"Nineteenth-Century Cities" by Stephan Thernstrom

Nineteenth-Century Cities Essays in the New Urban History Stephan Thernstrom, Richard Sennett

Publication date:
11 Mar 1969
Yale University Press
448 pages: 203 x 127mm


Research on the frontiers of urban studies was the subject of a conference on nineteenth-century cities held in November 1968 at Yale University. These papers from the conference attempt to define what is coming to be known as the "new urban history." The cities studied range from small communities – such as Springfield, Massachusetts, and Poughkeepsie, New York – to giants like Philadelphia, Chicago, and Boston. While the majority of the contributions deal with American cities, four essays examine cities in Canada, England, France, and Colombia.
The studies focus on the dimensions of mobility and stability in the social structure of nineteenth-century cities. Within this general frame, the essays explore such areas as urban patterns of class stratification, changing rates of occupational and residential mobility, social origins of particular elite groups, the relations between political control and social class, differences in opportunities for various ethnic groups, and the relationships between family structure and city life. In all these fields, the authors relate sociological theory to the historical materials; a complex yet readable, interdisciplinary portrait of the origins of modern city life is the result.

"This is new urban history indeed: to be read, marked, and thoroughly digested."?The Canadian Historical Review

"This is an important book, well meriting the attention of anyone concerned with social and urban history. . . . It highlights a promising and exciting method of inquiry."?American Historical Review

"This is a superb volume. Each essay is interesting , many are provocative, and one or two are brilliant. . . . Study of social groups in the city is the common ground occupied by the authors of this book. These groups are examined chiefly through the dimensions of occupation, ethnicity, family structure, and local conditions."?Fredric Jahler, Journal of Interdisciplinary History