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The curriculum units in this volume grew out of a seminar on the City of New Haven in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The nine teachers who wrote these units have succeeded admirably in demonstrating that the industrial city of the modern era is fully as interesting and important a field of study as the town of colonial times. Through studies of neighborhoods, industries, social groups, and government policies, the units suggest the richness of the city's past. But they are not simply local antiquarian studies. Their authors link developments in the city to the larger developments in the nation and undertake the difficult task of relating the past to the present. The units are notable, we think, not only for the particular topics they present but also for their range of approaches to the study of urban life. In various ways, they draw on different resources and disciplines to study history and use history to enliven the study of other subjects. Some are traditional courses designed for the classroom; others embellish traditional topics through the exploration of material culture and visual aids; still others abandon the classroom entirely. With their profusion of themes and approaches, these units should prove useful to teachers of New Haven history and to anyone interested in the teaching of local history.
Howard R. Lamar
Michael E. McGerr