About the editors and contributors

Submitted by wojtek on February 11, 2013

About the author

Back cover:
Author Ronald Lawson participating in a School for Organizers class sponsored by the People's Housing Network.

Ronald Lawson and the four other contributors to this volume have provided the first history of the tenant movement from its origins at the turn of the century to its role today in New York City. With a sweep and scope that is rare in recent American social history, "The Tenant Movement in New York City" covers an area that has been almost entirely neglected -- community struggle. It places tenant movements at the center of the history of housing, urban government, and urban social movements. Thirty photographs, drawn from this eighty-year period, bring alive the "heritage of resistance" of tenants against the power of real estate interests and city bureaucrats, covering defeats as well as victories.

Employing detailed research from a range of primary sources -- Yiddish language newspapers, participant interviews, and tenant council minutes -- the contributors examine the social bases of the tenant movement and describe the context and significance of the movement at the grass roots level. This story is also part of the history of American Judaism, radicalism, working-class protest, and the role of women in social movements. The book demonstrates to all those involved in the booming tenant movement nationwide what can be accomplished, the obstacles, and the limits of the movement's strategies.

Ronald Lawson is a Professor in the Urban Studies Department at Queens College, the City University of New York. He is the author of "Brisbane in the 1890s: An Australian Urban Society".

Mark Naison is Associate Professor of Afro-American Studies and Director of Urban Studies at Fordham University. He is the author of "Communists in Harlem During the Depression". The contributors also include Jenna Weissman Joselit, Joel Schwartz, and Joseph A. Spencer.


Jenna Weissman Joselit is a research associate in history at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York and the author of "Our Gang: Jewish Crime and the New York Jewish Community, 1900-1940."

Joel Schwartz is associate professor in the Department of History, Montclair State College.

Joseph A. Spencer is executive director of the New York City Transit Authority's Transit Adjudication Bureau.

Cover Design: Laura Dunne
ISBN 0-8135-1203-4
Also available in cloth, ISBN 0-8135-1158-5

Rutgers University Press
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New Brunswick, NJ 08901