Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Nation of NeighborhoodsImagining Cities, Communities, and Democracy in Postwar America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Benjamin Looker

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226073989

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226290454.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Microcosms of Democracy

Microcosms of Democracy

Depicting the City Neighborhood in Wartime America

Chapter:
(p.21) One Microcosms of Democracy
Source:
A Nation of Neighborhoods
Author(s):

Benjamin Looker

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226290454.003.0001

Under the cloud of international conflict, numerous early-1940s progressives cast the working-class, ethnic-accented city neighborhood as a place where democratic values became most concrete. The mixture of creeds and nationalities at the heart of the nation's older cities seemed to offer a uniquely American rebuff to the fascist drive for purity. As chapter 1 explains, elaborations of this vision emerged in the celebratory cadences of the popular press, in the projects of intercultural educators such as Rachel Davis DuBois, and in novels, radio plays, and Broadway shows by figures such as Sidney Meller, Sholem Asch, Louis Hazam, Kurt Weill, and Langston Hughes. Each offered new ways for making sense of urban space, yet these works also revealed contradictions and uncertainties, most notably in an inability to meld competing impulses toward assimilation and particularism. Interpreting such texts as a collective form of imaginative “placemaking,” this chapter examines the conflicted form of liberal nationalism that took the polyglot city neighborhood as its emblem.

Keywords:   war, working-class, neighborhood, democratic, Rachel Davis DuBois, Broadway, Louis Hazam, Langston Hughes, Sholem Asch, Sidney Meller

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.