Main Street to Mainframes: Landscape and Social Change in Poughkeepsie (Hardcover)

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Main Street to Mainframes: Landscape and Social Change in Poughkeepsie Cover Image


The history of growth, decline, and revitalization in Poughkeepsie, New York, parallels that of many other small northeastern cities. Main Street to Mainframes tells the story of Poughkeepsie's transformation over the past three centuries--from an agricultural market town, to a small city with a diversified economy centered on Main Street, to an urban region dependent on the success of one corporation--and how this transformation has affected the lives and landscape of its inhabitants. As it adjusted to major changes in agriculture, transportation, and industry, Poughkeepsie was also shaped by the forces and tensions of immigration and race. The voices of immigrant and migrant newcomers, from the Germans, Irish, and African Americans of the nineteenth century to the Italians, Poles, and Latinos of the twentieth, enliven the narrative and offer personal perspectives on the social and demographic shifts that have taken place over the years. The book also places Poughkeepsie in the context of the mid-Hudson Valley's other cities--Kingston, Newburgh, and Hudson--as they competed from the colonial period onward. Finally, the book examines recent revitalization efforts based on tourism, culture, and the arts.

More than just a local history, Main Street to Mainframes addresses important issues in urban and regional planning, community development, and sociology. Like a palimpsest, Poughkeepsie shows how past landscapes live on in the present, and how, over time, popular perceptions both shape and reflect urban and rural realities.

About the Author

At Vassar College, Harvey K. Flad is Professor Emeritus of Geography, and Clyde Griffen is Lucy Maynard Salmon Professor Emeritus of American History. Griffen's previous books include Natives and Newcomers: The Ordering of Opportunity in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Poughkeepsie (with Sally Griffen) and Meanings for Manhood: Constructions of Masculinity in Victorian America (coedited with Mark C. Carnes).
Product Details
ISBN: 9781438426136
ISBN-10: 1438426135
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication Date: May 1st, 2009
Pages: 465
Language: English
Series: Suny Series