Bronx Is Burning

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The summer of 1977 was a time period of struggle and despair for the city of New York that would leave one to question if the city would ever rebound. However, through the growth of the city, the expansion of the government, and the emergence of consumption and leisure throughout the economy, the city was able to recover to make the city stronger than ever. The book, “The Bronx is Burning” by Jonathan Mahler, clearly exemplifies and goes into much detail about the trials and tribulations that the New York City people were going through at the time. It delves into politics, the economy, sports, health and public safety in a time of great peril.

The city of New York began its decline under Mayor Abe Beame, whom stepped into office in 1974. The following year the city was on the verge of bankruptcy creating a fiscal crisis. When Beame asked the government for a bailout to temporarily solving this issue, the response to Beame’s request was not the one that New York was looking for. The Daily News printed the headline "FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD" on the front page when President Ford said no. (Bronx, 7) It was later determined that the SEC report essentially blamed Beame's mismanagement for the city's financial issues. (Bronx, 286) Given that New York was in a fiscal crisis Beame was forced to cut city jobs. The mere loss of jobs resulted in mass protests that left former employers saying “Welcome to fear city”, and “Beame is a deserter. A rat. He left the city defenseless.” (Bronx, 8) City provided public hospitals and library branches were eventually closed down in addition to raised costs for all New York subway fares. But the most unsettling financial cuts due to the fiscal crises were the end of free tuition at New York’s public colleges. (Bronx, 9) The 1977 Blackout came during a troubled time in New York City. The City was under tremendous financial stress, forcing government officials to cut back on nearly 38,000 city services including garbage...
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