The Ghosts of Johns Hopkins: The Life and Legacy that Shaped an American City

The Ghosts of Johns Hopkins: The Life and Legacy that Shaped an American City

by Antero Pietila


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Johns Hopkins destroyed his private papers so thoroughly that no credible biography exists of the Baltimore Quaker titan. One of America’s richest men and the largest single shareholder of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Hopkins was also one of the city’s defining developers. In The Ghosts of Johns Hopkins, Antero Pietila weaves together a biography of the man with a portrait of how the institutions he founded have shaped the racial legacy of an industrial city from its heyday to its decline and revitalization. From the destruction of neighborhoods to make way for the mercantile buildings that dominated Baltimore’s downtown through much of the 19th century to the role that the president of Johns Hopkins University played in government sponsored “Negro Removal” that unleashed the migration patterns that created Baltimore’s existing racial patchwork, Pietila tells the story of how one man’s wealth shaped and reshaped the life of a city long after his lifetime.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538116036
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 11/15/2018
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 331,590
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Antero Pietila's thirty-five years with the Baltimore Sun included coverage of the city's neighborhoods, politics and government but also seven years of reporting as a correspondent in South Africa and the Soviet Union. A native of Finland, where he graduated from Tampere's School of Social Sciences, Pietila became a student of urban racial rotations during his first visit to the United States in 1964. He later obtained a Master of Arts degree at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He is the author of Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City (2010). He is a contributor to The Life of Kings: The Baltimore Sun and the Golden Age of the American Newspaper, as well as an ebook, Race Goes To War: Ollie Stewart and the Reporting of Black Correspondents in World War II. He resides in Baltimore, MD.

Table of Contents

Author's Note: My Baltimore Story Quilt ix

Acknowledgments: Writing This Book xv

Part I The Pragmatic Opportunist

1 Johnsie's Baltimore 3

2 The Civil War: Blue and Gray 25

3 A Brush with Death 43

4 America's Richest Spinster 61

5 Doctors Rob Graves 77

Part II The Racial Dynamics of Modern Baltimore

6 The Monumental City 95

7 Governments Create Slums 115

8 Mobtown in the 1950s 137

9 Activism Builds Up 155

10 A Cat of a Different Color 171

Part III Pushing Out the Lumpenproletariat

11 A Citadel of Hope 191

12 Rough Road to Renewal 209

13 The Knockers 229

14 The Price of Poison 241

Notes 251

Index 295

About the Author 317

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The Ghosts of Johns Hopkins: The Life and Legacy that Shaped an American City 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Bookaholic_Cindy More than 1 year ago
When I saw this book, I knew immediately that I wanted to read it. As a teenager, I spent a whole summer traveling an hour each way with my mom to visit my dad at the Johns Hopkins Hospital after he suffered a brain aneurysm. Fortunately, they saved his life and he lived to be 87 years old! I enjoyed the first half of the book the most. It was amazing how much Baltimore history that I never knew! Where was all this history when I was growing up? Having read the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I was pleased that the author added her story. The story about grave robbers was surprising but guess it was typical of the times. I really enjoyed reading this book but one thing I wish the author would have went into was his comment about Russians causing the riots of 2015. I had not heard that before. The author wrote a book that I won't soon forget. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in Johns Hopkins and Baltimore, past and present. * I was provided an ARC to read from the publisher and NetGalley. It was my decision to read and review this book..