Cleveland’s “Millionaire’s Row” Still Glitters With the Gilded Age’s Unanticipated Legacy

City Founders Expected an Outpost of New England, What They Created Was a Paragon of Immigrant Civic Engagement

The Republicans are convening in Cleveland, and the Cleveland Cavaliers have won the NBA championship after a half-century long drought for Cleveland sports teams, putting intense focus on the city’s past and present. And so I, as a historian, keep getting asked to describe the “essence” of the city in which I live and which I have studied for a number of years.

Most inquiries ask what makes Cleveland special. Too often, the responses that are given to the media are civic booster-speak. Once the fifth-largest city in the nation, …

The Wonderful, Painful Opera of Cleveland

From Idylls to Industrial Wastelands and Back, the City’s Stark Contrasts Will Come Into Focus at This Year’s Republican National Convention

Inside Cuyahoga Valley National Park, through a deep secondary growth forest, a narrow trail skirts the infamous Cuyahoga River following the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal. This …

The South Los Angeles Future Will Be Shared

In a Stronghold of African Americans and Immigrant Integration, New Identities Emerge Rooted in a Sense of Place as Much as Race

The typical story of neighborhood change, often called ethnic succession, is one in which an incoming ethnic group “takes over” and wipes away the past. But that does not capture …

Why I Long for El Swapmeet de la Alameda

The South L.A. Market Once Connected My Family to Mexico; Now It's a Memory of the City We Fled

I miss el Swapmeet de la Alameda, on East 45th Street where South Los Angeles meets the city of Vernon.

I miss how the smell of churros—cinnamon, brown sugar, and baked …

In the 1990s, Los Angeles Was Both Heaven and Hell

Recalling a Decade of Disasters, Political Mobilization, and Great Art

The L.A. Riots. The Northridge Earthquake. The AIDS crisis. Proposition 187. Fires. Mudslides. White flight. Recession and joblessness. The departure of the aerospace industry. The departures of the Rams and …

How California Got Broken to Pieces

The State’s Problem Is Not Big Government, but Too Many Small and Stupid Governments

Wherever you live in California, your county probably doesn’t fit you.

In mountainous and rural areas, your county may be too small to do the big things you need; 24 of …