A Century of Subways: Celebrating 100 Years of New York's Underground Railways / Edition 3

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $5.86
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (17) from $5.86   
  • New (6) from $24.95   
  • Used (11) from $5.86   


"I declare the subway open," said Mayor George B. McClellan at about 2 p.m. on October 27, 1904. His hand on the switch, McClellan drove the new electric-powered cars of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company out of the City Hall station for the twenty-six minute ride under Broadway to 145th Street in Harlem. After a decade of digging and building, New York was moving uptown, underground. And everything began to change. A century later, Brian Cudahy offers this fascinating tribute to the city -- and the world -- that the subway created. Taking a fresh look at one of the marvels of the twentieth century, Cudahy tells not one big story, but five carefully linked tales to create a vivid sense of this extraordinary achievement -- how the city was transformed once New Yorkers started riding in a hole in the ground.

The story begins well before 1904. For years, everyone knew that only a new public transportation system could break the constant gridlock that threatened to shut down the most crowded city in America. Cudahy's hero is August Belmont, Jr., the powerful banker who risked what no one else would: he not only financed the building of the subway but also hired the engineer William Barclay Parsons to design it, and later became the first president of the IRT.

Next, Cudahy moves to Boston, whose downtown subway was five years older than New York's, and grew in its own distinctive way to become an extraordinary citywide transit system. Cudahy also travels to London, where the world's first subway began rolling in 1863. He offers a revealing contrast of the Underground, and subways in other European cities, with New York's subway. And Cudahy brings everything up to date as he explores the impact of the new IRT on New York's own developing network of commuter railroads, especially the New York Central and Pennsylvania lines, and later on the fabric of rail transportation in Buffalo, Baltimore, San Francisco, San Juan, Montreal, and Los Angeles. New York simply would not be possible without its subways. With this spirited salute to the powerbrokers and politicians who planned it and the engineers and laborers who built it, Brian Cudahy helps us remember the real legacy of the subway, and the city it made.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823222926
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 10/29/2003
  • Edition description: 3
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 388
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

BRIAN J. CUDAHY's books include Around Manhattan Island: And Other Maritime Tales ofNew York and A Century of Subways: Celebrating 100 Years of New York's Underground Railways (both Fordham). He lives in Bluffton, SC.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Stonehenge via Subway
1 August Belmont and His Subway 1
2 Change at Park Street Under 72
3 The World's First Subway 123
4 New York's Electrified Railroads 182
5 The Legacy of the IRT 276
Appendix 305
Notes 321
Bibliography 367
Index 373
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Good read, missing the photos

    I am 100 pages into the book and enjoying the read but none of the photographs appear. Just a. Big white block. I am disappointed to not get the full book with images.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)