Across the country, white ethnics have fled cities for suburbs. But many stayed in their old neighbourhoods. When the busing crisis erupted in Boston in the 1970s, Catholics were in the forefront of resistance. Jews, 70,000 of whom lived in Roxbury and Dorchester in the early 1950s, were invisible during the crisis. They were silent because they departed the city more quickly and more thoroughly than Boston's Catholics. Only scattered Jews remained in Dorchester and Roxbury by the mid-1970s. In telling the story of why the Jews left and the Catholics stayed in 1970s Boston, Gerald Gamm places neighbourhood institutions - churches, synagogues, community centres, schools - at its centre. He challenges the assumption that bankers an real estate agents were responsible for the rapid Jewish exodus. Rather, basic institutional rules explain the strength of Catholic attachments to neighbourhood and the weakness of Jewish attachments. Gamm argues that the transformation of urban neighbourhoods began not in the 1950s or 1960s but in the 1920s.
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(235mm x 155mm x 21mm)
Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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Author Biography - Gerald H. Gamm
Gerald Gamm is Associate Professor of Political Science and History, University of Rochester.