Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City

Jonathan Soffer

CUP

Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City

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Pub Date: January 2012

ISBN: 9780231150330

528 Pages

Format: Paperback

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Pub Date: October 2010

ISBN: 9780231150323

528 Pages

Format: Hardcover

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Pub Date: October 2010

ISBN: 9780231520904

528 Pages

Format: E-book

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Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City

Jonathan Soffer

CUP

In 1978, Ed Koch assumed control of a city plagued by filth, crime, bankruptcy, and racial tensions. By the end of his mayoral run in 1989 and despite the Wall Street crash of 1987, his administration had begun rebuilding neighborhoods and infrastructure. Unlike many American cities, Koch's New York was growing, not shrinking. Gentrification brought new businesses to neglected corners and converted low-end rental housing to coops and condos. Nevertheless, not all the changes were positive?AIDS, crime, homelessness, and violent racial conflict increased, marking a time of great, if somewhat uneven, transition.

For better or worse, Koch's efforts convinced many New Yorkers to embrace a new political order subsidizing business, particularly finance, insurance, and real estate, and privatizing public space. Each phase of the city's recovery required a difficult choice between moneyed interests and social services, forcing Koch to be both a moderate and a pragmatist as he tried to mitigate growing economic inequality. Throughout, Koch's rough rhetoric (attacking his opponents as "crazy," "wackos," and "radicals") prompted charges of being racially divisive. The first book to recast Koch's legacy through personal and mayoral papers, authorized interviews, and oral histories, this volume plots a history of New York City through two rarely studied yet crucial decades: the bankruptcy of the 1970s and the recovery and crash of the 1980s.

Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
2. Struggling to Be Middle Class: Ed Koch's Early Life
3. It Takes a Village (1949–58)
4. "Rhymes with Notch" (1959–64)
5. The Man Who Beat Carmine De Sapio
6. A Rebel with Reason
7. Koch's Corridor (1969–76)
8. "A Liberal with Sanity": Koch as the Anti-Bella
9. New York: Divided and Broke (1973–77)
10. The 1977 Mayoral Election
11. The Critical First Term (1978–81)
12. The Politics of Race and Party
13. Shake-up (1979–80)
14. Controlled Fusion: Or, to Koch or Not to Koch (1980–81)
15. Governor Koch? (1982–83)
16. Larger Than Life (1984–85)
17. A New Spatial Order: Gentrification, the Parks, Times Square
18. Homelessness
19. The Koch Housing Plan (1986–89)
20. AIDS
21. Crime and Police Issues (1978–84)
22. The Ward Years: Police, Crime, and Police Crimes (1984–89)
23. Don't Follow County Leaders, and Watch Your Parking Meters (1986)
24. Koch's Endgame (1988–89)
25. Epilogue
Conclusion
Notes
Index

Read the chapter "The Critical First Term, 1978-1981" from Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City (to view in full screen, click on icon in bottom right-hand corner)

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About the Author

Jonathan Soffer is associate professor of history at New York University's Polytechnic Institute.