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Palgrave Macmillan

Becoming New York's Finest

Race, Gender, and the Integration of the NYPD, 1935-1980

ISBN 9781137321930
Publication Date October 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

In the postwar years, after excluding women, African Americans, Latinos, and other minorities from its ranks for most of its history, the New York City Police Department undertook an aggressive campaign of integration. This exhaustively researched study provides the first comprehensive account of how and why the NYPD came to see integration as a potent political tool, indispensable to policing. At the same time, it shows how white male rank-and-file cops at the same time came under siege from an increasingly controlling management and critical public. The Policemen's Benevolent Association advocated for higher wages, better working conditions, and more control over policing practices while simultaneously fighting to turn back the tide of integration. Out of a complex and multifaceted story, author Andrew Darien presents here a nuanced but accessible narrative of civil rights in the largest municipal police force in the United States - one that is more relevant than ever as Americans continue to struggle with the fraught interrelationships of race, gender, and policing.

Andrew Darien is Associate Professor of History at Salem State University, USA, where he teaches courses in modern United States History and Oral History. He has published widely on civil rights, New York history, and oral history.

PART I: DESEGREGATION AND DOMESTICITY, 1935-1963
1. Meritocracy and the Illusion of Color-Blindness
2. The Alter Ego of the Patrolman
PART II: CIVIL RIGHTS AND FEMINISM, 1964-1972
3. Harlem and Civilian Review
4: Ladies on Patrol
5. Soul Brother or Policeman?
PART III: BLUE-COLLAR BACKLASH, 1968-1980
6. The Silent Majority Strikes Back
7. Welcome to Fear City: Last Hired, First Fired

Reviews

'This hard-hitting and timely book is directly relevant to current controversies about policing. It tells a surprising story about the culture and politics of police forces, backed by superb research and told in an accessible and lively manner. I hope it will be widely read.' - Linda Gordon, Florence Kelley Professor of History, New York University, USA
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