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Between Ocean And City
     

Between Ocean And City

4.5 2
by Lawrence Kaplan, Carol P. Kaplan
 
Rockaway Beach was once a popular seaside resort in south Queens with a small permanent population. Shortly after World War II, large parts of this narrow peninsula between the ocean and the bay became some of New York City's worst slums. A historian who grew up in the community and his wife, a social worker, together present an illuminating account of this

Overview

Rockaway Beach was once a popular seaside resort in south Queens with a small permanent population. Shortly after World War II, large parts of this narrow peninsula between the ocean and the bay became some of New York City's worst slums. A historian who grew up in the community and his wife, a social worker, together present an illuminating account of this transformation, exploring issues of race, class, and social policy and offering a significant revision of the larger story of New York City's development. In particular, the authors qualify some of the negative assessments of Robert Moses, suggesting that the "Power Broker" attempted for many positive initiatives for Rockaway.

Based on extensive archival research and hundreds of hours of interviews with residents, urban specialists, and government officials past and present, Between Ocean and City is a clear-eyed and harrowing story of this largely African American community's struggles and resiliency in the face of grinding poverty, urban renewal schemes gone wrong, and a forced ghettoization by the sea.

Editorial Reviews

Choice
This study is required reading for historians... Highly recommended.
The Journal of American History - Eugenie L. Birch
a photographic portrait through fifteen well-chosen images, each really saying more than a thousand words
Journal of Urban Affairs - Robert K. Whelan
Overall this is a very good book...that is worth the time of any scholar with an interest in urban development...I plan to have my doctoral students read it.
www.farrockaway.com
A clear-eyed and harrowing story of a largely African American community's struggles in the face of grinding poverty, urban renewal schemes gone wrong, and a forced ghettoization by the sea.
The Journal of American History
a photographic portrait through fifteen well-chosen images, each really saying more than a thousand words

— Eugenie L. Birch

Journal of Urban Affairs
Overall this is a very good book...that is worth the time of any scholar with an interest in urban development...I plan to have my doctoral students read it.

— Robert K. Whelan

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231128483
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
03/01/2003
Series:
Columbia History of Urban Life Series
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
0.75(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Leonard Dinnerstein
A wonderful combination of scholarship and nostalgia. The Kaplans are astute historians/sociologists and their book reads like a trip down memory lane. Throughout the manuscript there are insightful analyses of an autocratic, but imaginative, power broker, rapacious real estate investors, and insensitive politicians. This enthralling narrative shows us, once again, how racism, greed, and stupidity combined to destroy a once thriving middle class community.

David Reimers
The story of New York City's Rockaway, located along the ocean in the borough of Queens, is a remarkable tale. This choice section of the city went from a community housing many summer New Yorkers as well as year around workingclass and middle class residents to a run down and poor neighborhood after World War II. Sadly, a prime area of beaches fell victim not only to racism, but also to politics and neglect. This change is a story worth knowing, and with careful research, rich detail, and a feeling for Rockway's residents, Kaplan tells it well.

Meet the Author

Lawrence Kaplan, who has taught British and American history at the City College of New York, spent his formative years in Rockaway.

Carol P. Kaplan is a practicing social worker and an associate professor at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.

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Between Ocean and City 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In their work ¿Between Ocean and City¿ Lawrence and Carol Kaplan offer a worthy contribution to urban historical scholarship detailing how a place like the Rockaways--a remote, beachfront resort community within New York City proper, a place with many environmental and geographic resources-- declined into a waterfront slum. The question of how this diverse, seaside resort became transformed into a warehouse for the underclass is amply documented within this well written volume. Against the tableau of American suburbanization, The Kaplans do a masterful job explaining the importance of New York City master developer Robert Moses, local and national political forces, local community and real estate interests acting at cross pressures with one another, ultimately bringing the Rockaways down into a blighted wasteland. The book represents an excellent case study of urban planning gone awry, where many similar close-to-downtown metropolitan places get passed over for urban re-development, becoming slums, while distant suburbs gain ascendency, where fewer political and economic forces had a clash potential with one another. General readers should also find this clear and concise volume, with its attractive and telling photographs, a deeply rewarding experience.