The Newark Frontier: Community Action In The Great Society

Hardcover | April 15, 2016

byMark Krasovic

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To many, Newark seems a profound symbol of postwar liberalism’s failings: an impoverished, deeply divided city where commitments to integration and widespread economic security went up in flames during the 1967 riots. While it’s true that these failings shaped Newark’s postwar landscape and economy, as Mark Krasovic shows, that is far from the whole story.

The Newark Frontier shows how, during the Great Society, urban liberalism adapted and grew, defining itself less by centralized programs and ideals than by administrative innovation and the small-scale, personal interactions generated by community action programs, investigative commissions, and police-community relations projects. Paying particular attention to the fine-grained experiences of Newark residents, Krasovic reveals that this liberalism was rooted in an ethic of experimentation and local knowledge. He illustrates this with stories of innovation within government offices, the dynamic encounters between local activists and state agencies, and the unlikely alliances among nominal enemies. Krasovic makes clear that postwar liberalism’s eventual fate had as much to do with the experiments waged in Newark as it did with the violence that rocked the city in the summer of 1967.

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To many, Newark seems a profound symbol of postwar liberalism’s failings: an impoverished, deeply divided city where commitments to integration and widespread economic security went up in flames during the 1967 riots. While it’s true that these failings shaped Newark’s postwar landscape and economy, as Mark Krasovic shows, that is far ...

Mark Krasovic is assistant professor of history and American studies and associate director of the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience at Rutgers University—Newark.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:April 15, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022635279X

ISBN - 13:9780226352794

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Plotting the Great Society and the Urban Crisis in Newark

Part I: The Rise of Community Action
One / The Construction of Community Action in the Great Society
Two / Community Action Comes to Newark
Three / Convergence
Four / The Newark Police Department’s Great Society

Interlude: The Riots

Part II: The Commission Response to Rioting

Five / The Kerner Commission
Six / The Governor’s Commission
Seven / The PBA Commission

Part III: New Directions for Community Action

Eight / Law and Order
Nine / Departures
Ten / Control

Conclusion: Community Action and the Hollow Prize
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations Used in Notes
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Krasovic tells a riveting story that takes us from the Kennedy/Johnson Great Society to Newark’s streets, documenting how the force of community action transformed American politics and neighborhoods in the 1960s and beyond. The author’s extraordinary research has yielded an indispensable and timely contribution to our understanding of this pivotal decade in the history of U.S. cities. The Newark Frontier deftly balances the efforts of residents, leaders, organizers, law enforcement, and administrators who fought for a better urban future, as they pushed novel levers of federal funding and local power.”