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The Strike That Changed New York: Blacks, Whites, and the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Crisis Paperback – December 15, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0300109405 ISBN-10: 0300109407

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The Strike That Changed New York: Blacks, Whites, and the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Crisis + Creating a Democratic Public: The Struggle for Urban Participatory Democracy During the Progressive Era + Great Issues in American History, Vol. III: From Reconstruction to the Present Day, 1864-1981
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (December 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300109407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300109405
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #831,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"There are no faultless heroes or thoroughly evil villains here-only human beings struggling to make sense of their world." -- Choice --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

"Podair's telling of the racially polarizing Ocean Hill-Brownsville crisis is outstanding: clearly written, deeply researched, and admirably balanced." -- James T. Patterson, Brown University --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Moten Swing on September 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The review below shows the passion this episode created and can still evoke. To argue that Nauman wasn't "fired" is rather disingenuous. The letter he received stated "The Governing Board of the Ocean Hill Brownsville Demonstration School District has voted to end your employment in the schools of this district." Sounds like a pink slip to me.

More importantly, as the reviewer below notes, is that "community control" was seen as as the last-ditch solution to the persistent problems faced by African-Americans in the school system. They were (and are) getting third-rate educations. The argument was (and is): why? "Cultural" reasons? Racism? If the African-American community ran its own schools, the argument went, black children would learn better. For various reasons, many of them political, it didn't turn out that way. The most important result was to divide the city by race--especially the Jews from the blacks.

One of the key points made by this book is that the Ocean Hill-Brownsville strike had the effect of making New York Jews "white" in the sense that they joined with their Italian and Irish outer-borough neighbors against the blacks. This seismic shift has largely remained intact.

You can easily get by with reading only chapters 1-3, 5-6.

Read this book if you have an interest in New York City history, politics of the "white backlash", and/or the rise of conservatism in the 1970s.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lorraine Fox on August 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a former teacher, now retired and a parent of small children who could not attend school during that time, I was on the picket line with the UFT(United Federation of Teachers) during the strike. Having disclosed that I can say that the author did an outstanding job of researching and reporting what led up to the strike and how things changed. The teachers were wholeheartedly against the strike in Ocean Hill Brownsville and against Community Control. Teachers and principals were thrown out if they weren't black. There was a lot of prejudice. The author carefully explained who the players were; the mayor , community control advocates, school superintendents and supervisors. I recognized and remembered all those names. Those teachers and parents and supervisors who lived during that time will appreciate this book. Those who are too young to have experienced it or didn't live in New York City can learn a lot of history from it.
Lorraine Fox
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Herbert Oliver on July 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent research went into this book. Podair was unbiased and fair in treatment of subjects, including Rev. Oliver.Al Vann and Jitu Weusi saw clearly what was going on in the schools, and Podair put it in perspective. Perhaps the best book on the Ocean Hill- Brownsville struggle for community control of the schools in the sixties.
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