Jennifer Baum: Just City
Jennifer Baum

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Filmmaker turned writer Jennifer Baum visits with her new memoir set in New York's Historic Upper West Side at a time when community and unity defined the neighborhood.


A captivating memoir of New York's Historic Upper West Side at a time when community and unity defined the neighborhood

Step into the world of Just City and embark on a poignant journey to a time when ideals were woven into the very fabric of a neighborhood. Jennifer Baum's evocative storytelling brings to life an era in New York City's history where affordable housing wasn't just a concept, but a reality that defined the essence of community.

Within the pages of this captivating memoir, you'll find yourself transported to the historic Upper West Side--a place where diversity flourished and a shared belief in the importance of a home for all bound the residents together. Through personal anecdotes and heartfelt accounts, Baum illuminates her own upbringing alongside the stories of those who shared her neighbor-hood. She describes how as an adult, she came to appreciate that being raised in an integrated collective was a unique and exceptional experience. As she moves around the world for school, a husband, and work, she tells the story of her search for a home that would embody the values and community she grew up with.

Just City goes beyond the physicality of housing; it unveils the emotional tapestry of housing for an entire generation. As you immerse yourself in the stories of rallies, grassroots efforts, and the sense of kinship that defined this era, you'll witness a generation that stood united for justice and fairness. The book captures not just moments, but the ethos of a time when the city was a testament to the power of community.

Celebrate the legacy of an era when a city was truly a home, when principles of social respon-sibility thrived. Just City isn't just a memoir--it's an invitation to revive the spirit of unity and create a city where everyone belongs. So open its pages and let its words rekindle the flame of a just and inclusive city once more.


Jennifer Baum is a filmmaker turned writer. Her writing has been published in New York Daily NewsGuernicaJacobinThe Village VoiceThe Phoenix Jewish NewsCanadian Jewish OutlookThe Jewish Observer Los AngelesMUTHAHip Mama, and Newfound, which nominated her essay "A Different Set of Rules" for a Pushcart award. Baum teaches composition at Montclair State University and occasionally works as a freelance editor, most recently for a series of reports for the World Bank on poverty in Ghana.


Elizabeth Horan has authored, edited and translated ten books in the Literature of the Americas. Her primary research focus has been on how women writers in the Americas have gained access to print and have come to represent the Americas nationally and internationally. Professor Horan's current and most recent work is a literary biography in three volumes that draw from traditional and digital archives in English and Spanish, archives that she assisted in organizing and transferring from the US to Chile. Her work has been supported with grants and prizes from the Organization of American States, the US State Department Fulbright program and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has also held writing residencies in Spain and New York. At ASU, Horan develops and teaches online and immersion courses in "American" Literature to Reconstruction, World War II Literature, the Literature of Nobel Laureates and Espionage Fiction and Film. She served a term as English Department Chair (2002-2004).

Just City: Growing Up on the Upper West Side When Housing Was a Human Right By Jennifer Baum Cover Image
ISBN: 9781531506216
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Fordham University Press - April 2nd, 2024