"People from Baltimore glory in its quirky charm, small-town character, and history of North-cum-South culture. Not every native, however, realizes that for much of the nineteenth century, as "mobtown," the city often made its case for being one of the most violent places in the country. Since the death of Freddie Gray in police custody last year, Baltimoreans and the entire nation again focus on the rich and tangled narrative of black-white relations in the city, which once offered an example of slavery existing side by side with the largest community of free blacks in the United States. A distinguished political scientist who spent much of his youth and the large part of his professional career in Baltimore here examines the politics, structure of governance, and role of racial difference in the history of Baltimore, from its founding in the mid-eighteenth century to the recent past. How do we explain its distinctive character?"-From the publisher
WATCH: The author Matthew Crenson's interview about this wonderfully detailed history of Baltimore!