What are we reading? Our (Co)Action Lab contributors recommend the following publications for your bookshelf or digital library.

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Wires that Bind

by Torsten Kathke, PhD

Book cover for Wires that Bind by KathkeThe arrival of telegraphy and railroads changed power relations throughout the world in the nineteenth century. In the Mesilla region of the American Southwest, it contributed to two distinct and rapid shifts in political and economic power from the 1850s to the 1920s. Torsten Kathke illustrates how the changes these technologies wrought everywhere could be seen at a much accelerated pace here. A local Hispano elite was replaced first by a Hispano-Anglo one and finally a nationally oriented Anglo elite. As various groups tried to gain, hold, and defend power, that region became bound ever closer to the US economy and to the federal government.

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 Small, Gritty, and Green

by Catherine Tumber, PhD

Small Gritty and Green by Catherine Tumber, PhDEqual parts visionary, empirical, and practice-minded, Catherine Tumber’s book argues that small-to-midsize industrial cities can anchor the productive green economy as the U.S. prepares for global warming. Much of urbanism views the metropolis as the quintessential urban form and applies a one-size-fits-all development template to all cities. Tumber explores how things have always worked differently in smaller industrial cities, from their economic and planning histories to their place in literature and sociology to the distinctive ways postwar urban disinvestment played out. Smaller industrial cities have been disproportionately ravaged by urban renewal, sprawl, outsourcing, and economic financialization over the past 40 years. As we reckon with a “third industrial revolution” in renewable energy and the need for greater food security, Tumber argues, these cities – and American workers – can thrive again.

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Boston's Banner Years, 1965–2015: A Saga of Black Success

by Melvin B. Miller, Author & Editor

Boston's Banner Years by Melvin B. Miller book coverThe (Co)Action Lab's Sandra Larson has written a chapter for this eye-opening book that debunks the common narrative of oppression and poverty among Boston's African-American community. She documents three important protest movements in the 1960s and 70s: the successful multi-community mobilization that stopped construction of a highway that would have torn through the heart of Boston; the Mothers for Adequate Welfare movement; and local efforts in the fight to end apartheid in South Africa. In addition, contributing to a chapter on black-led real estate successes, she traces the development of Crosstown Center and the Harvard Commons residential neighborhood.

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Going Public

by Arlene Stein and Jessie Daniels

Going Public by Stein and DanielsThis book provides an excellent guide for experts and scholars seeking to share their expertise and build a community of scholarship with the public.

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Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America

by Deborah and James Fallows

Book cover for Our Towns by James and Deborah FallowsGet it on Amazon