Book cover of Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics by Kim Phillips-Feinby Kim Phillips-Fein


An epic, riveting history of New York City on the edge of disaster—and an anatomy of the austerity politics that continue to shape the world today

When the news broke in 1975 that New York City was on the brink of fiscal collapse, few believed it was possible. How could the country’s largest metropolis fail? How could the capital of the financial world go bankrupt? Yet the city was indeed billions of dollars in the red, with no way to pay back its debts. Bankers and politicians alike seized upon the situation as evidence that social liberalism, which New York famously exemplified, was unworkable. The city had to slash services, freeze wages, and fire thousands of workers, they insisted, or financial apocalypse would ensue.

Interview with the Author

Podcast art for The Dig from Jacobin MagazineThe Dig
Fear City with Kim Phillips-Fein
4/13/20         120 min

Podcast art for Odd Lots from BloombergOdd Lots
The NYC Fiscal Crisis of the 1970s Has Some Important Lessons for Today
2/26/18         32 min

Podcast art for Who Makes Cents? A History of Global CapitalismWho Makes Cents? A History of Capitalism Podcast
Kim Phillips-Fein on the Fiscal Crisis and Austerity Politics in New York City
6/1/17          38 min

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