High Hopes

The Rise and Decline of Buffalo, New York

By Mark Goldman

Subjects: New York/regional
Paperback : 9780873957359, 334 pages, June 1984
Hardcover : 9780873957342, 334 pages, June 1984

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Table of contents



1. The Pan American Exposition: World's Fair as Historical Metaphor

2. Ups and Downs During the Early Years of the Nineteenth Century

3. The Impact of Commerce and Manufacturing on Mid-Nineteenth Century Buffalo

4. Ethnics: Germans, Irish, and Blacks

5. Buffalo's WASPs Respond to Change

6. The Coming of Industry

7. The Response to Industrialization: Life and Labor, Values and Beliefs

8. The Changing Structure of the City: Neighborhoods and the Rise of Downtown

9. Ethnics and the Economy During World War I and the 1920s

10. Buffalo defaults: The City During the Depression and World War II

11. Paranoia: The Fear of Outsiders and Radicals During the 1950s and 1960s

12. Praying for a Miracle

Conclusion: The Rise and Decline of Buffalo, New York





In 1901 Buffalo was the national symbol of the country's optimism, pride, and braggadocio. Toward the close of the century, it epitomizes the sense of economic and demographic crisis prevalent in American industrial cities.

High Hopes analyzes and interprets the historical forces—external and internal— that have shaped New York's second largest city. It examines the historical shifts that have served as a catalyst in Buffalo's growth, charting the city's evolution from a small frontier community through its development as a major commercial center and its emergence and eventual decline as a significant industrial metropolis. Mark Goldman looks at the detailed patterns of local daily life from the settlement of the village in the early nineteenth century to the tragedy of Love Canal. In the process, he covers a wide range of topics, including work, ethnicity, family and community life, class structure, and values and beliefs. By bringing to bear on the events and developments that have shaped Buffalo a broad range of subjects and ideas, Goldman helps readers to understand the vast array of complex forces at work in the historical development of all American cities.

Mark Goldman is Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, Empire State College, State University of New York at Buffalo.