Cover: Progressive Inequality: Rich and Poor in New York, 1890–1920, from Harvard University PressCover: Progressive Inequality in HARDCOVER

Progressive Inequality

Rich and Poor in New York, 1890–1920

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Product Details


$46.50 • £37.95 • €42.00

ISBN 9780674281400

Publication Date: 03/10/2014


392 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

8 halftones


[Huyssen] argues engagingly that despite three decades of hopeful reform activism and regulatory innovation, ‘inequality between rich and poor became more, not less acute, all the way up to the stock market crash of 1929.’—Sam Roberts, The New York Times

Progressive Inequality provides a rich portrayal of the dynamics of cross-class interaction in turn-of-the-century New York, and convincingly demonstrates the many ways in which charitable aid subverted its ostensible commitment to redressing inequality… Progressive Inequality provides a convincing rebuke of ‘the myth of classless democracy.’—Angus Burgin, Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Progressive Inequality puts a stake through the heart of the pernicious myth of classlessness. Writing with passion and empathy, Huyssen recognizes class as the dominant feature of the American experience, enacted most vividly in the collision of rich and poor at the soup kitchen, in the settlement house, and on the street corner. If our own current Gilded Age gives way to a new Progressive Era, we must be prepared to think with Huyssen about class as an artifact of pervasive inequality, and perhaps more hopefully, as its antidote.—Seth Rockman, author of Scraping By

Huyssen’s close analysis of encounters across the class divide in Progressive Era New York suggests that the inequities and inequalities inherited from the Gilded Age handily survived—and were even reinforced by—various efforts at reform. He offers fresh, sophisticated readings of an assortment of inter-class collaborations and confrontations. Highly recommended.—Mike Wallace, co-author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Gotham

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