In How States Shaped Postwar America, historian Nicholas Bloom reveals the enduring impact of activist states in an era of unsteady federal power. Anchoring the story on the example set by New York governor Nelson Rockefeller, Bloom shows how Rockefeller took the lead on a number of aggressive initiatives, including urban redevelopment, mass transit, affordable housing, and the environment. His bold efforts inspired other governors and legislators, ultimately leading to the establishment of long-lived city and state policies. For both better and worse, the daily lives of late twentieth-century urban dwellers across the nation changed as a direct result of sustained state action.
Nicholas Dagen Bloom is a Professor of Social Sciences at New York Institute of Technology. He is the Co-Editor of the Journal of Planning History and the author or editor of eight books about urban development, including Public Housing That Worked: New York in the Twentieth Century and, with Matthew Lasner, Affordable Housing in New York: The People, Places, and Policies That Transformed a City.