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Stu Levitan welcomes UW professor Paige Glotzer, whose first book is the important and eye-opening examination of the origins of systemic racism in housing, How the Suburbs Were Segregated: Developers and the Business of Exclusionary Housing, 1890-1960, just honored as the recipient of the 2021 Kenneth Jackson Award for the Best Book in North American Urban History from the Urban History Association.
It should come as no surprise that racial segregation has been a bedrock principle of suburban development from its very beginning, way back in the 19th century. In 1891, a British land syndicate called the Lands Trust Company purchased a large tract of land in northern Baltimore MD, formed the Roland Park Company and began developing what became one of the first planned segregated suburbs in the United States. How the leaders of the Roland Park Company formulated their exclusionary practices, and extended their influence into the very structure of federal housing policy, is the business that occupies Prof. Glotzer in her revelatory investigation of racial capitalism, published this spring by the good people at Columbia University Press. It’s a narrative that even implicates some names well known in Madison, including John Nolen, Prof. Richard T. Ely and realtor Paul Stark.
Paige Glotzer is a graduate of NYU, with a Master’s and Ph D from Johns Hopkins University in the aforementioned Baltimore. Since 2018, she has been Assistant Professor and holder of the John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe Chair in the History of American Politics, Institutions, and Political Economy, at the fabled Department of History at the University of Wisconsin. In her young career, she has already received numerous awards for her scholarship on housing segregation, the suburbs, and related topics. And you may recall her appearance on A Public Affair last December.
It’s a pleasure to welcome to Madison BookBeat Dr. Paige Glotzer.