Winning the War, Losing the Peace: The Impact of WWII on NYC
In 1940, New York was the largest city, the greatest industrial center, and the busiest port on earth. As World War II got underway, the Brooklyn Navy Yard outproduced Japan in battleships, and the city’s harbor served as the Port of Embarkation for the European Theater of War. In the end, however, the war undermined New York’s industrial status and led to the rise of new factories and economic opportunities in the South and West. By the 1970s the great metropolis was in decline, and seemed to be on track to mirror the experience of the Rust Belt cities. It did not work out that way. This seminar will look at World War II’s immediate and longer lasting influences on New York City.
Kenneth T. Jackson is a legendary professor at Columbia University where he teaches “The History of the City of New York” and which granted him its Great Teacher Award in 1999. His The Encyclopedia of New York City is a massive reference work encompassing the city’s entire history, and he is a featured expert in dozens of documentaries, including New York, directed by Ric Burns for PBS. Professor Jackson has also served as president of the Urban History Association, the Society of American Historians, the Organization of American Historians, and the New-York Historical Society.