A Fortress in Brooklyn Race, Real Estate, and the Making of Hasidic Williamsburg Nathaniel Deutsch, Michael Casper

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
22 Jun 2021
ISBN:
9780300231090
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
384 pages: 235 x 156mm
Illustrations:
28 b-w illus.

Hasidic Williamsburg is famous as one of the most separatist, intensely religious, and politically savvy communities in the entire United States. Less known is how the community survived in one of New York City’s toughest neighborhoods during an era of steep decline, only to later oppose and also participate in the unprecedented gentrification of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
 
Nathaniel Deutsch and Michael Casper unravel the fascinating history of how a community of determined Holocaust survivors encountered, shaped, and sometimes fiercely resisted the urban processes that transformed their gritty neighborhood, from white flight and the construction of public housing to rising crime, divestment of city services, and, ultimately, extreme gentrification. By showing how Williamsburg’s Hasidim avoided assimilation, Deutsch and Casper present both a provocative counter-history of American Jewry and a novel look at how race, real estate, and religion intersected in the creation of a quintessential, and yet deeply misunderstood, New York neighborhood.

Nathaniel Deutsch is professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Michael Casper received his Ph.D. in history from UCLA and has contributed to American Jewish History and the New York Review of Books.