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History Department at Lehman College

Faculty: Benjamin Holtzman

Academic Interests 

Modern United States, Urban History


I study the intersection of political and social history in the United States, with particular focus on politics, capitalism, race and class, cities, and social movements. My first book, The Long Crisis: New York City and the Path to Neoliberalism (Oxford University Press, 2021), uses the sweeping transformation of post-1960s New York City to trace how market-oriented policies have come to proliferate across American life over the past five decades. My research has appeared in Modern American History, the Journal of Social History, the Journal of Urban History, and several edited collections. I am currently working on my second book, “Smash the Klan”: Fighting the White Power Movement in the Late Twentieth Century.

Awards and Fellowships

  • Madeleine L’Engle Travel Research Fellowship, Smith College (2020)

  • Postdoctoral Visiting Scholar, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2018-2020)
  • Faculty Research Grant and Professional Development Award, Duke University (2019)
  • Thompson Writing Program Research Grant, Duke University (2018)
  • Arts & Sciences Council Travel Grant, Duke University (2017)
  • Swearer Center Engaged Course Development Grant, Brown University (2017)
  • James Ryland and Georgia A. Kendrick Fellowship, Vassar College (2016)
  • Miller Center National Fellowship, The University of Virginia (2015-2016)
  • Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. Travel Grant, Business History Conference (2015)
  • Anna K. and Mary E. Cunningham Research Residency, New York State Library (2014)
  • Mellon Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources, Council on Library and Information Resources (2013-2014)
  • The Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Award, New York State Archives (2013)
  • William and Madeline Welder Smith Research Travel Award, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas-Austin (2012)


  • The Long Crisis: New York City and the Path to Neoliberalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2021).

  • “Expanding the Thin Blue Line: Resident Patrols and Private Security in Late Twentieth-Century New York,” Modern American History Vol. 3, Issue 1 (March 2020), 47-67.

  • “‘Shelter is Only a First Step’: Housing the Homeless in 1980s New York City,” Journal of Social History Vol. 52, No. 3 (Spring 2019), 886–910.

  • “‘I am Not Co-Op!’: The Struggle over Middle-Class Housing in 1970s New York City,”  

    Journal of Urban History Vol. 43, No. 6 (November 2017), 864-885.

  • “Urban Homesteading,” in Affordable Housing in New York City: The People, Places, and Policies That Transformed a City, edited by Nicholas Dagen Bloom and Matthew Gordon Lasner (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015), 258-261.

  • “The Growth and Disruption of a ‘Free Space’: Examining a Suburban DIY Punk Scene,” co-authored with Kenneth R. Culton, Space and Culture Vol. 13, No. 4 (November 2010), 270-284.