Examines the effects of globalization on three New York communities—Utica, Cooperstown, and Hartwick.
In what may be the first explicitly comparative study of the effects of globalization on metropolitan and rural communities, In Gotham's Shadow examines how three central New York communities struggled over the last half century to survive in a global economy that seems to have forgotten them. Utica, formerly a city of one hundred thousand, experienced the same trends of suburbanization, deindustrialization, and urban renewal as nearly every American city, with the same mixed results. In Cooperstown and Hartwick, two small villages forty miles south of Utica, the same trends were at work, though with different outcomes. Hartwick may be seen as an example of how small towns have lost their core, while Cooperstown may be seen as an example of how a small town can survive by transforming itself into a tourist destination. Thomas provides extensive historical background mixed with newspaper excerpts and lively interviews that add a human dimension to the transformations these communities have experienced.
Alexander R. Thomas is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York College at Oneonta.