The New Metropolis: New York City, 1840-1857 / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 28%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $3.19
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 94%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $3.19   
  • New (2) from $58.00   
  • Used (15) from $3.19   


In one generation, New York was transformed into one of the great cities of the modern world. The causes and results of this change are emphasized by Edward K. Spann in The New Metropolis. This book is a brilliant evocation of the years when a seaport town was lost and a great metropolis gained. It is the happy story of American ingenuity, achievement, and urban success, but it is also the story of urban wretchedness and failure. Above all, it is the drama of a major city and its confrontation with the problems and opportunities of a modernizing world.

Columbia University Press

An illustrated, beautifully written history of New York's emergence in the middle of the 19th century as a major world metropolis.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Reviews in American History

Few scholarly historians have attempted to present a thorough account of the evolution of all the diverse forms of life and endeavor in the city during a given period. Few have moved from the preparation of detailed sketches to the creation of a sweeping portrait encompassing all the contrasting colors and tones of a metropolis. In The New Metropolis Edward K. Spann has attempted this challenging task and has produced a rich and rewarding history. Politicians and merchants, rich and poor, do-gooders and thugs, all inhabit the pages of Spann's volume. It is an encyclopedic view, a work ambitious in conception and masterly in presentation.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231050852
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 5/11/1983
  • Series: Columbia History of Urban Life Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 546
  • Sales rank: 977,139
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Commercial New York2. Strangers and Citizens3. The Trouble with Government4. Poverty5. A Rich and Growing City6. Manhattan Sruvival Machine7. The Use of Urban Space8. Escape to Suburbia9. Wealth10. Progressive City-Wicked City11. The Age of Gold12. The Trouble with Politics13. Tammany's City14. Tyranny, Tammany, and the State15. Metropolis

Columbia University Press

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
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2006

    Two decades that nourished New York

    I have spent a great deal of time, over decades, studying the history of my home, New York City. Some of the great works are written by scholars familiar to students of Gotham's history: Wallace, Burroughs, Jackson, Bender, et al., and the list of biographers of New York's most famous and influential citizens would fill pages. But, without fanfare, in the background, Edward K. Spann has written some of the most remarkable and comprehensive histories about New York City. I first read his 'Gotham at War' some years back, and it was a real eye-opener to New York's complicated role during the Civil War. (See my review.) 'The New Metropolis: 1840-1857' is no less a revelation. This era is hardly noted in many studies New York during the Revolution, the Erie Canal's construction, and certainly the Civil War and thereafter, have been fodder for many great historians. But Professor Spann has tackled the two decades (more or less) that really turned New York City from a big city to a metropolis. These pages are populated by the great financiers and great swindlers brilliant civil leaders and corrupt politicians people with the best intentions (who usually never got a chance to complete their dreams) and people with nothing but personal gain in their sights (who usually did fulfill their greedy wishes). The 'characters' of whom I'd always wanted to know more about--like Fernando Wood and Charles Loring Brace--are given the spotlights they have so long deserved. But behind it all is a nameless, faceless character: the furious dynamics of New York City. Professor Spann's conclusion that, in spite of the inept political system, turbulent financial markets, intolerance toward the poor, the Blacks, and the immigrants, and the self-centered hunger of most New Yorkers, somehow, Gotham managed to take care of most of its citizens, and draw tremendous political, economic and cultural resources into its borders. Professor Spann's research is impeccable, and his conclusion hard to debate. This is a dazzling, encyclopedic--but not overwhelming--volume that belongs on the bookshelf of everybody who considers him/herself a student of New York City and America.

    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)