Professor of History Clifton Hood will discuss his new book, In Pursuit of Privilege: A History of New York City’s Upper Class and the Making of a Metropolis, in two upcoming talks at local libraries. Hood will give a talk at the Tompkins County Public Library in Ithaca at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 3, and at the Edith B. Ford Library in Ovid, N.Y., at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11.
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. In his talks, Hood draws connections between today’s upper-elite and the historical role elites have played in American life.
“The bulk of the talk is a comparison of the Gilded Age upper class with what I call the anti-elitist elite of today,” Hood says. “I start by talking about elites and anti-elitism with reference to Trump and the November election, using that to say that elites have an important role to play in American life and that we ought to subject the history of elites to scrutiny.”
The talks, which are free and open to the public, will run about 40 minutes and also feature a question and answer segment.
Hood, who has also researched New York City’s subway system extensively, has been in the national spotlight recently for his work. Hood’s research and In Pursuit of Privilege have been highlighted in several nationally syndicated television programs and newspaper articles in recent weeks.
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.