Cities on the Hill
My first book, The Cities on the Hill: How Urban Institutions Transformed National Politics, was published by Oxford University Press in 2018. It was kind of #1 on Amazon at one point!
The Cities on the Hill was recognized for its contributions by two sections of the American Political Science Association:
- Best Book Award by the Section on Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, 2019
- Honorable Mention, J. David Greenstone Prize, Section on Politics and History, 2019.
What’s inside: Cities on the Hill focuses on urban representation in Congress over the course of American history (with a focus on the first half of the 20th century), and it’s full of new ideas and analyses. Broadly, the book examines the role of distinctive local institutions in the development of an urban national political alignment (think “Blue America”) characterized by notably cohesive representation despite cities’ natural tendency toward deeply contentious politics (think “Do The Right Thing”).
The book analyzes why this coalition came together in the first place, and identifies important local institutions that help hold the national coalition together. It also puts the urban back in urban liberalism, helping us to consider why certain kinds of places (and maybe even the people who live there) are more disposed toward the policy and political dispositions we now call progressive liberalism. A fuller description of the book’s argument, approach, and scholarly contribution is here.
The book is part of Oxford’s terrific series on Postwar American Political Development–check it out if you want to school up on our democracy.
Working Families, Global Cities
My next book project, currently titled Working Families, Global Cities, picks up where Cities on the Hill leaves off–in our current age of urban-rural polarization, heightened spatial and economic inequality, and looming, epochal governance challenges. Some analysts see cities as islands of pragmatic responsibility in a sea of divisive polarization and nationalism. But what, if anything, has changed from previous eras, when deep divisions seemed to make cities “ungovernable” or helpless to cope in the face of overwhelming structural forces? And given that most urban Americans are suburbanites, how does metropolitan change complicate this question?
Engaging a wide array of original evidence from the U.S. and abroad, this book takes a closer look at how shifting political economy and political demography present both opportunities and challenges for cities (and their residents). This book is under contract to appear in the series on Postwar American Political Development from Oxford University Press. Read more details on the project here.