The City in American Political Development

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $34.20
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 28%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $34.20   
  • New (5) from $34.20   
  • Used (2) from $41.16   


There are nearly 20,000 general-purpose municipal governments—cities—in the United States, employing more people than the federal government. About twenty of those cities received charters of incorporation well before ratification of the U.S. Constitution, and several others were established urban centers more than a century before the American Revolution. Yet despite their estimable size and prevalence in the United States, city government and politics has been a woefully neglected topic within the recent study of American political development.

The volume brings together some of the best of both the most established and the newest urban scholars in political science, sociology, and history, each of whom makes a new argument for rethinking the relationship between cities and the larger project of state-building. Each chapter shows explicitly how the American city demonstrates durable shifts in governing authority throughout the nation’s history. By filling an important gap in scholarship the book will thus become an indispensable part of the American political development canon, a crucial component of graduate and undergraduate courses in APD, urban politics, urban sociology, and urban history, and a key guide for future scholarship.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dilworth's book is a revelation. Placing the study of cities within the literature on American political development is a very smart idea that vastly expands the boundaries of the field of urban politics."

Dennis Judd, University of Illinois, Chicago

"This is a uniquely strong edited volume. Dilworth has assembled an impressive and remarkable range of the very smartest scholars working on the topic today. There is no book or article currently available that does what this book does, and the intellectual impact of this volume will be quite profound. This book has the potential to challenge and transform both APD and urban studies."

Dorian T. Warren, Columbia University

"By asking, ‘What is a city?’ the contributors to this volume claim a prominent role for urban centers in explaining American political development."

Richard Bensel, Cornell University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415991001
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/2/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 2.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Richardson Dilworth is Associate Professor of Political Science at Drexel University, author of The Urban Origins of Suburban Autonomy (2005) and editor of Social Capital in the City: Community and Civil Life in Philadelphia (2006).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: The City in American Political Development Richardson Dilworth Part 1: American Exceptionalism and the City 1. The City and the State in American Political Development: A Comparative Perspective on Urbanization Robert Lieberman 2. Non-Durable Authority: Intercurrence and Urban Power in Britain and the United States Jerome Hodos 3. Town and Country in the Redefinition of State-Federal Power: Canada and the United States, 1630-2005 Jason Kaufman Part 2: Urban Politics, HIstoricized and Institutionalized 4. Challenging the Machine-Reform Dichotomy: Two Threats to Urban Democracy Jessica Luce Trounstine 5. Power, Pluralism, and Urban Political Development: Modernization Reconsidered Clarence Stone and Robert Whelan Part 3: City, Space, and Nation 6. Spatial Institutionalism: The Case of Cities in American Political Development Philip Ethington and David Levitus 7. Urbanization and the Geographies of Statehood: Methodological and Substantive Reflections on the US Case Neil Brenner Part 4: The National Significance of Urban Ethnic and Racial Politics 8. Riots as Critical Junctures in Urban Policy Michael Jones-Correa 9. Learning to Lobby and Litigate: Baltimore’s Contributions to the Civil Rights Movement Matthew Crenson 10. Immigration and Institutional Change: The Urban Origins of US Postal Savings Banks Alethia Jones 11. Conclusion Ira Katznelson

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)