Professor of History Clifton Hood’s latest book, In Pursuit of Privilege: A History of New York City’s Upper Class and the Making of a Metropolis, received high praise from the leading international weekly literary review based in London. Titled “King of the Hill,” the Times Literary Supplement (TLS) applauds Hood for his prose, diverse sources and “relevance to conversations about privilege and equal opportunity.”
“Clifton Hood’s In Pursuit of Privilege is a nuanced and substantial historical survey of the city’s upper class… Much about the book feels fresh and relevant to conversations about privilege and equal opportunity,” writes TLS Reviewer Ada Calhoun.
In Pursuit of Privilege, published in November 2016, is a cultural history of New York City’s upper class from the mid-18th century to the present. Calhoun notes the connection between Hood’s historical perspective of New York’s elite to contemporary issues, referencing the role of elitism in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
“Even though In Pursuit of Privilege was written before the U.S. presidential election, it provides a valuable historical perspective on an urgent question: how could a rich New Yorker, He Who Shall Not Be Named, manage to accumulate untold power while casting himself as the common man’s champion, an enemy of elites?” Calhoun writes.
Hood, who has also researched New York City’s subway system extensively, has been in the national spotlight and featured in several syndicated television programs and newspaper articles since its publication. In April, he will share his insight with the local community at two upcoming talks at libraries in the Finger Lakes Region.
A member of the HWS faculty since 1992, Hood holds a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Washington University and a master’s and doctorate from Columbia University. He is currently working on a third book that examines imposters.