Manhattan Projects: The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $9.46
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 74%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $9.46   
  • New (4) from $10.19   
  • Used (7) from $9.46   


Moving beyond the usual good-versus-evil story that pits master-planner Robert Moses against the plucky neighborhood advocate Jane Jacobs, Samuel Zipp sheds new light on the rise and fall of New York's urban renewal in the decades after World War II. Focusing on four iconic "Manhattan projects"--the United Nations building, Stuyvesant Town, Lincoln Center, and the great swaths of public housing in East Harlem--Zipp unearths a host of forgotten stories and characters that flesh out the conventional history of urban renewal. He shows how boosters hoped to make Manhattan the capital of modernity and a symbol of American power, but even as the builders executed their plans, a chorus of critics revealed the dark side of those Cold War visions, attacking urban renewal for perpetuating deindustrialization, racial segregation, and class division; for uprooting thousands, and for implanting a new, alienating cityscape. Cold War-era urban renewal was not merely a failed planning ideal, Zipp concludes, but also a crucial phase in the transformation of New York into both a world city and one mired in urban crisis.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Zipp highlights four post-war construction projects in New York City that significantly altered the landscape, delivering a measured critique of urban renewal at a time when “city blocks were literally uprooted, broken down, and reconstructed in geometric arrangements that produced a new, unfamiliar sense of order.” The author looks at efforts that helped to create and maintain Manhattan’s global influence on politics and the arts: The United Nations headquarters, for instance, designed by a diverse group of 11 architects, became “a kind of international territory, considered inviolable under U.S. law, and figuratively, politically, and aesthetically to no one nation.” And Lincoln Center traded “blocks of tenements, warehouses, factories, and storefronts for a world-class, modern performing arts complex that capped New York’s campaign to become the cultural capital of the world.” But the plans that perhaps most directly affected Manhattan residents include the construction of Stuyvesant Town in the 1940s and “vast belts of public housing... erected in East Harlem” in the 1950s and ’60s. Though at times overly academic, Zipp’s deeply-researched and comprehensive volume manages to give readers a strong sense of history and a relevant social context in which to view it. Photos. (June)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195328745
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/24/2010
  • Pages: 488
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel Zipp is Assistant Professor of American Civilization and Urban Studies at Brown University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Part I: United Nations
1. Clearing the Slum Called War

Part II: Stuyvesant Town
2. Remaking the Ethic of City Rebuilding
3. The Mass Home in the Middle-Class Cityscape

Part III: Lincoln Square
4. Culture and Cold War in the Making of Lincoln Center
5. The Battle of Lincoln Square

Part IV: East Harlmen
6. Cold War Public Housing in the Age of Urgan Renewal
7. Confronting the "Mass Way of Life"

Conclusion: Under the Sign of the White Cross Notes Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & 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 & 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 & 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 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 & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & 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 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

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