As Professor of History Emeritus at Rutgers University-Camden,  Gillette has specialized in modern U.S. history, with a special interest in urban and regional development.Currently he serves as co-editor of the online Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia.  His latest book, Class Divide: Yale ’64 and the Conflicted Legacy of the Sixties (see below), examines the diverging paths of a highly educated elite over a fifty year period and the subsequent implications for a divided nation.  His book,  Camden After the Fall: Decline and Renewal in a Post-Industrial City (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), received best book awards from the Urban History Association and the New Jersey Historical Commission. Previously he taught at George Washington University and the University of Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in American Studies from Yale University.

Professor Gillette is immediate past director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities, a research and advocacy organization for bringing new intellectual and monetary resources to cultural practice in the humanities as it relates to the Mid-Atlantic states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. His work in public history has included a role as a founder and first director of the Center for Washington Area Studies at the George Washington University and as editor of Washington History, the journal of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.  He currently serves on the editorial boards of New Jersey History and the Journal of Planning History. He is a past president of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History and a former board member of the Historical Society of Washington and the Camden County Historical Society. He is the author, among other works, of Between Justice and Beauty: Race, Planning, and the Failure of Urban Policy in Washington, D.C. (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), and Civitas by Design: Building Better Communities, from the Garden City to the New Urbanism (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010). 


Available from Cornell University Press


Review in Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2015

Commentary by Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Kevin Riordan


classdivideIn Class Divide, Howard Gillette draws particularly on more than one hundred interviews with representative members of the Yale class of ’64 to examine how they were challenged by the issues that would define the 1960s: civil rights, the power of the state at home and abroad, sexual mores and personal liberty, religious faith, and social responsibility. Among those whose life courses Gillette follows from their formative years in college through the years after graduation are the politicians Joe Lieberman and John Ashcroft, the Harvard humanities professor Stephen Greenblatt, the environmental leader Gus Speth, and the civil rights activist Stephen Bingham. For a fuller writeup, see the Class Divide tab at the top of the page.

“Drawing on the stories and reflections of his classmates in the Yale class of ’64, Howard Gillette weaves a compelling portrait of these privileged and idealistic young men as they confronted a world in the midst of upheaval. Gillette’s keen historical insights illuminate the complexities of the 1960s and show how the deep divisions of those years continue to shape our nation today.”—Elaine Tyler May, author of America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation