New York is not America, Francois 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.
Francois Weil is directeur d'etudes 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-Americains, 1860-1980 and Naissance de l'Amerique 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.
Foreword I The Province 1620-1820 1. The Ocean 2. The Commencement of a Town II Queen of the New World 1820-1890 3. The Venice of the Atlantic 4. The Empire City 5. Manhattan III Metropolitan Modernities 1890-1940 6. Greater New York 7. The Promised City? 8. The Lights of the City IV Capital of the American Century 1940-2000 9. The Phoenix 10. New York, New York!