AASLH Detroit Onsite GuideThomas J. Sugrue is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History at New York University. A specialist in twentieth-century American politics, urban history, civil rights, and race, Sugrue was educated at Columbia; King’s College, Cambridge; and Harvard, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1992. His first book, The Origins of the Urban Crisis (1996), focused on Detroit as the symbol of the American urban crisis. It won the Bancroft Prize in American History and the Urban History Association Award for Best Book in North American Urban History among other numerous awards. In 2005, Princeton University Press selected The Origins of the Urban Crisis as one of its 100 most influential books of the past one hundred years and recently published a new edition including the Detroit bankruptcy. Sugrue challenges the conventional wisdom that urban decline is the product of the social programs and racial fissures of the 1960s. Weaving together the history of workplaces, unions, civil rights groups, political organizations, and real estate agencies, Sugrue finds the roots of today’s urban poverty in a hidden history of racial violence, discrimination, and deindustrialization that reshaped the American urban landscape after World War II.


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