Gamm, Gerald 1964–
Gamm, Gerald 1964–
PERSONAL: Born January 18, 1964, in Boston, MA; son of Stephen and Sandra Gamm. Education: Harvard University, A.B., 1986, Ph.D., 1994.
ADDRESSES: Home—Rochester, NY. Office—Department of Political Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0146. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, associate professor of political science and history, 1992–, chair of political science department, 1999–. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, fellow, 1996–97.
AWARDS, HONORS: Goergen Award for Distinguished Achievement and Artistry in Undergraduate Teaching, 1998; Robert Park Award, best book in urban sociology, American Sociological Association, 2000, and Tuttle-man Foundation Book Award, Gratz College, and Tuttle-man Family Foundation Prize, both 2001, all for Urban Exodus: Why the Jews Left Boston and the Catholics Stayed.
Urban Exodus: Why the Jews Left Boston and the Catholics Stayed, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1999.
Contributor to books, including Speaking to the People: The Rhetorical Presidency in Historical Perspective, edited by Richard J. Ellis, editor, University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst, MA), 1998; and Political Science: The State of the Discipline, 3rd edition, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 2002. Contributor to periodicals, including Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Studies in American Political Development, and Urban Affairs Review.
SIDELIGHTS: Gerald Gamm is a political scientist and historian who has written about Boston's racial, religious, and political demographics. In his first book, The Making of New Deal Democrats: Voting Behavior and Realignment in Boston, 1920–1940, he surveys Boston politics in the years between the two world wars, and he relates the specifics of the city's political realignment in that period to what Theodore Rosenof, writing in the American Historical Review, calls "the general nature of realignment." In undertaking his study, Gamm determines ethnic and socioeconomic regions throughout the city, then traces their various voting patterns. Additionally, he analyzes the means by which the Democratic Party made significant gains in support from African Americans, Jews, and Italians. Rosenof called The Making of the New Deal Democrats "an impressive work of scholarship, characterized by analytical intelligence and indefatigable research." Another reviewer, Howard W. Allen, wrote in the Journal of American History that Gamm's book is "an imaginative, insightful, and well-written analysis."
Gamm is also the author of Urban Exodus: Why the Jews Left Boston and the Catholics Stayed, an analysis of shifting racial and religious groups. According to Gamm, who studied census information, parish and synagogue records, and newspaper coverage, Boston's Jewish population declined because the people's institutions could not make credible commitments to their urban neighborhoods. The Catholic population, however, remained relatively stable because parishes, under centralized leadership, adapted to socioeconomic changes. Gamm's contentions, particularly with regard to the relocation of Jews, are in contrast with previous perceptions of that religion's migration reaction to the influx of African Americans. Mark Silk, writing in the New York Times Book Review, found Urban Exodus to be a "cautionary tale," and he concluded that religious institutions "march to their own beat, and that may bode well or ill for the place they happen to be located at any point in time."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, April, 1991, Theodore Rosenof, review of The Making of New Deal Democrats: Voting Behavior and Realignment in Boston, 1920–1940, pp. 629-630.
Journal of American History, June, 1991, Howard W. Allen, review of The Making of New Deal Democrats, pp. 372-373.
New York Times Book Review, August 29, 1999, Mark Silk, "Common Ground?," p. 31.
University of Rochester Web site: Gerald Gamm Home Page, http://www.rochester.edu/College/PSC/people/faculty/gamm.php (November 8, 2006).