Alumni (National Fellow)

Benjamin Holtzman

National Fellow
B.A. Vassar College (2003)
M.A. Brown University (2010)
Ph.D. Brown University (2016)
Fields of Interest:
History of Capitalism
Political Economy
Social History
Urban History

Thesis Description:

Crisis and Confidence: Reimagining New York City in the Late Twentieth Century
Holtzman’s dissertation, “Crisis and Confidence: Reimagining New York City in the Late Twentieth Century,” uses the sweeping transformation of post-1960’s New York City to understand the broader remaking of the United States in the latter twentieth century. The project begins in the crisis-plagued New York City of the 1960’s, the inauguration of more than a decade of widespread economic and political turmoil and ends with the city’s proclaimed resurgence in the 2000’s. During this period, diverse groups of city-dwellers, including grassroots organizations, non-profit foundations, elites, and elected officials worked to reshape New York as overlapping crises disrupted long-standing logics of urban governance and economics. In chronicling these varied initiatives, his dissertation reveals a defining characteristic of the period: as different sectors simultaneously embraced the sentiment that city government no longer worked, many turned toward market-based governing logics to sustain key areas of city life. These turns illustrate the powerful connection between local conditions and the broader shift toward a marketized political economy.

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