, was an essential factor in shaping both city and surroundings. Colonial expansion and modernist planning stressed the essential relation between urbanism and food production, at the scales of both the garden and agriculture. This volume offers a variety of perspectives—from landscape and architectural history to geography—to connect the garden, market, city, and beyond through the lenses of modernism, technology, scale, social justice, and fashion. Essays on the Fascist new settlements in Ethiopia, Le Corbusier’s Radiant Farm and views on rural France, the urban farms in Israel, and the desakota landscape of the Pearl River Delta, to name a few, will appeal to those concerned with urban, landscape, and architectural studies.


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The Freedom of the City
Charles Downing Lay, with introduction and essay by Thomas J. Campanella
Island Press, 2023
“Congestion is the life of the city . . . it is what we came for, what we stay for, what we hunger for”, wrote Charles Downing Lay, prominent American landscape architect and planner of the early 1920s. These words are relevant today as density and congestion are once again under siege, especially in our most productive and thriving cities.
Published in 1926, The Freedom of the City by Charles Downing Lay is an eloquent and timely defense of urbanism and city life. Award-winning author and urban historian Thomas J. Campanella has given Lay’s text new life and relevance, with the addition of explanatory notes, imagery, an introduction, and biographical essay, to bring this important work to a new generation of urbanists. 
Lay was decades ahead of his time, writing The Freedom of the City as Americans were just beginning to fall in love with the automobile and leave town for a romanticized life on the suburban fringe. Planners and theorists were arguing that heavily congested cities were a form of cancer, that great metropolitan centers like London and New York City must be decanted into a leafy “garden cities” in the countryside. Lay saved his sharpest pen for these anti-urbanists in his own profession of city and regional planning.
Lay writes of the delights of city life and—especially—that importance of the singular, essential ingredient that makes it all possible: “congestion” (closest in definition to “density” today). Congestion, to Lay, is the secret sauce of cities, the singular element that gives London, Paris, or New York its dynamism and magic. He believed that the amenities and affordances of a city are “the direct result of its great congestion”; indeed, congestion is “the life of the city. Reduce it below a certain point and much of our ease and convenience disappears.
Campanella writes “for all his blind spots, Lay's core argument still obtains. The Freedom of the City was prescient in 1926 and timely now. Certainly, the essentials of good urbanism extolled in the book—human scale, diversity, walkability, the serendipities of the street; above all, density—are articles of faith among architects and urbanists today.”

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The Friday Mosque in the City
Liminality, Ritual, and Politics
Edited by A. Hilâl Ugurlu and Suzan Yalman
Intellect Books, 2020

This edited volume explores the dynamic relationship between the Friday mosque and the Islamic city, addressing the traditional topics through a fresh new lens and offering a critical examination of each case study in its own spatial, urban, and socio-cultural context. While these two well-known themes—concepts that once defined the field—have been widely studied by historians of Islamic architecture and urbanism, this compilation specifically addresses the functional and spatial ambiguity or liminality between these spaces. 

Instead of addressing the Friday mosque as the central signifier of the Islamic city, this collection provides evidence that there was (and continues to be) variety in the way architectural borders became fluid in and around Friday mosques across the Islamic world, from Cordoba to Jerusalem and from London to Lahore. By historicizing different cases and exploring the way human agency, through ritual and politics, shaped the physical and social fabric of the city, this volume challenges the generalizing and reductionist tendencies in earlier scholarship.


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From Citizens to Subjects
City, State, and the Enlightenment in Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus
Curtis G. Murphy
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018
From Citizens to Subjects challenges the common assertion in historiography that Enlightenment-era centralization and rationalization brought progress and prosperity to all European states, arguing instead that centralization failed to improve the socioeconomic position of urban residents in the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth over a hundred-year period.

Murphy examines the government of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the several imperial administrations that replaced it after the Partitions, comparing and contrasting their relationships with local citizenry, minority communities, and nobles who enjoyed considerable autonomy in their management of the cities of present-day Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus. He shows how the failure of Enlightenment-era reform was a direct result of the inherent defects in the reformers' visions, rather than from sabotage by shortsighted local residents. Reform in Poland-Lithuania effectively destroyed the existing system of complexities and imprecisions that had allowed certain towns to flourish, while also fostering a culture of self-government and civic republicanism among city citizens of all ranks and religions. By the mid-nineteenth century, the increasingly immobile post-Enlightenment state had transformed activist citizens into largely powerless subjects without conferring the promised material and economic benefits of centralization.

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