Samuel Zipp is a cultural, intellectual, and urban historian with particular interest in 20th century cities, United States cultural and political history since World War II, the built environment, and nonfiction writing. He has written articles and reviews for a number of publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Reviews in American History, The Baffler, Metropolis, American Quarterly, American Literary History, The Journal of Urban History, Cabinet, and In These Times. He earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. His book Manhattan Projects: The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York is available from Oxford University Press. He has also co-edited Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs, published by Random House.
|Review: Impossible Heights: Skyscrapers, Flight, and the Master Builder. Journal of American History. 2016; 102 (4) : 1238-1239.|
Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs.
(w/ Nicholas Dagen Bloom)
2015; : 151-155.
(w/ Nicholas Dagen Bloom)
2015; : 94-99.
|Zipp, S. Rip It Up and Start Again? Response to Forum on "The Roots and Routes of Urban Renewal". Journal of Urban History. 2014; 40 (4) : 644-647.|
|Zipp, Samuel The Cultural Structure of Postwar Urbanism. American Quarterly. 2014; 66 (2) : 477-488.|
|Zipp, Samuel When Wendell Willkie Went Visiting: Between Interdependency and Exceptionalism in the Public Feeling for One World. Am Lit Hist. 2014; 26 (3) : 484-510.|
|Samuel Zipp (w/ Michael Carriere) Introduction: Thinking Through Urban Renewal. Journal of Urban History. 2013; 39 (3) : 359-365.|
|Zipp, Samuel Superblock stories, or, ten episodes in the history of public housing. Rethinking History. 2013; 17 (1) : 38-73.|
|Raising The Wild Flag: E.B. White, World Government, and Local Cosmopolitanism in the Postwar Moment. The Journal of Transnational American Studies . 2012; 4 (1) : 1-33.|
|Zipp, S. The Roots and Routes of Urban Renewal. Journal of Urban History. 2012; 39 (3) : 366-391.|
|Making Place: The Cultural History of the Built Environment. 2010;|
Manhattan Projects: The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York .
|Zipp, Samuel The Battle of Lincoln Square: Neighbourhood Culture and the Rise of Resistance to Urban Renewal. Planning Perspectives. 2009; 24 (4) : 409-433.|
|Samuel Zipp, None A Social Movement From Above. Reviews in American History. 2008; 36 (2) : 286-293.|
|Samuel Zipp, None Suburbia and American Exceptionalism. Reviews in American History. 2008; 36 (4) : 594-601.|
|Zipp, Sandy WHERE WE ARE NOW: Notes from Los Angeles D. J. Waldie Patt Morrison. Southern California Quarterly. 2006; 88 (3) : 377-379.|
Review: Daniel Belgrad, The Culture of Spontaneity: Improvisation and the Arts in Postwar America and Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture and the Rise of Hip Consumerism.
American Studies International. 1999; 37 (2) : 109-113.
I am currently working on two projects.
The first is a study of political and cultural internationalism in the United States during and after World War II but before the Cold War--when various Americans imagined a number of alternative global futures for the nation. I am interested in the work of popular intellectuals such as EB White and Wendell Willkie, who earned wide audiences for various forms of "popular internationalism." I am at work on a book for Harvard University Press about Wendell Willkie, his journey around the world in 1942, his best-selling book One World, and the rise and fall of his vision of popular internationalism.
The second is a long term investigation of the linked discourses of modern selfhood and metropolitan form, concentrating on changing understandings of lived everyday selfhood across the 20th century.
I have edited (with Nathan Storring) a selection of the works (including essays, interviews, letters) of the writer and thinker Jane Jacobs, author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities. The book, titled Vital Little Plans: The Uncollected Works of Jane Jacobs, was released by Random House in the fall of 2016.
My first book, Manhattan Projects: The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York (Oxford, 2010), offered a new look at the politics and culture of urban renewal in Manhattan in the twenty years after World War II. I focus on the ways that superblock planning and modernist architecture remade the cityscape of the postwar city and were themselves remade by resistance to their overweening imposition on the lives of ordinary New Yorkers. Urban renewal, I show, was at the heart of New York's simultaneous rise to "world city" status and fall into the "urban crisis."
The book argues that urban renewal in New York is best understood as more than a set of national or municipal policies. I believe that it was also a highly contested vision and cultural symbol, one that was shaped by its interactions with the political culture of the domestic Cold War. In the postwar era the term "urban renewal" came to be understood, by both its proponents and its critics, as a symbol of the way that superblock urban planning and modernist architecture was remaking the daily lives of city-dwellers.
Specifically, I look at four iconic postwar sites: the United Nations Headquarters complex, Metropolitan Life's middle-income housing development Stuyvesant Town, public housing in East Harlem, and the Lincoln Square renewal area that included Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and show how they were physically and culturally constructed as agents and emblems of urban transformation. I explain how they were pitched as cures for urban obsolescence, depicted as symbols of a new city, and received by New Yorkers as reorderings of the fundamental experience of city life.
A full list of publications:
Co-editor (with Nathan Storring), Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs (Random House, 2016)
Manhattan Projects: The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York (Oxford University Press, 2010)
"When Wendell Willkie Went Visiting: Between Interdependency and Exceptionalism in the Public Feeling for One World," American Literary History 26:3 (Fall 2014) 484-510.
"Primal Forces" (on Jane Jacobs), n+1 Magazine, December 22, 2016.
“Reading Jane Jacobs Anew,” (with Nathan Storring), The Atlantic City Lab, October 10, 2016.
“Remembering and Understanding Jane Jacobs, Beyond Left and Right,” (with Nathan Storring), The Toronto Globe and Mail, September 30, 2016.
“Williamsburg Houses,” (with Nicholas Dagen Bloom), in Nicholas Dagen Bloom and Matthew Gordon Lasner, eds., Affordable Housing in New York: The People, Places, and Policies that Transformed A City (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015) 94-99.
“Stuyvesant Town,” (with Nicholas Dagen Bloom), in Nicholas Dagen Bloom and Matthew Gordon Lasner, eds., Affordable Housing in New York: The People, Places, and Policies that Transformed A City (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015) 151-155.
“The Cultural Structure of Postwar Urbanism,” Review Essay, American Quarterly 66:2 (June 2014) 477-488.
“Rip it Up and Start Again? Response to Forum on ‘The Roots and Routes of Urban Renewal,’” Journal of Urban History 40:4 (June 2014) 644-647.
"The Roots and Routes of Urban Renewal," Journal of Urban History 39:3 (May 2013) 366-391.
"Introduction: Thinking Through Urban Renewal," (with Michael Carriere), Journal of Urban History 39:3 (May 2013) 359-365.
"Superblock Stories; Or Ten Episodes in the History of Public Housing," Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice 17:1 (March 2013) 38-73.
"Raising The Wild Flag: E.B. White, World Government, and Local Cosmopolitanism in the Postwar Moment," The Journal of Transnational American Studies 4:1 (March 2012) 1-33.
"Living for the City: On Jane Jacobs," Review: Michael Sorkin, Twenty Minutes in Manhattan and Anthony Flint, Wrestling With Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City. The Nation, March 18, 2010.
"Making Place: The Cultural History of the Built Environment," The Proceedings of Spaces of History/Histories of Space: Emerging Approaches to the Study of the Built Environment, College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley, eScholarship, University of California, September 15, 2010.
"Burning Down The House," Review: Jonathan Soffer, Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City and Joe Flood: The Fires: How A Computer Formula, Big Ideas, and the Best of Intentions Burned Down New York City—and Determined the Future of Cities. The Nation, December 13, 2010.
"The Battle of Lincoln Square: Neighborhood Culture and the Rise of Resistance to Urban Renewal," Planning Perspectives 24:4 (October 2009) 409-433.
"A Social Movement From Above," Review: Kim Moody, From Welfare State to Real Estate: Regime Change in New York City,1974 to the Present. Reviews in American History, 36: 2, (June 2008) 286-293.
"Suburbia and American Exceptionalism," Review: Robert Beauregard, When America Became Suburban. Reviews in American History, 36: 4 (December 2008) 594-601.
"Jane Jacobs, Reconsidered." Review: Alice Sparberg Alexiou, Jane Jacobs: Urban Visionary. In These Times, August 2006, 41-43.
"A Landmark's Middle-Class Myth," New York Times Op-Ed, September 3, 2006.
"The Price Isn't Right." Review: Lizabeth Cohen, A Consumer's Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America. In These Times, April 22, 2003.
"Casualties of Consensus." Review: Michael Sorkin and Sharon Zukin, eds., After The World Trade Center: Rethinking New York City. In These Times, September 16, 2002. 22-25.
"Centrifugal Cities." Review: Robert M. Fogelson, Downtown: Its Rise and Fall, 1880-1950. The Washington Post. December 26, 2001. C7.
"The Battle of San Francisco." Review: Rebecca Solnit, Hollow City: The Siege of San Francisco and the Crisis of American Urbanism. In These Times, April 2, 2001. 22-25.
"Botched Burbs." Review: Rosalyn Baxandall and Elizabeth Ewen, Picture Windows: How The Suburbs Happened and Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Jeff Speck, Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. In These Times, July 10, 2000. 19-21.
Review: Daniel Belgrad, The Culture of Spontaneity: Improvisation and the Arts in Postwar America and Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture and the Rise of Hip Consumerism. American Studies International 37:2 (June 1999). 109-113.
|1999||MA||George Washington University|
|AMST 1612D - Cities of Sound: Place and History in American Pop Music|
|AMST 2220B - Culture, Politics and the Metropolitan-Built Environment|
|URBN 1200 - The United States Metropolis, 1945-2000|
|URBN 1870Q - Cities in Mind: Modern Urban Thought and Theory|
|URBN 1981 - Honors Thesis Workshop|