Historic photograph of a city street with large debris in the foreground and townhouses in the background
– Photo: 108th Street and Lexington Avenue
May 27th, 2020
4:00PM - 5:00PM

A recording of this program is available. 


Open House New York invites you to a conversation with OHNY executive director Gregory Wessner and Kim Phillips-Fein, author of Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics (Metropolitan Books, 2017).

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History, Fear City tells the story of the 1975 fiscal crisis that brought New York City to the edge of bankruptcy, and how that experience permanently transformed the city and reshaped ideas about the role of government throughout the country. This conversation will revisit that harrowing period in New York’s history to understand how the city recovered and how the lessons learned may shape the way we move forward today.

Kim Phillips-Fein is a historian of 20th-century American politics. She teaches courses in American political, business, and labor history at New York University, where she is a professor in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She has written widely for publications including The Nation, London Review of Books, and New Labor Forum.


This conversation is free and open to the public and will be hosted live on GoToWebinar. Register today to receive an access link to the live webinar and to be notified once a recording is available after the event.

Note: GoToWebinar works best with Google Chrome. For tips and recommendations, check out our audio guide.

Conversations on the City 2020 is a series of conversations about the enduring value of cities at a moment of uncertainty about the future of urban life. Each conversation is organized around a broad theme, but all will explore the abiding joy of living an urban life–why cities continue to thrive, what propels them forward, and why our need for the human connection that cities make possible will always prevail over whatever challenges that may arise.