A History of New York

Overview

New York is not America, François Weil writes, "but what America promises, perhaps its greatest promise." It may be hard to believe, then, that the quintessential symbol of American enterprise and energy was once quite low in the political and social hierarchy. Weil takes on the New York of myth and offers a compelling chronicle of how it actually developed into a global city — what some have called the capital of the twenty-first century. He shows how the uneasy tension between capitalism and multiculturalism ...

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Overview

New York is not America, François Weil writes, "but what America promises, perhaps its greatest promise." It may be hard to believe, then, that the quintessential symbol of American enterprise and energy was once quite low in the political and social hierarchy. Weil takes on the New York of myth and offers a compelling chronicle of how it actually developed into a global city — what some have called the capital of the twenty-first century. He shows how the uneasy tension between capitalism and multiculturalism has been at the heart of the city's immense physical, social, economic, and cultural transformation — as well as of American notions of what urban "space" is, for whom it exists, and how it is used. The book also captures what makes the city exceptional — from the arts and literature to popular culture and party politics — and reveals New York as both a unique space and a model of American diversity.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of American History - Eric Homberger
Weil's Histoire de New York, published in French in 2000, deserves translation
Urban History - Angela M. Blake
Skillfully translated.
American Historical Review - Keith D. Revell
Weil offers compelling portraits of popular culture... Well done and interesting... Moving at the breathtaking speed.
Choice
Weil's coverage of the city's history after the late 19th century is concise and thought-provoking.... Recommended.
Choice

Weil's coverage of the city's history after the late 19th century is concise and thought-provoking.... Recommended.

New York Journal of American History
Histories of New York City... are wither very thin, or very thick... in the under-five-pound category, this volume wins hands down.
Journal of American History
Weil's Histoire de New York, published in French in 2000, deserves translation

— Eric Homberger

Urban History
Skillfully translated.

— Angela M. Blake

American Historical Review
Weil offers compelling portraits of popular culture... Well done and interesting... Moving at the breathtaking speed.

— Keith D. Revell

Library Journal
In the first pages of Weil's history, the early European settlers of New Amsterdam buy Manhattan in 1626 from native people who lacked the concept of private property. The book ends in a period when Manhattan holds "countless young people, who spent their days in the business world getting rich." First published in French in 2000, Weil's book discusses the political and social conditions in Europe and Great Britain that brought the settlers to what is now New York. Weil (director, Ctr. for North American Studies, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris) skillfully weaves myriad details and insights about this multicultural metropolis into a coherent work. He includes demographic shifts, industry, employment, public health, real estate development, architectural achievements, and the pioneering media. He also explores New York's hold on the imagination and its cosmopolitan ideal. Weil writes extensively about New York intellectuals, covering both the immigrant experience and the place of communism. Translator Gladding provides the reader with eloquent English prose. Like Ric Burns and James Sanders's longer New York: An Illustrated History, this book includes the city's literary, cultural, and intellectual life while conveying a deep respect for the city as a singular entity. Weil's book finishes in 2000, an optimistic note. For New York history collections.-Elaine Machleder, Bronx, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231129350
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 7/7/2004
  • Series: Columbia History of Urban Life Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 784,225
  • Product dimensions: 5.04 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

François Weil is directeur d'études and director of the Center for North American Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has taught at the Universities of Michigan and Virginia, and in 2003 he was the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Tulane University. He is the author of Les Franco-Américains, 1860—1980 and Naissance de l'Amérique Urbaine, 1820—1920.Jody Gladding's many translations include The Devil's Cloth (Columbia) by Michel Pastoureau and Time Passing (Columbia) by Sylviane Agacinski. She is a poet and the author of Stone Crop.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

ForewordI The Province 1620-18201. The Ocean2. The Commencement of a TownII Queen of the New World 1820-18903. The Venice of the Atlantic4. The Empire City5. ManhattanIII Metropolitan Modernities 1890-19406. Greater New York7. The Promised City? 8. The Lights of the CityIV Capital of the American Century 1940-20009. The Phoenix10. New York, New York!

Columbia University Press

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