For thirty years, boatfuls of unlucky Russian serfs were ported thousands of miles away from their homes to grow crops on the California coast. How did they stay Russian in what would become NorCal?
I want to compare the restrictions on mobility imposed by local control of zoning in the US with the top-down system used in China – rather remarkably, the natural whims of homeowners in Marin County and the Upper West Side have come to align with the technocrats at the CCP.
Why did the Chinese government seek to grow rich by shrinking its population?
Regarding a recent NY Times piece on how precarity interacts with a new slice of the housing market, which itself is old as time.
I’m in the middle of the rightly much-lauded How to Hide an Empire by Daniel Immerwahr – expect a review shortly. Importantly, although Immerwahr has unimpeachable credentials when it comes to academic history, Hide an Empire is not meant to overturn our understanding of belle-epoque American imperialism; it’s a popular work, briskly written, with at … Continue reading Notes Towards a Biography of Martin Van Buren →
Fighting for the people that keep Hollywood running was a tough gig in the 1930s – what can we learn about labor history from two buildings built for crew unions?
Happily, I got to go to Dodger Stadium yesterday to watch my Nationals lose the third of a three-game series and slink back east, well and truly swept. The loss didn’t bug me too much though, as going to Dodger Stadium means going downtown and going to downtown Los Angeles means getting to see some … Continue reading Local Notes No. 3 – The Brock & Co Jewelers Building in Downtown Los Angeles →
On one unseasonably warm day in December 1975, two candidates vying for the mayoralty of Clyde Hill, WA, a 3200-strong suburb sandwiched between Seattle and Bellevue, met in the office of the King County Superintendent of Elections. Against all odds, the normal course of count and recount in the scheduled November election had exhausted itself … Continue reading Local Notes No. 2: Clyde Hill, WA’s Coin-Flip Mayor →
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