The Fixers: Devolution, Development, And Civil Society In Newark, 1960-1990

Hardcover | September 28, 2016

byJulia Rabig

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Stories of Newark’s postwar decline are easy to find. But in The Fixers, Julia Rabig supplements these tales of misery with the story of the many imaginative challenges to the city’s decline mounted by Newark’s residents and suburban neighbors. In these pages, we meet the black nationalists whose dynamic organizing elected African American candidates in unprecedented numbers. There are tenants who mounted a historic rent strike to transform public housing and renegade white Catholic priests who joined black laywomen to pioneer the construction of low-income housing and influence housing policy. These are just a few of the “fixers” we meet—people who devised ways to work with limited resources and pull together the threads of a patchwork welfare state.

Rabig argues that fixers play dual roles. They support resistance, but also mediation; they fight for reform, but also more radical and far-reaching alternatives; they rally others to a collective cause, but sometimes they broker factions. Fixers reflect longer traditions of organizing while responding to the demands of their times. In so doing, they end up fixing (like a fixative) a new and enduring pattern of activist strategies, reforms, and institutional expectations—a pattern we continue to see today.

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Stories of Newark’s postwar decline are easy to find. But in The Fixers, Julia Rabig supplements these tales of misery with the story of the many imaginative challenges to the city’s decline mounted by Newark’s residents and suburban neighbors. In these pages, we meet the black nationalists whose dynamic organizing elected African Amer...

Julia Rabig is a lecturer of history at Dartmouth College. She is coeditor of The Business of Black Power: Community Development, Capitalism, and Corporate Responsibility in Post-War America.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 inPublished:September 28, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022638831X

ISBN - 13:9780226388311

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“Newark’s urban rebellion and black power movement produced the ‘Fixers’—a constellation of individuals and organizations—that emerged to help shape the city’s emergent black and brown urban regime. Rabig’s book zeroes in on the multifaceted and complicated roles of the fixers in making Newark a just city for all of its citizens. More than just old-school reformers, Newark’s fixers built new political coalitions and organizations, which bridged the promise and reality of one of America’s most beleaguered cities. Rabig’s work is an important contribution to urban history that pushes the field to address the US urban crisis of the 1970s and 1980s.”