THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW'S
DC ARCHIVES & LINKS
Although the Progressive Review no longer publishes a local DC report, this material, collected over many decades, remains for your dancing, dining or scholarly pleasure. CONTACT: EMAIL
Thanks to Ron Unz a fairly complete file of print editions of the DC Gazette and Capitol East Gazette are now online.
A collection of articles
and little known, interesting or suppressed facts about Washington
This book, written by Sam Smith in 1974 and published by Indiana University Press still provides excellent background material on the politics and culture of the city. $15
One of the few efforts I have seen that manages to deal with black people and white people without insulting either, and without appearing to be written for one or the other. -- Bill Raspberry, Washington Post
Smith's analysis of the class dimensions in the community challenges the cliches and generalizations that most white writers stumble over. . . Altogether, the book presents a fascinating story of history-in-the-making. It is absolutely 'must' reading for all who are interested in this city's history, its political or private life, or the contributions and personal assets of both the black masses and the black leaders. -- James Tinney, Afro-American
DC books & journals
CAPTIVE CAPITAL: Colonial Life in Modern Washington: This book, written by Sam Smith in 1974 and published by Indiana University Press still provides excellent background material on the politics and culture of the city.
THE PAPER BAG PRINCIPLE Class, Complexion, and Community in Black Washington, D.C.
TURF WARS: Discourse, Diversity, and the Politics of Place. An ethnographic account of Mt. Pleasant. Gabrielle Modan
BEYOND THE SHADOW OF THE SENATORS: Brad Snyder. DC's influence on the integration of baseball
Bealle, Morris Allison. The Washington Senators, an 87-year history of the world's oldest baseball club and most incurable fandom, Columbia publishing company, c1947.
Ceresi, Frank. Baseball in Washington, D.C. / Frank Ceresi, Mark Rucker, Carol McMains. Arcadia Pub., 2002.
Deveaux, Tom. The Washington Senators, 1901-1971. McFarland & Co., c2001.
Hartley, James R. Washington's expansion Senators (1961-1971) / James R. Hartley. Corduroy Press, c1998.
Judge, Mark Gauvreau. Damn Senators : my grandfather and the story of Washington's only World Series championship. Encounter Books, 2003.
Kerr, Jon. Calvin : baseball's last dinosaur : an authorized biography. Wm. C. Brown Publishers, c1990.
Povich, Shirley. The Washington Senators. Putnam, 
Roberts, James C. Hardball on the Hill : baseball stories from our nation's capital. Triumph Books, c2001.
Snyder, Brad. Beyond the shadow of the Senators
LEADING THE RACE: The Transformation of the Black Elite in the Nation's Capital, 1880-1920. Jacqueline M. Moore
GUIDE TO BLACK WASHINGTON: places and events of historical and cultural significance in the nation's capital / Sandra Fitzpatrick, Maria R. Goodwin.
SOULSIDE: Inquiries into Ghetto Culture and Community by Ulf Hannerz. One of our favorite books about Washington.
SECRET CITY: A History of Race Relations in the Nation's Capital by Constance Green. Out of print.
TEN BLOCKS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE: ANATOMY OF THE WASHINGTON RIOTS OF 1968 Gilbert, Ben W.
FARTHER ALONG: A CIVIL RIGHTS MEMOIR Marvin Caplan.
FREE NEGROES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 1790-1846. Brown, Letitia Woods..
JEAN TOOMER'S WASHINGTON by Barbara Foley
LIFE OF BENJAMIN BANNEKER: The First African-American Man of Science Silvio Bedini.
LIVING IN, LIVING OUT : AFRICAN AMERICAN DOMESTICS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., 1910-1940. Clark-Lewis, Elizabeth
LAUGH IF YOU LIKE: AIN'T A DAMN THING FUNNY. The life of local folk hero Petey Greene as told to Lurma Rackley.
SUBVERSIVES: ANTI-SLAVERY COMMUNITY IN WASHINGTON, D.C., 1828-1865 by Stanley Harrold
TALLEY'S CORNER: A STUDY OF NEGRO STREETCORNER MEN by Elliot Liebow. Out of print.
ESCAPE OF THE PEARL: The fascinating tale of a major attempted slave escape
WILD ROSE: The True Story of a Civil War Spy
CIVIL WAR BAWDY HOUSES
ALLEY LIFE IN WASHINGTON : FAMILY, COMMUNITY, RELIGION, AND FOLKLIFE IN THE CITY Borchert, James
CAPITAL ELITES - Jacob, Kathryn Allamong. High society in Washington, D.C., after the Civil War
100 YEARS OF CAPITAL TRACTION; King, LeRoy
AT PEACE WITH ALL THEIR NEIGHBORS: Catholics and Catholicism in the National Capital 1787-1960. William W. Warner.
THE BURNING OF WASHINGTON: The British Invasion of 1814 by AOTOMAnthony S. Pitch
CAPITAL LOSSES: a cultural history of Washington's destroyed buildings. James M. Goode.
CITY OF MAGNIFICENT INTENTIONS
GRAND AVENUES: The story of Pierre L'Enfant
CIVIL WAR TO CIVIL RIGHTS: Downtown Trail Book
THE CREATION OF WASHINGTON, DC : THE IDEA AND LOCATION OF THE AMERICAN CAPITAL Kenneth R. Bowling.
DUKE ELLINGTON'S DC An excellent documentary on early 20th century black Washington
FIRST FREED : WASHINGTON, D.C. IN THE EMANCIPATION ERA edited by Elizabeth Clark-Lewis.
FREEDOM RISING. Washington and the Civil War by Ernest Pat Furgurson
IN THE ALLEYS: Kids in the Shadow of the Capitol. Washington, D.C. by Frankel, Godfrey, and Laura Goldstein.
LINCOLN'S SANCTUARY - Lincoln's little known second White House: the Anderson Cottage at the Soldiers' Home
MARCHING ON WASHINGTON The Forging of an American Political Tradition By Lucy G. Barber
PETER CHARLES L'ENFANT: VISION, HONOR AND MALE FRIENDSHIP IN THE EARLY AMERICAN REPUBLIC by Kenneth Russell Bowling.
POLITICAL TERRAIN: WASHINGTON, D.C., FROM TIDEWATER TOWN TO GLOBAL METROPOLIS . Abbott, Carl. Chapel Hill
STREET LAWYER by John Grisham. Set in the world of DC homelessness and legal aid law
THROUGH A FIREY TRIAL: BUILDING WASHINGTON, 1790-1800 by Bob Arnebeck. The first full-length history of the establishment of the city.
THE TRUTH IN CHARITY: A HISTORY OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF WASHINGTON. Rory T. Conley
URBAN ODYSSEY, eds. F. Cary & J. Jordan. . . PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - Though dry in tone and lacking the unifying vision of a single author, this wide-ranging collection of essays takes a worthy step toward establishing the distinctive migrant and immigrant history of our nation's capital.
WASHINGTON, CITY AND CAPITAL. WASHINGTON, D.C. Federal writers' project. . A classic book, part of the series done by the Roosevelt administration during the depression.
WASHINGTON: A HISTORY OF THE CAPITAL. The classic history of DC by Constance McLaughlin Green
FICTION & POETRY
DEMOCRACY by Henry Adams
THE FUTURE IS NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE Patricia Browning Griffith
JONES, EDWARD P
LEAVES OF GRASS by Walt Whitman
LOST IN THE CITY by Edward Jones
PELECANOS, GEORGE has written nine crime novels set in DC
WASHINGTON, D.C: A NOVEL by Gore Vidal
FATHERING WORDS The Making of an African American Writer by Ethelbert Miller
MEMOIRS OF DC: Essays on Washington from the 1950s to the present by Sam Smith
CAPITOL ROCK by Mark Opsasnick. Cultural history of Washington rock 'n roll 1951-1976
DANCE OF DAYS : Two decades of punk in the nation's capital
PUNK LOVE: Punk Love documents specifically the birth of the early Washington, D.C., punk movement in 1979. D.C. punk was a different kind of punk. It was hardcore. It was explosive. It was revolutionary.
BLACK GEORGETOWN REMEMBERS: Lesko, Babb & Gibbs.
GREATER U STREET Paul K. Williams.
TENLEYTOWN, DC: Country village into city neighborhood. Judith Beck Helm
ANACOSTIA STORY, 1608-1930. Louise Daniel Hutchinson
THE CHRONICLES OF GEORGETOWN, D.C., FROM 1751-1878. Richard P. Jackson
BLACK GEORGETOWN REMEMBERED, Kathleen Leskim editor.
IMAGES OF BROOKLAND. George W. McDaniel, John N. Pierce edtiors
PORT TOWN TO URBAN NEIGHBORHOOD : THE GEORGETOWN WATERFRONT OF WASHINGTON, D.C., 1880-1920 Kathryn Schneider Smith
COMMON DENOMINATOR - Searchable archives of this essential weekly 1998-2006
MARCHING ON WASHINGTON : THE FORGING OF AN AMERICAN POLITICAL TRADITION. Barber, Lucy G.
STATEHOOD: Articles on the statehood movement
DC ALMANAC: A collection of little known facts about the city
DC STATS: DC trends and statistics
GHOSTS: WASHINGTON REVISITED. Washington's Most Famous Ghost Stories by John Alexander
MOTION PICTURE EXHIBITION IN WASHINGTON, D.C. an illustrated history of parlors, palaces, and multiplexes in the metropolitan area, 1894-1997 Robert K. Headley. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., 1999.
NEWCOMERS HANDBOOK TO WASHINGTON DC by Mike Livingston. Excellent introduction to the city.
WASHINGTON WEATHER: THE WEATHER SOURCEBOOK FOR THE D.C. AREA. Kevin Ambrose, Dan Henry, and Andy Weiss.
CENTER FOR WASHINGTO STUDIES PAPERS
Public Street Illumination in Washington, D.C
The First Women Washington Correspondents
Law and Order in the Capital City:
Ancient Washington: Indian Cultures of the Potomac Valley
Foggy Bottom 1800 - 1975
A Selected Bibliography for Washington and Descriptions of MajorLocal Collections
Gentrification of Adams Morgan: Political and Commercial Consequencesof Neighborhood Change
Images of Brookland: The History and Architecture of a Washington Suburb
Port Town to Urban Neighborhood: The Georgetown Waterfront
Street Vending in Washington
Racial Patterns in the 1994 DC Mayoral Primary
The Mixed Blessings of Success: The Hecht Company and DepartmentStore Branch Development After World War II
Selected Theses and Dissertations on the Washington, D.C. Region
A memoir of the capital city by Sam Smith, editor of the Progressive Review and predecessor journals beginning in 1964. He covered DC during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies beginning in 1957.
DC MOMENTS: A timeline
THE CANARIES IN STUDIO A in which a young radio reporter learns a lot about Washington
SEEDS The 60s before they became the 60s
HOW THE TROUBLE BEGAN: A long adventure in alternative journalism began in the mid-sixties
FIRE: APRIL 1968 The Washington riots and other suspensions of hope
PLACE: The battle for local power
THE LONELIEST MILE IN TOWN: An adventure in apostasy -- drinking upstream from the Clinton herd
TALES OF THE HILL - Excerpts from the memoirs containg stories about Capitol Hill in the 1950s and 1960s.
TUNES FROM A DC MUSICAL: Sam & Kathy Smith, along with Becky Brown, wrote a musical revue of DC history that was performed by the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop in 1978. It featured Jim Vance as Frederic Douglass and a 1950s beat poet. Also included was a soft shoe dance by Boss Shepherd : "I'm the boss; I'm the boss of Washington. . . I can force anything that I want done. . . I can pave a street or plant a tree or put a gas lamp up. . . So what does it matter if I'm a little bit corrupt." The Washington Times listed the show as one of the "Sure Things" for the week. Mayor Marion Barry attended one performance Unfortunately, no recording was made, but years later Sam made a rough recording of some of the tunes for a curiuous reporter. CLICK HERE.
Progressive Review Articles
THE ATTICA THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN One year after Attica, there was a prisoner revolt at the Washington, DC Jail during which the director of DC Corrections and a number of guards were taken hostage. But, unlike Attica, no one was killed. Perhaps this is why so few remember what happened on a night when judges, politicians, U.S. Marshals, prisoners, and hostages all gathered in Courtroom 16 to see what could be done - brought together by a single judge who wasn't afraid to talk when others wanted to shoot. The peaceful resolution of the DC Jail uprising was one of the most extraordinary stories I ever covered - Sam Smith
DC ESSAYS by Sam Smith
FIELD OF SCHEMES: Baseball and other costly sports projects
Note: These stats have not been updated since early 2009, but many may have historical value
DC archives by topic
Note: These archives have not been updated since early 2009, but many may have historical values
About the Review
City Desk was the local section of the Progressive Review - one of one of America's longest lasting alternative journals. the Review was begun by Sam Smith in 1964 as The Idler when there were just a handful of such independent publications in the U.S., such as IF Stone's Weekly, the Realist, the Carolina Israelite, and the Village Voice. It morphed into the DC Gazette in 1969 and became the Progressive Review in 1985. It began publishing an online edition in 1994 and started a website in 1995.
In 1966, Smith also started an alternative neighborhood newspaper on Capitol Hill, the Capitol East Gazette, serving a community that was 75% black but also home to some of the most powerful whites in the country. In 1968 Washington went up in flames with half of its four major riot strips in the Gazette's circulation area. In 1969, the Gazette became a citywide alternative paper., the DC Gazette.
During the 1960s, the Gazette was a voice of the anti-war movement and the leading journalistic opponent of the city's planned freeway system. It mixed city reportage with national coverage believing, with theologian Martin Marty, in the need for "a place from which to view the world." Boris Weintraub in the Washington Star described the Gazette as "a combination of things Americans profess to hold dear: iconoclasm, a deeply felt sense of community and, above all, independence."
For many years, the Gazette also provided alternative coverage of the arts, with writers such as Tom Shales (now with the Washington Post and a nationally syndicated TV critic) and movie critic Joel Siegel. Patricia Griffith, later president of the Pen/Faulkner Foundation, was also among the paper's arts critics.
The Gazette featured the photography of Roland Freeman, the first photographer to win a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and later a leading expert on African-American quilts. In the mid-70s the arts section was spun off as an independent non-profit publication, the Washington Review, which won a number of awards during its 25-year life as an independent journal.
The Gazette long published the only urban planning comic strip in America, drawn by DC architect John Wiebenson, who played a major role in saving a number of historic buildings along Pennsylvania Avenue and elsewhere in the city. And -- until its author was released from prison -- the Gazette published the only column written from behind bars for a non-prison publication.
In the 1970s the Gazette published the first article calling for DC statehood. It urged the development of light rail transit and bikeways, and proposed the creation of neighborhood commissions. With a mixture of controversy and wit, it repeatedly locked horns with the city government and the Washington establishment. In the mid 1980s it suggested that the DC Statehood Party change its name and become the first American Green party with ballot status.
In the 1980s, the DC Gazette stopped running local news but since then, local coverage has cropped up from time to time in various guises, the latest being the online City Desk
Sam Smith is a writer, activist and social critic who has been at the forefront of new ideas and new politics for several decades. He is the author of four highly acclaimed books, the latest of which is Why Bother? He is a native Washingtonian who covered his first stories in the capital in 1957 as a radio reporter at the age of 19.
Among his local activities:
- Captive Capital, considered one of the best books
on modern Washington.
- Urged the creation of neighborhood commissions and then served as one of the first advisory neighborhood commissioners.
- Helped to found the DC Community Humanities Council
- Helped to start the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop.
- Helped to start the Washington Review of the Arts
- For five years was the only white member of a panel otherwise comprised of black journalists on the "Ernest White Show," broadcast on public TV and radio.
- Had articles published in the Washington Post, Washington Star, Washington World, Regardies Magazine, Washington Monthly, Roll Call, Washington Tribune, Washington City Paper, Washington History, and Potomac Review.
- Was a plaintiff in seven public interest law suits, three of them successful, including an action against a DC Transit fare increase, a ground-breaking suit establishing the authority of neighborhood commissions, and a case in support of Mitch Snyder's homeless shelter. Among the unsuccessful suits was one challenging Congress' refusal to grant local self-government which went all the way to the Supreme Court.
- Was a guest host of the Fred Fiske Show, guest commentator and cohost of Washington Review of the arts on WAMU
- Worked as a newsman for WWDC and Deadline Washington radio news service.
- A longtime member of the DC NAACP Police & Justice Task Force
- Was president of the John Eaton Home & School Association
- Was a longtime board member of the Metropolitan Planning & Housing Association
- A member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, where he served as a public relations advisor to local chair Marion Barry.
- Member of the Gene McCarthy caucus on the Democratic Central Committee
- Recipient of awards from Society of Professional Journalists, Washington Chapter; co-recipient of first annual Public Humanities Award; named best DC political columnist by City Paper; DC Gray Panthers; Washington Review of the Arts