Cityscapes: A History of New York in Images

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2001 Hardcover New 0231106246. Flawless copy, brand new, pristine, never opened--445 pages, 787 illus., small 4to.

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Neither a conventional history of the city nor simply a collection of illustrations and photographs, this ground-breaking work weaves together diverse historical works—from political and economic analyses to ethnic and gender studies—with visual evidence from each period.

Through almost 800 images, Cityscapes tells the story of the city from its origins in the early seventeenth century through the end of the twentieth century. In lithographs, paintings, drawings, and broadsides, New York is portrayed as rising from a small Dutch outpost to a republican seaport whose life was framed by the American Revolution. The visual evidence changes to etchings, photographs, and lithographs as Cityscapes depicts a mid-nineteenth-century city torn by dislocations caused by a multiethnic society amid the turmoil of the industrial revolution. Documenting the turn of the last century, a wealth of photographs shows the new five-borough metropolis taking in waves of immigrants and portrays the evolution of the immigrant metropolis into the cosmopolitan city of mid-century. In its final chapter, Cityscapes looks at the global village and takes stock of New York's role as the world economic and artistic capital of the late twentieth century.

This lavish volume shows how New York produced contemporary understandings of what makes a city, from a distinctive skyline, to a democratic street grid, to diverse ethnic neighborhoods. From the depths of poverty to the heights of conspicuous consumption, images of New York illustrate how we comprehend the urban past, and imagine its future.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

New York History - Joel Schwartz
The authors have pulled together a powerful testament to the city's exhuberant past.
America - Patricia A. Kossmann
So well done, you want to linger on every page, walk through it over and over and just be overwhelmed with the maginificent photos.
San Francisco Bay Guardian - Miriam Wolf
As smart as it is beautiful. Cityscapes will thrill New York history buffs.
New York History
The authors have pulled together a powerful testament to the city's exhuberant past.

— Joel Schwartz

Forward Magazine
A book so beautiful it grows in resonance with every passing month.
New York Daily News
This cultural history is a fascinating amalgam of essays and illustrations that ranges from the city's skyline to life on its streets.
USA Today
A well-illustrated... cultural history. It notes that the first skyscraper to excite New Yorkers was the 23-story Flatiron Building in 1903, transformed into 'an almost mystical feature of urban landscape'...But in 1973 the 110-story World Trade Center 'failed to excite public enthusiasm.'
New York Magazine
This combination of social history and rarely seen images of the city... covers all the bases. But it's the often surprising mid-century photographs that are most compelling.
The Miami Herald
Cityscapes uses terrific old illustrations and photos to accompany a history of social, cultural, economic and ethnic changes, from the city's 1623 beginning as a colonial seaport to its evolution as a colossus of business in the last century. The illustrations propel you back to a city you're far too young to remember... But the authors don't skimp on photos, especially of New Yorkers themselves, those who, as we've seen graphically demonstrated in recent weeks, form the city's heart.
So well done, you want to linger on every page, walk through it over and over and just be overwhelmed with the maginificent photos.

— Patricia A. Kossmann

San Francisco Bay Guardian
As smart as it is beautiful. Cityscapes will thrill New York history buffs.

— Miriam Wolf

Ruth Messinger
Don't miss Cityscapes! More than a book, it is a guided tour through centuries of New York history.
Mike Wallace
Cityscapes's . . . artful interleaving of narrative and pictures makes for an eye-opening and eye-pleasing book.
Graham Hodges
A terrific assemblage of rare and fascinating historical images. . . . [This is] the best of the new historical portraits of the metropolis.
Paul A. Gilje
Rock and Moore open a window through which we can view the people and history of New York City.
Library Journal
Cityscapes is an engaging history of New York City from its beginnings in the mid-17th century as a small Dutch trading post at the tip of Manhattan Island to its present position as the nation's largest city and the country's economic and cultural capital. Rock (history, Florida International Univ.) and Moore (religion, Vassar) have assembled a stunning array of paintings, drawings, broadsides, and maps that both enliven the text and illustrate the city's development until the end of the 19th century; thereafter, the text is illustrated by etchings, lithographs, and especially photographs taken by some of the best-known photographers of the time as well as by sharp-eyed if lesser-known observers of the city scene. These images enrich our understanding of the city as it was transformed by successive waves of immigrants, first from Europe and then from all over the world. More detailed than Eric Homberger's The Historical Atlas of New York City (LJ 4/1/95), this is recommended for academic and larger public libraries. Harry Frumerman, formerly with Hunter Coll., New York Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231106245
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 10/3/2001
  • Series: Columbia History of Urban Life Series
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 8.36 (w) x 11.27 (h) x 1.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard B. Rock is a professor of history at Florida International University. His previous books include Artisans of the New Republic: The Tradesmen of New York City in the Age of Jefferson; The New York City Artisan, 1789-1825: A Documentary History; and Keepers of the Revolution: New Yorkers at Work in the Early Republic.Deborah Dash Moore is professor of religion at Vassar College. Her previous books include At Home in America: Second Generation New York Jews (Columbia) and the award-winning Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, coedited with Paula Hyman.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

1. Colonial Seaport, 1623-17832. Republican Town, 1784-18293. Fragmented City, 1830-18844. Immigrant Metropolis, 1885-19395. Cosmopolitan Community, 1940-19656. Global Village, 1966-1999

Columbia University Press

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2001

    A Beautiful Book!

    The destruction of the World Trade Center has altered the New York City skyline forever and has forced people to confront a new image of New York. The next generation of New York observers will only know the Towers from their images - several magnificant ones appear in this book's final chapter. Cityscapes is more than just a history of New York City and it is more than simply a book of beaufitul pictures. It is a unique social history that explores the timely question of how New York, the City, has been both constructed and reflected in images captured over four hundred years. So far, this is my favorite book of New York City history.

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