In “Brooklyn: The Once and Future City,” Thomas Campanella reveals some of the rich and underappreciated history of his beloved home borough, especially the southern portion where he spent his childhood — from a homeland to the Leni Lenape tribe, to its use as a slave trading by for the Dutch, to the emergence of the racetracks, amusement parks and beachside resorts that earned the borough its reputation as a recreation destination.
Campanella doesn’t shy away from some of Brooklyn’s more spectacular failures, either. He tells the story of how it grew from a suburban promised land to the victim of its hipness and social anxieties.
Thomas Campanella is an associate professor of urban studies and city planning at Cornell University, and the historian-in-residence at the Parks Department. He grew up and still lives part-time in Marine Park.