In City Trenches, Ira Katznelson looks at an important phenomenon of the sixties—the resurgence of community activism—and explains its sources, challenges, and failure. Katznelson argues that the American working class perceives workplace politics and community politics as separate and distinct spheres, a perception that defeats attempts to address grievances or raise demands that break the rules of local politics or of bread-and-butter unionism. He supports his thesis with an absorbing case study of Washington Heights-Inwood, a multiethnic working-class community in Manhattan.
Ira Katznelson is the Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor of Political and Social Science at the New School for Social Research. He is the author of Black Men, White Cities, published by the University of Chicago Press, and coauthor with Mark Kesselman of The Politics of Power.
1. Introduction Part One: American Patterns of Urbanism and Class 2. Community, Capitalist Development, and the Emergence of Class
3. City Trenches
4. The Making of Northern Manhattan Part Two: The Crisis of the City
5. Remaking of Northern Manhattan
6. Assaults on the Trenches
7. Innovation and Reform, 1969-1974 Part Three: Conclusion
8. Social Theory, Urban Movements, and Social Change
Appendix: Methodological Notes