Second Metropolis: Pragmatic Pluralism in Gilded Age Chicago, Silver Age Moscow, and Meiji Osaka

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By comparing North America's, Russia's, and Japan's "second cities"—Chicago, Moscow, and Osaka—Second Metropolis discloses the extent to which social fragmentation, frequently viewed as an obstacle to democratic development, actually fostered a "pragmatic pluralism" that nurtured pluralistic public policies. Such policies are explored through six case studies that illustrate how even those with massive political and economic power were stymied by the complexity of their communities. These three cities, though the products of very different nations and cultures, shared an important experience of inclusive politics during an era of extraordinary growth and social diversity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A good read..." The Russian Review

"This book provides a convenient history of three major cities and their similar efforts to mediate differences while solving problems, despite the enormous gaps in their political systems." Choice

"[T]his is an impressive work of scholarship." Journal of International Migration and Integration

"Second Metropolis is conceptually interesting....Ruble has written a work of history." Slavic Review

Journal of Economic History
This is a lively, well-researched book with a forceful argument.

— James Gilbert

American Historical Review
A comparative work such as this helps to undercut the historiography of 'exceptionalism' that still plagues Russian studies.

— Louise McReynolds

Urban Studies
A stimulating and challenging example of comparative urban history.

— Mark S. Foster

Canadian Journal of Urban Research
Fascinating and innovative work... worth reading by any specialist in urban history.

— J. M. Bumsted

Journal of Economic History - James Gilbert

This is a lively, well-researched book with a forceful argument.

American Historical Review - Louise McReynolds

A comparative work such as this helps to undercut the historiography of 'exceptionalism' that still plagues Russian studies.

Urban Studies - Mark S. Foster

A stimulating and challenging example of comparative urban history.

Canadian Journal of Urban Research - J. M. Bumsted

Fascinating and innovative work... worth reading by any specialist in urban history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521801799
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Series: Woodrow Wilson Center Press Series
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Blair A. Ruble is director of the Kennan Institute, a program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where he is also codirector of the Comparative Urban Studies Project. He is the author of Leningrad: Shaping a Soviet City and Money Sings: The Changing Politics of Urban Space in Post-Soviet Yaroslavl.

Woodrow Wilson Center Press

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Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Introduction: from hegemony to pragmatic pluralism; Part I. Three Industrial Giants: 2. Porkopolis; 3. Russia's calico heart; 4. Kitchen of the country; Part II. Tales of Success and Excess: 5. Transit tussles; 6. Educating Moscow's workers; 7. Prosperity's harbor; Part III. Riots and Revolution: 8. Charter failure; 9. The worst-housed city in Europe; 10. Poverty and riots; Part IV. Conclusion: 11. Successful pragmatic pluralists: the practice of politics without hegemony; 12. The practice of pragmatic pluralism: the city, transitional capitalism, and the meaning of Moscow.

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