Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn

Suleiman Osman's new book, The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York (Oxford, 2011) is a thought provoking study but not just about the post-WWII history of the borough. The book provides many insights into how ideology and values shape land/city-scape and community whether it be Brooklyn or Lincoln Park or Capital Hill or Adams Morgan or South Beach. The contrasts to New Deal Liberalism confidence about big-project urban redevelopment may be too stark, but they create a good frame for understanding this odd progressive/conservative phenomenon of (faux preservation/conservation of urban neighborhoods by 'outsiders.'