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Roughly Speaking episode 420:
In a second conversation with historian Peter Levy, we hear about The Great Uprising, some 750 urban riots that erupted in the 1960s.
In a second conversation with historian Peter Levy, we hear about The Great Uprising, some 750 urban riots — more than most Americans might imagine — that erupted in the 1960s, from Newark to Los Angeles, from Detroit to Baltimore. According to Levy’s new history, upwards of 525 cities were affected. The two largest waves of unrest and violence came in 1967 and during the spring of 1968, after the assassination in Memphis of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. In those two years alone, 25 people were killed and nearly 7,000 injured. Law enforcement officers made 45,000 arrests, and property damage reached what today would be close to a billion dollars.
Peter Levy argues that, regarded collectively, the Great Uprising was, like the Great War and the Great Depression, one of the central events that defined he United States in the 20th Century. Levy's book examines the conditions that led to the riots, and he speaks with Dan about race relations in the U.S. today.
Levy, a professor of history at York College, lives in Towson. He is the author of, "The Great Uprising: Race Riots in Urban America during the 1960s," published by Cambridge University Press.For more about the York riots, listen to Episode 419.
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