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Roughly Speaking podcast: Baltimore Politics: A four-part series

Presenting a four-part series on Baltimore's political history with Matt Crenson. His book from Johns Hopkins University Press is "Baltimore: A Political History." Its official release is set for August 8 at the Baltimore City Archives. He will also appear at the Ivy Bookshop in September.

Listen to episodes in the players below or through your favorite podcast app.

• Part IV: Baltimore Politics, Part IV: Factions, race, riot and renaissance: Concluding our series on Baltimore’s political history with Matthew A. Crenson, we hear about the factions and prejudices that influenced municipal elections and public policy in the 20th Century. Crenson talks about the post-World War II mayoralties of Thomas J. D’Alesandro Jr., a master politician; that of his son, Thomas D’Alesandro III, who was mayor during the riots of 1968; and those of William Donald Schaefer and Kurt L. Schmoke.

• Part III: Growing pains, public works, a devastating fire, a segregated city: Political historian Matt Crenson describes Baltimore in the decades after the Civil War — slowly building up its industrial base, paving streets, dealing with unsanitary conditions. The post-war period also saw the rise of the Gorman-Rasin political machine. After the Great Fire of 1904, city leaders rebuilt downtown Baltimore, adding a sewage system to the underlying infrastructure. They also made racial segregation official, forcing blacks and whites to live separately for decades to come.

• Part II: Rise of the Know-Nothings and an occupied city during the Civil War: Matt Crenson talks about the city in the middle of the 19th Century, when the Know-Nothings took over City Hall and, at the outbreak of the Civil War, a mob attacked Union troops on Pratt Street. To maintain peace and orderly commerce, President Lincoln dispatched Union troops to occupy Baltimore throughout the war. The war, says Crenson, reshaped the city's culture, economy and politics.

• Part I: A colonial town with limited power and lots of pigs: We start a four-part series on Baltimore's political history with author Matt Crenson. His book, "Baltimore: A Political History," covers four centuries, from the development of Baltimore Town in colonial Maryland to its incorporation in 1796 to its time as an occupied city during the Civil War, through industrialization, segregation, and Baltimore's more recent history.


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