Budapest and New York: Studies in Metropolitan Transformation, 1870-1930

Overview

Little over a century ago, New York and Budapest were both flourishing cities engaging in spectacular modernization. By 1930, New York had emerged as an innovating cosmopolitan metropolis, while Budapest languished under the conditions that would foster fascism. Budapest and New York explores the increasingly divergent trajectories of these once-similar cities through the perspectives of both Hungarian and American experts in the fields of political, cultural, social and art history. Their original essays ...

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Overview

Little over a century ago, New York and Budapest were both flourishing cities engaging in spectacular modernization. By 1930, New York had emerged as an innovating cosmopolitan metropolis, while Budapest languished under the conditions that would foster fascism. Budapest and New York explores the increasingly divergent trajectories of these once-similar cities through the perspectives of both Hungarian and American experts in the fields of political, cultural, social and art history. Their original essays illuminate key aspects of urban life that most reveal the turn-of-the-century evolution of New York and Budapest: democratic participation, use of public space, neighborhood ethnicity, and culture high and low.

What comes across most strikingly in these essays is New York's cultivation of social and political pluralism, a trend not found in Budapest. Nationalist ideology exerted tremendous pressure on Budapest's ethnic groups to assimilate to a single Hungarian language and culture. In contrast, New York's ethnic diversity was transmitted through a mass culture that celebrated ethnicity while muting distinct ethnic traditions, making them accessible to a national audience. While Budapest succumbed to the patriotic imperatives of a nation threatened by war, revolution, and fascism, New York, free from such pressures, embraced the variety of its people and transformed its urban ethos into a paradigm for America.

Budapest and New York is the lively story of the making of metropolitan culture in Europe and America, and of the influential relationship between city and nation. In unifying essays, the editors observe comparisons not only between the cities, but in the scholarly outlooks and methodologies of Hungarian and American histories. This volume is a unique urban history. Begun under the unfavorable conditions of a divided world, it represents a breakthrough in cross-cultural, transnational, and interdisciplinary historical work.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
From an international conference in Budapest in 1988, 14 essays explore the history of two once-similar cities, and the development of urban life at the turn of the 20th century in the context of the two national histories. The sections cover politics, space, neighborhoods, popular culture and the high arts. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871541130
  • Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Pages: 414

Meet the Author

THOMAS BENDER is University Professor of the Humanities and professor of history at New York University.

CARL E. SCHORSKE is professor emeritus at Princeton University, and the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Fin-de-Siecle Vienna: Politics and Culture.

CONTRIBUTORS: Thomas Bender, Elizabeth Blackmar, Geza Buzinkay, Wanda M. Corn, Deborah Dash Moore, Philip Fisher, Eva Forgacs, Gabor Gyani, David C. Hammack, Peter Hanak, Neil Harris, Miklos Lacko, Zsuzsa L. Nagy, Roy Rosenzweig, Carl E. Schorske, Robert W. Snyder, and Istvan Teplan.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Budapest and New York Compared 1
Pt. 1 Politics: Participation and Policy
Introduction 29
Ch. 1 Transformations in the City Politics of Budapest: 1873-1941 35
Ch. 2 Political Participation and Municipal Policy: New York City: 1870-1940 55
Pt. II Space: Society and Behavior
Introduction 81
Ch. 3 Uses and Misuses of Public Space in Budapest: 1873-1914 85
Ch. 4 The Park and the People: Central Park and Its Publics: 1850-1910 108
Pt. III Neighborhoods: Class and Ethnicity
Introduction 135
Ch. 5 Class and Ethnicity in the Creation of New York City Neighborhoods: 1900-1930 139
Ch. 6 St. Imre Garden City: An Urban Community 161
Pt. IV Popular Culture: Heterogeneity and Integration
Introduction 181
Ch. 7 Immigrants, Ethnicity, and Mass Culture: The Vaudeville Stage in New York City: 1880-1930 185
Ch. 8 The Cultural Role of the Vienna-Budapest Operetta 209
Ch. 9 The Budapest Joke and Comic Weeklies as Mirrors of Cultural Assimilation 224
Ch. 10 Covering New York: Journalism and Civic Identity in the Twentieth Century 248
Pt. V The High Arts: Metropolitan Autonomy and Modernism
Introduction 269
Ch. 11 The Artist's New York: 1900-1930 275
Ch. 12 Avant-Garde and Conservatism in the Budapest Art World: 1910-1932 309
Ch. 13 The Novel as Newspaper and Gallery of Voices: The American Novel in New York City: 1890-1930 332
Ch. 14 The Role of Budapest in Hungarian Literature: 1890-1935 352
Afterword: Historical Perspectives and National Cultures 367
Appendix: Papers presented at the Conference on the History of Budapest and New York: 1870-1930 [Budapest, 1988] 373
Contributors 375
Index 379
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