The Ghetto in Global History explores the stubborn tenacity of ‘the ghetto’ over time. As a concept, policy, and experience, the ghetto has served to maintain social, religious, and racial hierarchies over the past five centuries. Transnational in scope, this book allows readers to draw thought-provoking comparisons across time and space among ghettos that are not usually studied alongside one another.

The volume is structured around four main case studies, covering the first ghettos created for Jews in early modern Europe, the Nazis' use of ghettos, the enclosure of African Americans in segregated areas in the United States, and the extreme segregation of blacks in South Africa. The contributors explore issues of discourse, power, and control; examine the internal structures of authority that prevailed; and document the lived experiences of ghetto inhabitants. By discussing ghettos as both tools of control and as sites of resistance, this book offers an unprecedented and fascinating range of interpretations of the meanings of the "ghetto" throughout history. It allows us to trace the circulation of the idea and practice over time and across continents, revealing new linkages between widely disparate settings.

Geographically and chronologically wide-ranging, The Ghetto in Global History will prove indispensable reading for all those interested in the history of spatial segregation, power dynamics, and racial and religious relations across the globe.

chapter |20 pages


The ghetto made and remade
ByWendy Z. Goldman, Joe William Trotter

part |70 pages

The early modern Jewish ghetto

chapter |17 pages


Etymology, original definition, reality, and diffusion
ByBenjamin Ravid

chapter |17 pages

The end to confessionalism

Jews, law and the Roman ghetto
ByKenneth Stow

chapter |17 pages

The early modern ghetto

A study in urban real estate 1
ByBernard Dov Cooperman

chapter |17 pages

Venice: A culture of enclosure, a culture of control

The creation of the ghetto in the context of the early Cinquecento city 1
BySamuel D. Gruber

part |95 pages

Nazi ghettos

chapter |17 pages

“There was no work, we only worked for the Germans”

Ghettos and ghetto labor in German-occupied Soviet territories
ByAnika Walke

chapter |17 pages

Hunger in the ghettos

ByHelene J. Sinnreich

chapter |21 pages

“Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Jewish committees in the ghettos of the Mogilev district and the Romanian authorities in Transnistria, 1941–1944 1
ByGali Mir-Tibon

chapter |21 pages

Jewish resistance in ghettos in the former Soviet Union during the Holocaust

ByZvi Gitelman, Lenore J. Weitzman

chapter |17 pages

When (and why) is a ghetto not a “ghetto”?

Concentrating and segregating Jews in Budapest, 1944
ByTim Cole

part |88 pages

U.S. and African American ghettos

chapter |17 pages

Shifting “ghettos”

Established Jews, Jewish immigrants, and African Americans in Chicago, 1880–1960
ByTobias Brinkmann

chapter |17 pages

“Is a Negro district, in the midst of our fairest cities, to become connotative of the ghetto … ?”

Using corpus analysis to trace the “ghetto” in the black press, 1900–1930 1
ByAvigail S. Oren

chapter |16 pages

Constrained but Not Contained

Patterns of everyday life and the limits of segregation in 1920s Harlem
ByStephen Robertson

chapter |17 pages

The American ghetto as an international human rights crisis

The fight against racial restrictive covenants, 1945–1948
ByJeffrey D. Gonda

chapter |19 pages

Unmaking the ghetto

Community development and persistent social inequality in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia
ByBrian Purnell

part |66 pages

Urban locations, apartheid, and the ghetto in South Africa

chapter |17 pages

“Their world was a ghetto”

Space, power, and identity in Alexandra, South Africa’s squatters’ movement, 1946–1947
ByDawne Y. Curry

chapter |20 pages

Citizens, not subjects

Spatial segregation and the making of Durban’s African working class
ByAlex Lichtenstein

chapter |17 pages

Location culture in South Africa

ByGavin Steingo

chapter |10 pages


Common themes and new directions
ByWendy Z. Goldman, Joe William Trotter