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Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898…
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Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 (The History of NYC Series) (original 1999; edition 1998)

by Edwin G. Burrows (Author)

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1,447512,894 (4.24)16
In Gotham, Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace have written an epic as vast and varied as the city it chronicles. Drawing on the work of hundreds of scholars who have reexamined New York's past, the authors weave together diverse histories - of sex and sewer systems, finance and architecture, immigration and politics, poetry and crime - into a single narrative tapestry that reads like a fast-paced novel. Readers will relive the tumultuous early years of New Amsterdam under the Dutch, the Indian wars and Peter Stuyvesant's autocratic regime, the English conquest, the rise of slave trading and slave revolts, the invasion and garrisoning of the city during the Revolution. They will watch New York blossom over the nineteenth century into the country's greatest port, leading manufacturing center, preeminent financial hub, corporate headquarters, and incubator of mass cultural innovations from vaudeville and baseball to Coney Island and the department store. But the real heroes and heroines of Gotham are New Yorkers themselves, and the authors provide mini-biographies of hundreds of individuals, ranging from the world famous to the virtually unknown. The interplay among New York's fiercely heterogeneous citizens was often abrasive, and Gotham recounts the way clashes between immigrants and old-timers, rich and poor, blacks and whites flamed into fierce street battles like the Civil War draft riots. But New Yorkers also forged connections and coalitionscreating multi-national picket lines, interracial reform movements, and multi-ethnic political tickets. Their fusions and collisions generated tremendous kinetic energy, cultural inventiveness, and a vision of unity-in-diversity that would become a distinctive contribution to world civilization.… (more)
Member:BardofBaltimore
Title:Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 (The History of NYC Series)
Authors:Edwin G. Burrows (Author)
Info:Oxford University Press (1998), Edition: 1, 1416 pages
Collections:Your library
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Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 by Edwin G. Burrows (1999)

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Showing 4 of 4
To the people who only gave this book two stars: I wish you would write a review and let us know why!

I read this book over a lazy summer, and have never been more fascinated by a work of non-fiction. Burrows and Wallace profile the city from its "discovery" by white men to the bustle of the 1890s. They discuss almost every conceivable aspect of the city with humour and insightful research, providing us with astonishing statistics, fascinating quotes from the time, and a comprehensive scope that reaches from the aristocracy to the slums. Individual readers will have their own areas that could have been further researched, but truthfully this is a truly absorbing read. (And, since the book at least touches on every aspect of the city's history, it's a good starting point to find areas for more specialised reading.)

More so than just the history of one city, this book is a history of trade, urban life, culture and really America as a whole. It is filled with colourful personalities, uplifting stories and tragedies. In some areas, it can be quite academic with its catalogues and investigations of history, but I'm the kind of person who loves that. Better to be ambitious than lazy, I say!

I can't wait for the promised sequel to this book (chronicling the 20th century). ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 21, 2024 |
3458. Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, by Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace (read July 9, 2001) This won the 1999 History Pulitzer Prize. If it had not I doubt I'd have read it, since I live over a thousand miles from New York. It is a sweeping and magisterial history, full of interesting and amazing things, many of which were new to me. It is a great book--1236 pages of text, 69 pages of a not user-friendly bibliography, and 69 pages of index. This is a really good book, except for its failure to have decent footnotes. I am looking forward to volume II
(which finally came out in 2017 and which I completed reading on 29 Nov 2017). ( )
  Schmerguls | Nov 23, 2007 |
At 1,424 pages, this is a big book, more a handy reference than sit-down-and-read-it page turner. But if you are looking for specific facts about New York City’s early history, this is the tome for you. “The authors,” noted The New York Times Book Review, “glide easily around town, peeking inside brothels for working men in Five Points, then pressing noses to the gilt-edged windows of the uptown rich.... Burrows and Wallace offer a large-canvas portrait of a city they clearly love.” ( )
  RebeccaReader | Jun 6, 2007 |
This is simply the best history of NYC until 1898, when the city we know today comprised of five boroughs was formed. All aspects of NYC history are covered in great detail. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has ever lived in NYC or just wants to learn more about it. ( )
1 vote Jamie638 | Apr 4, 2007 |
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Edwin G. Burrowsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wallace, Mikemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Introduction: The origin of many a great city lies swaddles in myth and legend.
"O this is Eden!" exulted the Dutch poet Jacob Steendam.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In Gotham, Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace have written an epic as vast and varied as the city it chronicles. Drawing on the work of hundreds of scholars who have reexamined New York's past, the authors weave together diverse histories - of sex and sewer systems, finance and architecture, immigration and politics, poetry and crime - into a single narrative tapestry that reads like a fast-paced novel. Readers will relive the tumultuous early years of New Amsterdam under the Dutch, the Indian wars and Peter Stuyvesant's autocratic regime, the English conquest, the rise of slave trading and slave revolts, the invasion and garrisoning of the city during the Revolution. They will watch New York blossom over the nineteenth century into the country's greatest port, leading manufacturing center, preeminent financial hub, corporate headquarters, and incubator of mass cultural innovations from vaudeville and baseball to Coney Island and the department store. But the real heroes and heroines of Gotham are New Yorkers themselves, and the authors provide mini-biographies of hundreds of individuals, ranging from the world famous to the virtually unknown. The interplay among New York's fiercely heterogeneous citizens was often abrasive, and Gotham recounts the way clashes between immigrants and old-timers, rich and poor, blacks and whites flamed into fierce street battles like the Civil War draft riots. But New Yorkers also forged connections and coalitionscreating multi-national picket lines, interracial reform movements, and multi-ethnic political tickets. Their fusions and collisions generated tremendous kinetic energy, cultural inventiveness, and a vision of unity-in-diversity that would become a distinctive contribution to world civilization.

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