Platt, Harold L. 1945–
Platt, Harold L. 1945–
(Harold Lawrence Platt)
Born 1945; married; wife's name Janet; children: Abbey. Education: Attended Purdue University, 1963-64; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A. (with highest distinction in history and honors in liberal arts), 1967; attended Harvard University, 1967, and Brandeis University, 1968; Rice University, Ph.D., 1974.
Home—Chicago, IL. Office—Department of History, Loyola University Chicago, 6525 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60626-5385. E-mail—[email protected]
Houston Community College, Houston, TX, instructor, 1973-74; Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL, assistant professor, 1974-81, associate professor, 1981-90, professor of history, 1990—, director of graduate programs in history, 1991-94, history department internship coordinator, 2003-06, member of fellowship awards committee, 2005-08. Houston Metropolitan Archives, consultant, 1974-75; Commonwealth Edison Company, director of corporate archives project, 1983-84, historical director of Centennial Museum Project, 1984-85; Illinois Heritage Corridor, member of steering committee, 1984-85; Loyola Video History Project, historical director and executive editor, 1984-88; History Teaching Alliance, project director for bicentennial graduate seminar, 1986, coordinator, 1990-92; Chicago Metro History Fair-Loyola, facilities coordinator for regional final, 1990-95. Consultant and on-camera speaker for programs broadcast by British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC), and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
American Historical Association (member of local arrangements committee, 1999-2000), American Society for Environmental History, Organization of American Historians, Society for American City and Regional Planning History, Society for the History of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (council member, 1998-2000; nominating committee, 2000), Urban History Association (chair of dissertation prize committee, 2000), Chicago Historical Society, Phi Alpha Theta.
Mary Ellen Goodman fellow, Southwest Center for Urban Research, 1974; Mellon Foundation awards, 1980 and 1986; Award of Superior Achievement, Illinois State Historical Society, and Abel Wolman Award, American Public Works Association, both 1992, for The Electric City: Energy and the Growth of the Chicago Area, 1880-1930; award for best article in a scholarly journal, Urban History Association, 1995, for "‘Invisible Gases’: Smoke, Gender, and the Redefinition of Environmental Policy in Chicago, 1900-1920"; Simon Senior research fellow, University of Manchester, 1995-96; Great Lakes History Prize, Cleveland State University, 1997; fellow in environmental ethics, Loyola Center of Ethics, 2000; Abel Wolman Award, 2006, for Shock Cities: The Environmental Transfor-mation and Reform of Manchester and Chicago; grants from American Historical Association/American Political Science Association, 1982, Loyola Univer-sity, 1986-88, 1991, and 2004, and Graham Foundation, 2003.
City Building in the New South: The Growth of Public Services in Houston, Texas, 1830-1910, Temple University Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1983.
The Electric City: Energy and the Growth of the Chicago Area, 1880-1930, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1991.
(Editor, with Geneviève Massard-Guilbaud and Dieter Schott) Cities and Catastrophes: Coping with Emergency in European History, Peter Lang Verlag (New York, NY), 2002.
Shock Cities: The Environmental Transformation and Reform of Manchester and Chicago, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2005.
Also author of articles, including "‘Invisible Gases’: Smoke, Gender, and the Redefinition of Environmental Policy in Chicago, 1900-1920," Planning Perspectives, January, 1995. Contributor to books, including The Age of Urban Reform, edited by Michael Ebner and Eugene Tobin, 1977; Technology and the Rise of the Networked City in Europe and America, edited by Joel Tarr and Gabriel Dupuy, 1988; The Constitution, Law, and American Life: Critical Aspects of the Nineteenth-Century Experience, edited by Donald G. Nieman, 1992; Oxford Companion to American History, 2001; and Encyclopedia of Chicago, 2004.
Contributor to periodicals, including American Historical Review, American Journal of Legal History, Business History Review, Canadian Review of American Studies, Chicago History, Contemporanea, Houston Review, Illinois Historic Journal, Isis, Journal of American History, Journal of Economic History, Journal of New Jersey History, Journal of Policy History, Journal of Southern History, Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Journal of the West, Journal of Urban History, Les Annals de la recherche urbaine, Newberry Library Origins, Oasis, Osiris, Pacific Historical Review, Reviews in American History, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Technology and Culture, Urban History, and Urban Studies. Mid-America, member of advisory committee, 1988-90, member of editorial board, 1990-2000; Environmental History, coeditor of special edition and contributor, April, 2000; Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, member of editorial board, 2000-06.
An educator and historian who has taught at Loyola University Chicago for more than thirty years, Harold L. Platt has written award-winning studies in urban history. His 1991 book The Electric City: Energy and the Growth of the Chicago Area, 1880-1930 traces the spread and impact of electrical power in Chicago, Illinois, from the industry's beginnings to a time when most urban homes enjoyed electricity. Reviewing the book for the Business History Review, William J. Hausman remarked that it is "thoroughly researched" and "delightfully well written." While Hausman considered Platt less successful in "generalizing about broader issues," he maintained that the work is "an excellent case study of the process and implications of electrification." The book won both the Award of Superior Achievement of the Illinois State Historical Society and the Abel Wolman Award of the American Public Works Association.
Platt's 2005 book Shock Cities: The Environmental Transformation and Reform of Manchester and Chicago examines the impact of industrialization on two cities, one English and one American. Acknowledging the "ambitious task" Platt embarks upon, Historian contributor Randall Bartlett characterized the author's "encyclopedic" approach both as a strength, in addressing all important aspects of industrialization in the two cities, and as a weakness, making it difficult to focus clearly on any one element. He nonetheless described the work as "an impressive, comprehensive examination of two multifaceted dynamic urban systems during their most dramatic periods of growth and industrialization." Writing in Social Forces, Jerome Hodos called Shock Cities "a treasure trove of information" and, although he expressed reservations about some shortcomings in the work, stated that it remained "valuable to urbanists, environmental sociologists, and political scientists." Stephen Bocking in the Urban History Review deemed it "the definitive account of industrialization, transformation, and reform in each city during the 1800s, while demonstrating the remarkable insights to be gained through comparative history." Bocking highlighted the "depth and insight" of the book and summarized it as "a model for urban environmental historians." The book garnered Platt a second Abel Wolman Award.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, February, 1984, Carl Abbott, review of City Building in the New South: The Growth of Public Services in Houston, Texas,1830-1910, p. 209; April, 1992, review of The Electric City: Energy and the Growth of the Chicago Area, 1880-1930, p. 626; February, 2006, Burton W. Folsom, Jr., review of Shock Cities: The Environmental Transformation and Reform of Manchester and Chicago, p. 125.
Business History Review, summer, 1984, Timothy J. Crimmins, review of City Building in the New South, p. 278; winter, 1992, William J. Hausman, review of The Electric City, p. 793.
Choice, April, 2006, P.G. Connors, review of Shock Cities, p. 1443.
Contemporary Sociology, July, 1992, Patrick McGuire, review of The Electric City, p. 511.
Historian, winter, 2006, Randall Bartlett, review of Shock Cities, p. 909.
International History Review, December, 2006, Helen Meller, review of Shock Cities, p. 848.
Isis, September, 2006, Jeffrey K. Stine, review of Shock Cities, p. 579.
Journal of American History, December, 1983, David R. Goldfield, review of City Building in the New South, p. 684; March, 1992, Perry R. Duis, review of The Electric City, p. 1461; June, 2006, Jon C. Teaford, review of Shock Cities, p. 248.
Journal of American Studies, April, 1992, David E. Nye, review of The Electric City, p. 128.
Journal of Economic History, September, 1992, John L. Neufeld, review of The Electric City, p. 731.
Journal of Economic Literature, June, 1992, review of The Electric City, p. 1011; December, 2005, review of Shock Cities, p. 1138.
Journal of Historical Geography, April, 2006, Noel Castree, review of Shock Cities, p. 473.
Journal of Social History, spring, 2007, Matthew Osborn, review of Shock Cities, p. 762.
Journal of Urban History, November, 1994, Karen Sawislak, review of The Electric City, p. 130.
Mid-America, October, 1984, review of City Building in the New South, p. 143.
Reviews in American History, June, 1992, Richard Stott, review of The Electric City, p. 211.
Social Forces, December, 2006, Jerome Hodos, review of Shock Cities, pp. 1052-1053.
Social Service Review, December, 2006, David N. Pellow, review of Shock Cities, p. 744.
Technology and Culture, July, 1992, John G. Clark, review of The Electric City, p. 593; July, 2006, Peter Brimblecombe, review of Shock Cities, p. 665.
Urban History Review, spring, 2008, Stephen Bocking, review of Shock Cities, p. 62.
Virginia Quarterly Review, winter, 1992, review of The Electric City, p. 7.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (December, 2002), Michael Kempe, review of Cities and Catastrophes: Coping with Emergency in European History.
Loyola University Chicago Web site,http://www.luc.edu/ (September 22, 2008), faculty profile.