Download Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics Audiobook

Fear City: New Yorks Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics Audiobook, by Kim Phillips-Fein Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Kim Phillips-Fein Narrator: Pam Ward Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2017 ISBN: 9781541473461
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An epic, riveting history of New York City on the edge of disaster―and an anatomy of the austerity politics that continue to shape the world today

When the news broke in 1975 that New York City was on the brink of fiscal collapse, few believed it was possible. How could the country’s largest metropolis fail? How could the capital of the financial world go bankrupt? Yet the city was indeed billions of dollars in the red, with no way to pay back its debts. Bankers and politicians alike seized upon the situation as evidence that social liberalism, which New York famously exemplified, was unworkable. The city had to slash services, freeze wages, and fire thousands of workers, they insisted, or financial apocalypse would ensue.

In this vivid account, historian Kim Phillips-Fein tells the remarkable story of the crisis that engulfed the city. With unions and ordinary citizens refusing to accept retrenchment, the budget crunch became a struggle over the soul of New York, pitting fundamentally opposing visions of the city against each other. Drawing on never-before-used archival sources and interviews with key players in the crisis, Fear City shows how the brush with bankruptcy permanently transformed New York―and reshaped ideas about government across America.

At once a sweeping history of some of the most tumultuous times in New York’s past, a gripping narrative of last-minute machinations and backroom deals and an origin story of the politics of austerity, Fear City is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the resurgent fiscal conservatism of today.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Narrating this well-documented account of the city’s policy and leadership missteps during that time, Pam Ward captures the intensity and broader importance of how competing ideologies and hostilities played out among the various levels of government. She is equally sensitive to the audiobook’s fascinating characters and the urban governance issues now being debated across the country. Her dramatic delivery is appealing and always in sync with the narrative flow. This important history of one city puts flesh on the broader debates we’re having about the role of government in our society today.”

    AudioFile

  • Fear City helps sheds much-needed light on a range of contemporary crises, from the starvation of public services amidst enormous private wealth to the rise of Donald Trump. Kim Phillips-Fein is a historian of the first order.”

    Naomi Klein, New York Times bestselling author

  • “This revealing narrative of New York’s transformation from working-class social democracy to the glittering home of fancy finance reminds us that behind the mask of austerity there always lurks a bitter politics of class.”

    James K. Galbraith, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Paced like a thriller and extremely well written…with almost cinematic flair, and by the time the credits roll, the significance of her accomplishment becomes clear. The book should be required reading for all those interested in the past, present, and future of democratic politics.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A powerful and involving work of narrative history…This is a book that deserves an audience beyond New York City history buffs, and all the more so because of its relevance to our political moment. The young Donald Trump makes a brief cameo appearance as an icon of the new New York.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Given events since, New York’s crisis―and the author’s astute account of it―seems oddly timely…Sobering, smart reading with many pointed lessons for activists.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2017
  • A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book of 2017
  • Finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for History

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About the Author

Kimberly Phillips-Fein is the author of Fear City and Invisible Hands. She teaches history at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and has written for the Nation, Dissent, the Baffler, the Atlantic, and the New York Times, among other publications.

About the Narrator

Pam Ward, an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator, found her true calling reading books for the blind and physically handicapped for the Library of Congress’ Talking Books program. The fact that she can work with Blackstone Audio from the beauty of the mountains of Southern Oregon is an unexpected bonus.