Summer in the City takes a clear look at John Lindsay’s tenure as mayor of New York City during the tumultuous 1960s, when President Lyndon Johnson launched his ambitious Great Society Program. Providing an even-handed reassessment of Lindsay’s legacy and the policies of the period, the essays in this volume skillfully dissect his kaleidoscope of progressive ideas and approach to leadership—all set in a perfect storm of huge demographic changes, growing fiscal stress, and an unprecedented commitment by the federal government to attain a more equal society. Compelling archival photos and a timeline give readers a window into the mythic 1960s, a period animated by civil rights marches, demands for black power, antiwar demonstrations, and a heroic intergovernmental effort to redistribute national resources more evenly.
Written by prize-winning authors and leading scholars, each chapter covers a distinct aspect of Lindsay’s mayoralty (politics, race relations, finance, public management, architecture, economic development, and the arts), while Joseph P. Viteritti’s introductory and concluding essays offer an honest and nuanced portrait of Lindsay and the prospects for shaping more balanced public priorities as New York City ushers in a new era of progressive leadership.
The volume’s sharp focus on the controversies of the Mad Men era will appeal not only to older readers who witnessed its explosive events, but also to younger readers eager for a deeper understanding of the time. A progressive Republican with bold ideals and a fervent belief in the American Dream, Lindsay strove to harness the driving forces of modernization, democratization, acculturation, inclusion, growth, and social justice in ways that will inform our thinking about the future of the city.
Contributors: Lizabeth Cohen, Paul Goldberger, Brian Goldstein, Geoffrey Kabaservice, Mariana Mogilevich, Charles R. Morris, David Rogers, Clarence Taylor, and Joseph P. Viteritti
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