Two reflections on the state of the art of American urban history help to explain the field’s evolution over the past half-century. In 1970, Richard C. Wade, whose mid-century writings had helped launch the modern field of urban history, bemoaned the lack of scholarship on cities, claiming “historians have arrived at the study of the city by slow freight.” 1 Yet, in 2015, Michael B. Katz, commenting on the avalanche of urban history scholarship that had been produced since Wade’s observation, took a far more optimistic view. “As a field,” Katz wrote, “urban history never has shimmered so vibrantly.” 2