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24 books about Cincinnati
Results by Title
24 books about Cincinnati
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press
In 1877 the thirty-year-old artist Mary Louise McLaughlin wrote China Painting, the first manual on the subject in the United States written by a woman for women. Extremely successful, it is now accepted as the book that launched the china painting movement in America.
When in 1898 McLaughlin decided to produce porcelain, the most difficult of ceramics, she showed the determination and exactitude that were her trademarks. Already renowned as a ceramicist, she became the first to produce studio porcelain in America and the first to discover the technique for decorating under the glaze. Her work was welcomed with enthusiasm in New York and Paris.
Despite the enormous influence of Mary Louise McLaughlin on the history of American ceramics, Anita Ellis’s The Ceramic Career of M. Louise McLaughlin is the first definitive study dedicated to her accomplishments.
Anita Ellis depicts the many challenges McLaughlin encountered in pursuit of her ultimately successful career. Not the least of these was her rivalry with the formidable Maria Longworth Nichols, fellow Cincinnatian and founder of the Rookwood Pottery Company. Another was that of being a woman in the arts: her primary goal had been to paint portraits on canvas, but Victorian society did not afford opportunities in what was considered a male sphere.
Replete with historic photos and color illustrations of many of McLaughlin’s works, The Ceramic Career of M. Louise McLaughlin is a tribute to a woman artist who rose to one of the most esteemed positions in her field.
In the summer of 1943, as World War II raged overseas, the United States also faced internal strife. Earlier that year, Detroit had erupted in a series of race riots that killed dozens and destroyed entire neighborhoods. Across the country, mayors and city councils sought to defuse racial tensions and promote nonviolent solutions to social and economic injustices. In Cincinnati, the result of those efforts was the Mayor’s Friendly Relations Committee, later renamed the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission (CHRC).
The Cincinnati Human Relations Commission: A History, 1943–2013, is a decade-by-decade chronicle of the agency: its accomplishments, challenges, and failures. The purpose of municipal human relations agencies like the CHRC was to give minority groups access to local government through internal advocacy, education, mediation, and persuasion—in clear contrast to the tactics of lawsuits, sit-ins, boycotts, and marches adopted by many external, nongovernmental organizations.
In compiling this history, Phillip J. Obermiller and Thomas E. Wagner have drawn on an extensive base of archival records, reports, speeches, and media sources. In addition, archival and contemporary interviews provide first-person insight into the events and personalities that shaped the agency and the history of civil rights in this midwestern city.
During the pre-Civil War period, Cincinnati was the fastest growing and, according to many contemporary observers, most interesting city in America. This classic study, completed in the early 1970s, focuses on the community in 1840 to explain its success but also to suggest some broader patterns in the city’s development and American urbanization.
Using local census records, city directories, tax lists, newspapers, and other contemporary sources, Walter Stix Glazer describes the demographic, social, economic, and political structure of the adult white male population in 1840 and then develops a unified model of its social and functional organizations. This analysis (based on computerized records of thousands of Cincinnatians) also documents some broader trends between 1820 and 1860: the volatility of Cincinnati’s labor force, the career patterns of its homeowners, and the leadership of a small group of successful citizens active in a broad range of voluntary associations.
This statistical analysis is complemented with sections of traditional historical narrative and biographical profiles that illustrate the general themes of the book. Glazer argues that Cincinnati’s success up to 1840 was due to a unified booster vision and a cohesive community elite that gradually broke down, as a result of ethnic and economic division, over the next twenty years. This story has broader implications in terms of the character of Jacksonian democracy and American urbanization.
Margaret Garner was the runaway slave who, when confronted with capture just outside of Cincinnati, slit the throat of her toddler daughter rather than have her face a life in slavery. Her story has inspired Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a film based on the novel starring Oprah Winfrey, and an opera. Yet, her life has defied solid historical treatment. In Driven toward Madness, Nikki M. Taylor brilliantly captures her circumstances and her transformation from a murdering mother to an icon of tragedy and resistance.
Taylor, the first African American woman to write a history of Garner, grounds her approach in black feminist theory. She melds history with trauma studies to account for shortcomings in the written record. In so doing, she rejects distortions and fictionalized images; probes slavery’s legacies of sexual and physical violence and psychic trauma in new ways; and finally fleshes out a figure who had been rendered an apparition.
From Improvement to City Planning emphasizes the ways people in nineteenth-century America managed urban growth. Historian Henry Binford shows how efforts to improve space were entwined with the evolution of urban governance (i.e., regulation)—and also influenced by a small group of advantaged families.
Binford looks specifically at Cincinnati, Ohio, then the largest and most important interior city west of the Appalachian Mountains. He shows that it was not just industrialization, but also beliefs about morality, race, health, poverty, and “slum” environments, that demanded an improvement of urban space. As such, movements for public parks and large-scale sanitary engineering in the 1840s and ’50s initiated the beginning of modern city planning. However, there were limitations and consequences to these efforts..
Many Americans believed that remaking city environments could also remake citizens. From Improvement to City Planning examines how the experiences of city living in the early republic prompted city dwellers to think about and shape urban space.
Nineteenth-century Cincinnati was northern in its geography, southern in its economy and politics, and western in its commercial aspirations. While those identities presented a crossroad of opportunity for native whites and immigrants, African Americans endured economic repression and a denial of civil rights, compounded by extreme and frequent mob violence. No other northern city rivaled Cincinnati’s vicious mob spirit.
Frontiers of Freedom follows the black community as it moved from alienation and vulnerability in the 1820s toward collective consciousness and, eventually, political self-respect and self-determination. As author Nikki M. Taylor points out, this was a community that at times supported all-black communities, armed self-defense, and separate, but independent, black schools. Black Cincinnati’s strategies to gain equality and citizenship were as dynamic as they were effective. When the black community united in armed defense of its homes and property during an 1841 mob attack, it demonstrated that it was no longer willing to be exiled from the city as it had been in 1829.
Frontiers of Freedom chronicles alternating moments of triumph and tribulation, of pride and pain; but more than anything, it chronicles the resilience of the black community in a particularly difficult urban context at a defining moment in American history.
Marian Alexander Spencer was born in 1920 in the Ohio River town of Gallipolis, Ohio, one year after the “Red Summer” of 1919 that saw an upsurge in race riots and lynchings. Following the example of her grandfather, an ex-slave and community leader, Marian joined the NAACP at thirteen and grew up to achieve not only a number of civic leadership firsts in her adopted home city of Cincinnati, but a legacy of lasting civil rights victories.
Of these, the best known is the desegregation of Cincinnati’s Coney Island amusement park. She also fought to desegregate Cincinnati schools and to stop the introduction of observers in black voting precincts in Ohio. Her campaign to raise awareness of industrial toxic-waste practices in minority neighborhoods was later adapted into national Superfund legislation.
In 2012, Marian’s friend and colleague Dot Christenson sat down with her to record her memories. The resulting biography not only gives us the life story of remarkable leader but encapsulates many of the twentieth century’s greatest struggles and advances. Spencer’s story will prove inspirational and instructive to citizens and students alike.
King of the Queen City is the first comprehensive history of King Records, one of the most influential independent record companies in the history of American music. Founded by businessman Sydney Nathan in the mid-1940s, this small outsider record company in Cincinnati, Ohio, attracted a diverse roster of artists, including James Brown, the Stanley Brothers, Grandpa Jones, Redd Foxx, Earl Bostic, Bill Doggett, Ike Turner, Roy Brown, Freddie King, Eddie Vinson, and Johnny "Guitar" Watson. While other record companies concentrated on one style of music, King was active in virtually all genres of vernacular American music, from blues and R & B to rockabilly, bluegrass, western swing, and country.
A progressive company in a reactionary time, King was led by an interracial creative and executive staff that redefined the face and voice of American music as well as the way it was recorded and sold. Drawing on personal interviews, research in newspapers and periodicals, and deep access to the King archives, Jon Hartley Fox weaves together the elements of King's success, focusing on the dynamic personalities of the artists, producers, and key executives such as Syd Nathan, Henry Glover, and Ralph Bass. The book also includes a foreword by legendary guitarist, singer, and songwriter Dave Alvin.
The history of Cincinnati runs much deeper than the stories of hogs that once roamed downtown streets. In addition to hosting the nation’s first professional baseball team, the Tall Stacks riverboat celebration, and the May Festival, there’s another side to the city—one that includes some of the most famous names and organizations in American letters.
Literary Cincinnati fills in this missing chapter, taking the reader on a joyous ride with some of the great literary personalities who have shaped life in the Queen City. Meet the young Samuel Clemens working in a local print shop, Fanny Trollope struggling to open her bizarre bazaar, Sinclair Lewis researching Babbitt, hairdresser Eliza Potter telling the secrets of her rich clientele, and many more who defined the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Queen City.
For lovers of literature everywhere—but especially in Cincinnati—this is a literary tour that will entertain, inform, and amuse.
Cincinnati's East End river community has been home to generations of working-class people. This racially mixed community has roots that reach back as far as seven generations. But the community is vulnerable. Developers bulldoze "raggedy" but affordable housing to build upscale condos, even as East Enders fight to preserve the community by participating in urban development planning controlled by powerful outsiders.
This book portrays how East Enders practice the preservation of community. Drawing on more than six years of anthropological research and advocacy in the East End, Rhoda Halperin argues for redefining community not merely as a place, but as a set of culturally embedded and class-marked practices that give priority to caring for children and the elderly, procuring livelihood, and providing support for family, friends, and neighbors. These practices create the structures of community within the larger urban power structure.
Halperin uses different genres to weave the voices of East Enders throughout the book. Poems and narratives offer poignant insights into the daily struggles against impersonal market forces that work against the struggle for livelihood. This firsthand account questions commonly held assumptions about working-class people. In a fresh way, it reveals the cultural construction of marginality, from the viewpoints of both "real East Enders" and the urban power structure.
The Speaking Stone: Stories Cemeteries Tell is a literary love letter to the joys of wandering graveyards. While working on a novel, author and longtime Cincinnati resident Michael Griffith starts visiting Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum, the nation’s third-largest cemetery. Soon he’s taking almost daily jaunts, following curiosity and accident wherever they lead. The result is this fascinating collection of essays that emerge from chance encounters with an interesting headstone, odd epitaph, unusual name, or quirk of memory. Researching obituaries, newspaper clippings, and family legacies, Griffith uncovers stories of race, feminism, art, and death.
Rather than sticking to the cemetery’s most famous, or infamous, graves, Griffith stays true to the principle of ramble and incidental discovery. The result is an eclectic group of subjects, ranging from well-known figures like the feminist icon and freethinker Fanny Wright to those much less celebrated— a spiritual medium, a temperance advocate, a young heiress who died under mysterious circumstances. Nearly ninety photos add dimension and often an element of playfulness.
The Speaking Stone examines what endures and what does not, reflecting on the vanity and poignancy of our attempt to leave monuments that last. In doing so, it beautifully weaves connections born out of the storyteller’s inquisitive mind.
A case study about the formation of American pluralism and religious liberty, The Spires Still Point to Heaven explores why—and more importantly how—the early growth of Cincinnati influenced the changing face of the United States. Matthew Smith deftly chronicles the urban history of this thriving metropolis in the mid-nineteenth century. As Protestants and Catholics competed, building rival domestic missionary enterprises, increased religious reform and expression shaped the city. In addition, the different ethnic and religious beliefs informed debates on race, slavery, and immigration, as well as disease, temperance reform, and education.
Specifically, Smith explores the Ohio Valley’s religious landscape from 1788 through the nineteenth century, examining its appeal to evangelical preachers, abolitionists, social critics, and rabbis. He traces how Cincinnati became a battleground for newly energized social reforms following a cholera epidemic, and how grassroots political organizing was often tied to religious issues. He also illustrates the anti-immigrant sentiments and anti-Catholic nativism pervasive in this era.
The first monograph on Cincinnati’s religious landscape before the Civil War, The Spires Still Point to Heaven highlights Cincinnati’s unique circumstances and how they are key to understanding the cultural and religious development of the nation.
For two spring days in 2001, John Updike visited Cincinnati, Ohio, engaging and charming his audiences, reading from his fiction, fielding questions, sitting for an interview, participating in a panel discussion, and touring the Queen City.
Successful writers typically spend a portion of their lives traveling the country to give readings and lectures. While a significant experience for author and audience alike, this public spectacle, once covered in detailed newspaper accounts, now is barely noticed by the media. Updike in Cincinnati—composed of a wealth of materials, including session transcripts, short stories discussed and read by the author, photographs, and anecdotal observations about Updike's performance and personal interactions--is unique in its comprehensive coverage of a literary visit by a major American author.
Updike's eloquence, intelligence, improvisational skills, and gift for comedy are all on display. With natural grace, he discusses a range of topics, including his novels and short stories, his mother and oldest son as writers, Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson, the Nobel Prize, his appearance on The Simpsons, the Cold War, and Hamlet.
Augmented with commentary by critics W. H. Pritchard and Donald Greiner, and an introduction and interview by James Schiff, Updike in Cincinnati provides an engaging and detailed portrait of one of America's contemporary literary giants.
Madisonville was one of the key settlements of the Ohio Valley Fort Ancient people and was the subject of James Griffin’s 1943 classic, The Fort Ancient Aspect. It is a site rich in burials and artifacts documenting the earliest European influences. Drooker re-explores a century of excavation to explain how Contact Period events affected Madisonville inhabitants and their links to eastern Fort Ancient, northern Ohio, Iroquoian, Oneota, and Mississipian groups.
Almost every American city has or had neighborhoods like Clifton, which developed in the mid-nineteenth century as a silk-stocking suburb with a more diverse population than most observers noticed. Incorporated by Cincinnati in the late nineteenth century, Clifton had a reputation as a better-than-average place in which to live, a view that persisted until the end of the twentieth century.
In Visions of Place, Zane L. Miller treats ideas about the nature of cities—including their neighborhoods and their suburbs—as the dynamic factors in Clifton’s experience and examines the changes in Clifton's social, physical, civic, and political structure resulting from these transforming notions. These structural shifts involved a variety of familiar nineteenth- and twentieth-century urban phenomena, including not only the switch from suburban village to city neighborhood and the salience of interracial fears but also the rise of formal city planning and conflicts among Protestants, Catholics, and Jews over the future of Clifton's religious and ethnic ambiance.
Miller concludes with a policy analysis of current and future prospects for neighborhoods like Clifton and the cities and metropolitan areas of which they form a part.
Walking the Steps of Cincinnati: A Guide to the Queen City’s Scenic and Historic Secrets is a revised and updated version of Mary Anna DuSablon’s original guidebook, first published in 1998. This new edition describes and maps thirty-four walks of varying lengths and levels of difficulty around the neighborhoods of Cincinnati, following scenic or historic routes and taking in many of the city’s more than four hundred sets of steps. Some of these walks follow the same routes laid out by DuSablon in the first edition of the guide; others have been revised to reflect changes in the city and its neighborhoods, the physical condition of the steps, and the scenic views of Cincinnati that they afford; and still others are altogether new.
In writing their descriptions of the walks, authors Connie J. Harrell and John Cicmanec have retraced each path and taken all new photographs of the steps as well as architectural and natural landmarks along the way. Cartographer Brian Balsley has drawn a fresh set of maps, and Roxanne Qualls, vice-mayor of Cincinnati, has graciously written a new foreword.
Joseph J. Mersman was a liquor merchant, a German American immigrant who aspired—successfully—to become a self-made man. Hundreds of the residents of Mersman’s hometown in Germany immigrated to Cincinnati in the 1830s, joining many thousands of other German immigrants. In 1847, at the age of twenty-three, Mersman began recording his activities in a bound volume, small enough to fit into his coat pocket. His diary, filled with work and play, eating and drinking, flirting and dancing, provides a unique picture of everyday life, first in Cincinnati and then in St. Louis, the new urban centers of the emerging Midwest.
Outside of Gold Rush diaries and emigration journals, few narrative records of the antebellum period have been published. Illustrated with photographs, maps, and period advertisements, the diary reveals how a young man worked to establish himself during an era that was rich in opportunity.
As a whiskey rectifier, Mersman bought distilled spirits, redistilled or reprocessed them to remove contaminants or increase the alcohol content, and added various flavorings before selling his product to liquor retailers. In his diary, he describes scrambling for capital, marketing his wares, and arranging transportation by steamboat, omnibus, and train. Although the business that he sought to master was eliminated by the passage of the Pure Food Law of 1906, Mersman, like most rectifiers, was a reputable wholesaler. Merchants like him played an important role in distributing liquor in nineteenth-century America.
Mersman confronted serious disease, both as a sufferer from syphilis and as a witness to two devastating cholera epidemics. Unlike other residents of St. Louis, who fled the relative safety of the countryside, he remained in the city and saw the impact of the epidemics on the community.
Linda A. Fisher’s extensive, insightful, and highly readable annotations add a wealth of background information to Mersman’s story. Her professional training and career as a physician give her a particularly valuable perspective on the public health aspects of Mersman’s life and times.
Whose School Is It?: Women, Children, Memory, and Practice in the City is a success story with roadblocks, crashes, and detours. Rhoda Halperin uses feminist theorist and activist Gloria Anzaldúa's ideas about borderlands created by colliding cultures to deconstruct the creation and advancement of a public community charter school in a diverse, long-lived urban neighborhood on the Ohio River. Class, race, and gender mix with age, local knowledge, and place authenticity to create a page-turning story of grit, humor, and sheer stubbornness. The school has grown and flourished in the face of daunting market forces, class discrimination, and an increasingly unfavorable national climate for charter schools. Borderlands are tense spaces. The school is a microcosm of the global city.
Many theoretical strands converge in this book—feminist theory, ideas about globalization, class analysis, and accessible narrative writing—to present some new approaches in urban anthropology. The book is multi-voiced and nuanced in ways that provide authenticity and texture to the real circumstances of urban lives. At the same time, identities are threatened as community practices clash with rules and regulations imposed by outsiders.
Since it is based on fifteen years of ethnographic fieldwork in the community and the city, Whose School Is It? brings unique long-term perspectives on continuities and disjunctures in cities. Halperin's work as researcher and advocate also provides insider perspectives that are rare in the literature of urban anthropology.
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press