Synopses & Reviews
For decades, leaders in Newark, New Jersey, have claimed their city is about to return to its vibrant past. How accurate is this prediction? Is Newark on the verge of revitalization? Robert Curvin, who was one of New Jerseyandrsquo;s outstanding civil rights leaders, examines the city, chronicling its history, politics, and culture.
Throughout the pages of Inside Newark
, Curvin approaches his story both as an insider who is rooting for Newark and as an objective social scientist illuminating the causes and effects of sweeping changes in the city
Based on historical records and revealing interviews with over one hundred residents and officials, Inside Newark traces Newarkandrsquo;s history from the 1950s, when the city was a thriving industrial center, to the era of Mayor Cory Booker. Along the way, Curvin covers the disturbances of July 1967, called a riot by the media and a rebellion by residents; the administration of Kenneth Gibson, the first black mayor of a large northeastern city; and the era of Sharpe James, who was found guilty of corruption. Curvin examines damaging housing and mortgage policies, the state takeover of the failing school system, the persistence of corruption and patronage, Newarkandrsquo;s shifting ethnic and racial composition, positive developments in housing and business complexes, and the reign of ambitious mayor Cory Booker.
Inside Newark reveals a central weakness that continues to plague Newarkandmdash;that throughout this history, elected officials have not risen to the challenges they have faced. and#160;Curvin calls on those in positions of influence to work for the social and economic improvement of all groups and concludes with suggestions for change, focusing on education reform, civic participation, financial management, partnerships with agencies and business, improving Newarkandrsquo;s City Council, and limiting the term of the mayor. If Newarkandrsquo;s leadership can encompass these changes, Newark will have a chance at a true turnaround.and#160;
Watch a video with Robert Curvin:
Watch video now. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-d6zV2OQ8A).
andquot;Robert Curvin's aggressive research, candid narration, and unflinching judgments leave you informed, sobered, and guardedly optimistic that a once beleaguered city's search for transformation is at last well underway. Inside Newark is a book in the great tradition of Steffens's The Shame of the Cities.andquot;
andquot;At once deeply personal and probing, Bob Curvin's brilliantly illuminating journey into Newark's contemporary life and history sets a high standard for an insider's view of a complicated and troubled urban landscape. That he is one of the nation's most prescient humanists and activists makes Curvin's Inside Newark essential reading. A triumph!andquot;
andquot;Bob Curvinandrsquo;s masterful analysis shows how one of Americaandrsquo;s greatest cities has dealt with a convergence of challenges during the past half century. He combines powerful reminiscences, and#160;strong community voices, a grasp of complex political entanglements, and unique personal insight to produce a detailed and intimate account of Newarkandrsquo;s struggle for survival.andquot;and#160;
andquot;Curvin's associations and key figures, extensive interviews and institutional memory mesh forcefully and lend amplitide to the narrative. Anyone who resides in or near Newark, or once did, or feels like a stakeholder in the great urban outcome should dwell deeply on his journey.andquot;
and#160;For decades, leaders in Newark, New Jersey, have claimed their city is about to return to its economic and social vibrancy of yesteryear. Tracing Newarkandrsquo;s history from the 1950andrsquo;s through the reign of Cory Booker, Curvin approaches his story as both an insider rooting for Newark and as an objective social scientist illuminating the causes and effects of the sweeping changes in the cityandrsquo;s economy and demography. Readers are witness to the weakness contributing to Newarkandrsquo;s downfall and treated to Curvinandrsquo;s insightful recommendations for a true turnaround.and#160;
For the first time in forty years, the story of one of America's most maligned cities is told in all its grit and glory. With its open-armed embrace of manufacturing, Newark, New Jersey, rode the Industrial Revolution to great prominence and wealth that lasted well into the twentieth century. In the postwar years, however, Newark experienced a perfect storm of urban troublesand#249;political corruption, industrial abandonment, white flight, racial conflict, crime, poverty. Cities across the United States found themselves in similar predicaments, yet Newark stands out as an exceptional case. Its saga reflects the rollercoaster ride of Everycity U.S.A., only with a steeper rise, sharper turns, and a much more dramatic plunge.
How Newark Became Newark is a fresh, unflinching popular history that spans the city's epic transformation from a tiny Puritan village into a manufacturing powerhouse, on to its desperate struggles in the twentieth century and beyond. After World War II, unrest mounted as the minority community was increasingly marginalized, leading to the wrenching civic disturbances of the 1960s. Though much of the city was crippled for years, How Newark Became Newark is also a story of survival and hope. Today, a real estate revival and growing population are signs that Newark is once again in ascendance.
About the Author
and#160;ROBERT CURVIN is currently a visiting scholar at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.and#160;