Category Archives: Urban Studies

Picture this: Washington and Baltimore Art Deco

strinerThe bold lines and decorative details of Art Deco have stood the test of time since one of its first appearances in the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris in 1925. The style reflected the confidence of the age—streamlined, chrome-clad, glossy black. Along with simple elegance, sharp lines, and cosmopolitan aspirations, Art Deco also carried surprises, juxtaposing designs growing out of speed (race cars and airplanes) with ancient Egyptian and Mexican details, visual references to Russian ballet, and allusions to Asian art.

Melissa Blair, coauthor with Rick Striner of Washington and Baltimore Art Deco: A Design History of Neighboring Cities, speaks on Wednesday, January 28 at 1:00 p.m. at Baltimore’s Pikesville Library about the legacy of this exuberant architectural style in two quite different cities: the white-collar New Deal capital and the blue-collar industrial port city. Visit the library website for more information about the talk—and enjoy this  selection of images from the very handsome book.

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Filed under American History, American Studies, Baltimore, Book talks, D.C., Uncategorized, Urban Studies, Washington

March events feature Shakespeare, Lindsay, Einstein, and more

March roars in with a variety of events suitable for lionizing, and JHU Press authors, editors, and staff will keep busy all month. Stephen H. Grant loved the idea that the official publication date for Collecting Shakespeare would be the Ides of March, and several events around that date welcome his book. At Hunter College, Joseph P. Viteritti and a group of very distinguished panelists will discuss the legacy of New York Mayor John Lindsay to launch the publication of Summer in the City: John Lindsay, New York, and the American Dream. And Michael C. C. Adams will discuss and sign Living Hell: The Dark Side of the Civil War in the latest Virtual Book Signing™  hosted by Chicago’s Abraham Lincoln Book Shop. A Virtual Book Signing™ is a live and online book talk and signing event webcast from the bookstore and streamed round the world. Customers both in the store and online can listen to the presentation, ask questions, and then buy books and see them signed by the author. Please spread the word about JHUP’s March line-up!

weaver-zercher rev comp.indd6 March 2014, 11:30 a.m.

Book Talk & Signing
– Valerie Weaver-Zercher
Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure
of Amish Romance Novels

Common Hour, Mayser Gymnasium
Franklin & Marshall College
Admission: Free and open to the public; information here.

 grant.collecting11 March 2014, 12:30 p.m.
Hopkins Club Lunch & Lecture – Stephen H. Grant
Collecting Shakespeare:
The Story of Henry and Emily Folger

JHU’s Homewood Campus
Baltimore, MD
Admission: $20; members call the Club to make reservations; non-members contact Jack Holmes at 410-516-6928 to attend as a guest of the Press.

mace512 March 2014, 7:30–9:00 pm
Book Talk & Signing Peter V. Rabins, M.D., M.P.H.
The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss
The Kaleidoscope Program
Roland Park Country School
Baltimore, MD
The author’s JHUP’s best-selling book discusses “The Ethical Issues of Alzheimer Disease and Memory Loss” in the popular RPCS speaker series.

Admission: $30; call 410-323-5500 to register.

gimbel13 March 2014, 6:30–8:30 pm
Book Talk & Signing – Steven Gimbel
Einstein’s Jewish Science
The Johns Hopkins Odyssey Program
JHU’s Homewood Campus
Baltimore, MD
Admission: $28; call 410 -516 -8516 or register online here.

14 March 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Book Talk & Signing
– Stephen H. Grant
Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger
One More Page Books
2200 N. Westmoreland St.
Arlington, VA
Admission: Free; call 703-300-9746 or visit

adams.hell15 March 2014, 12:00–1:30 p.m.
Virtual Book Signing™
– Michael C. C. Adams
Living Hell: The Dark Side of the Civil War
The Abraham Lincoln Book Shop
Chicago, IL
Admission: Free and open to the public; participate at the book shop or online; more information here.

osteen19 March 2014, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Book Talk & Signing
– Mark Osteen
Nightmare Alley: Film Noir and the American Dream
Loyola University Maryland, Knott Hall
Baltimore, MD
This program is sponsored by the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Baltimore.
Admission: Free with RSVP to

kelly20 March 2014, 6:30–8:30 pm
Book Talk & Signing – Cindy Kelly
Outdoor Sculpture in Baltimore: A Historical Guide to Public Art in the Monumental City
The Johns Hopkins Odyssey Program
JHU’s Homewood Campus
Baltimore, MD JHU Press author Cindy Kelly will present “A Close Look at Baltimore’s Battle Monument.”
Admission: $28; call 410-516 -8516 or register online here.

vitteriti20 March 2014, 5:00 p.m.
Book Talk & Signing
– Joseph P. Viteritti
Summer in the City:
John Lindsay, New York, and the American Dream

Hunter College, The Kaye Playhouse
New York, NY
Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College hosts a launch event for Summer in the City featuring Joseph P. Viteritti, Sam Roberts, Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, Vincent Cannato, Lizabeth Cohen, and Richard Ravitch.
Admission: Free, reservation required; call 212-396-7931.

20 March 2014, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Book Talk & Signing
Stephen H. Grant
Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger
Drama Book Shop
250 W. 40th St.
New York, NY
Admission: Free; call 212-944-0595 or email

kilcup26 March 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Book Talk & Signing
– Angela Sorby
Over the River and Through the Wood:
An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century
American Children’s Poetry

Boswell Book Company
Milwaukee, WI
Admission: Free; 414-332-1181 or visit online.

28 March 2014, 6:30 p.m.
Book Talk & Signing
– Stephen H. Grant
Collecting Shakespeare:
The Story of Henry and Emily Folger

Folger Shakespeare Library
Washington, D.C.
Admission: Members only; for information, call 202-675-0302.

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Filed under American History, American Studies, Amish, Baltimore, Biography, Book talks, Dementia and Memory Loss, General Science, Geriatrics and Gerontology, Kids, Literature, Mental Health, Physics, Poetry, Politics, Urban Studies

November news and new books

Support the scholarly community by ordering direct from us with this special discount! Enter code HDPD at checkout to receive a 30% discount on all books featured in this blog post or mention this code when calling in your order at 1-800-537-5487.

News and Notes / Praise and Reviews

The New York Review of Books 50th Anniversary Issue featured a published excerpt from volume 2 of The Online Complete Prose of T.S. Eliot

Midday with Dan Rodricks hosted Robert C. Post, author of  Who Owns America’s Past: The Smithsonian and the Problem of History.

Hot off the Press

Anxiety: A Short History Horwitz narrates how anxiety has been experienced, understood, and treated through the ages—from Hippocrates, through Freud, to today.

Amish Quilts: Crafting an American Icon “Readers may take this up for the pictures alone: they are sumptuous. . . Smucker. . . a fifth-generation Mennonite quilter, is also a bold and precise historian.” — Publishers Weekly

Pacifists in Chains: The Persecution of Hutterites during the Great War Documents the disturbing history of four pacifists imprisoned for their refusal to serve during World War I.

A Man’s Guide to Healthy Aging: Stay Smart, Strong, and Active A comprehensive guide to healthy aging from a man’s perspective.

The Housing Bomb: Why Our Addiction to Houses Is Destroying the Environment and Threatening Our Society How our thirst for more and larger houses is undermining society and what we can do about it.

Gap Year: How Delaying College Changes People in Ways the World Needs  The first study of how the gap year can make young people more effective students and better citizens.

National Security through a Cockeyed Lens: How Cognitive Bias Impacts U.S. Foreign Policy Yetiv illuminates some of the key pitfalls in our leaders’ decision-making processes and some of the mental errors we make in perceiving ourselves and the world.

Literature in the Ashes of History Caruth juxtaposes the writings of psychoanalysts, literary and political theorists, and literary authors who write in a century faced by a new kind of history.

Remember, enter code HDPD at checkout to receive a 30% discount on all books featured in this blog post.

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Filed under American History, Amish, Anabaptist & Pietist Studies, Conservation, Consumer Health, Current Affairs, Education, For Everyone, Foreign Policy, General Science, Health and Medicine, Higher Education, History, Life Science, Literature, Politics, Psychiatry and Psychology, Religion, Reviews, Sale, Social media, Urban Studies

Hometown DC

Guest post by Blair A. Ruble

I just returned from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library where I spoke about my history of U Street with veteran jazz broadcaster Rusty Hassan, currently of DC’s WPFW. A very diverse group of about 40 showed up on a rainy afternoon in the middle of the week to hear our talk about local DC history. I was struck again, as I have been at any number of community discussions of my book, at how different “hometown DC” is from Washington’s image in the country.

First of all, it turns out that there are folks living in DC who can trace their roots in the city back several generations. This is a very real city in every sense of the word and not just an architectural stage set for posturing politicians. Second, like much of our society at the moment, people are caught between pride and foreboding. In the specific reality of today’s DC, many longtime city residents, black and white, wealthy and poor, are concerned that something of the city’s personality is being lost in the face of a rapid influx of new residents. Yet, from what I can tell from my talks, at least some of the newcomers are arriving precisely because they understand the city has a long and distinguished history in which they too can take pride. Finally, I am reminded of how important institutions such as the Library are to communities, as they provide meeting places where seemingly aimless contacts can provide creative sparks which enrich everyone. Every great city needs such places, which seem to be fewer and farther between.

Writing about a neighborhood such as U Street opened up insights into broad questions about large subjects—how do cities bring different communities together, how do humans adapt to discrimination in ways to preserve dignity—as well as into the nature of a city which I have come to call home.

Blair A. Ruble is the director of the Kennan Institute and the Comparative Urban Studies Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. He is the author of 6 books and editor or coeditor of another 20. His most recent book is Washington’s U Street: A Biography.

(The views expressed in this guest post belong to the author and in no way reflect the official opinion of the JHU Press.)

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Filed under African American Studies, American Studies, Cultural Studies, Regional-Chesapeake Bay, Urban Studies