Cityscapes

A History of New York in Images

Edited by Howard B. Rock and Deborah Dash Moore

Columbia University Press

Cityscapes

Pub Date: October 2001

ISBN: 9780231106245

416 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $85.00£66.00

Cityscapes

A History of New York in Images

Edited by Howard B. Rock and Deborah Dash Moore

Columbia University Press

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.
The authors have pulled together a powerful testament to the city's exhuberant past. Joel Schwartz, New York History
A book so beautiful it grows in resonance with every passing month. Forward Magazine
An engaging history of New York City... Rock and Moore 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. Library Journal
This cultural history is a fascinating amalgam of essays and illustrations that ranges from the city's skyline to life on its streets. New York Daily News
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.' USA Today
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. New York Magazine
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. The Miami Herald
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, America
As smart as it is beautiful. Cityscapes will thrill New York history buffs. Miriam Wolf, San Francisco Bay Guardian
1. Colonial Seaport, 1623-1783
2. Republican Town, 1784-1829
3. Fragmented City, 1830-1884
4. Immigrant Metropolis, 1885-1939
5. Cosmopolitan Community, 1940-1965
6. Global Village, 1966-1999

About 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.