The city seemed constantly on the brink of violent change, a roiling cauldron of clamor and confrontation — pitting Greenwich Village bohemians against Midtown media barons; firebrands for the rights of the disenfranchised against fierce defenders of racial and gender privilege; proponents of revolution against the boosters of business as usual. Greater Gotham captures the explosive energy generated by the collisions between plutocrats and progressives; Tammany pols and determined reformers; labor leaders and industry thugs; the embedded Anglo- Protestant elite and brash ethnic newcomers.
During these two decades of the 20th century New York grew exponentially — up, down, and out, in every direction. The city underwent a building boom, producing everything from the Beaux-Arts grandeur of Grand Central Terminal and the Public Library to the futuristic skyscrapers that jostled for empyrean predominance. Here is New York in full ferment: in the sweatshops, luxury hotels, gambling dens, department stores, beer halls, and movie palaces; in the cramped, dim squalor of the Lower East Side tenements as well as the airy residential chateaux rising on the Upper West Side; in the opulence of Fifth Avenue brownstones and the citadel of empowerment taking shape in Harlem. Meanwhile beneath the streets an ever-expanding network of subways and water pipes and electrical conduits connected Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Bronx, serving a burgeoning populace that came from nearly everywhere, drawn and sustained by Gotham’s seemingly unlimited potential.
Wallace’s Greater Gotham captures it all. Utterly immersive, endlessly illuminating, beautifully written, this new volume in the Gotham Series matches its predecessor in pure page-turning appeal and takes America’s greatest city to even greater heights.
"Mike Wallace on Greater Gotham," New York Times Book Review (podcast), October 13, 2017
"Reading with... Mike Wallace," ShelfAwareness (blog), October 6, 2017.
"Mike Wallace on How New York Became a Modern City," The Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC, October 4, 2017.
"History of Zoning," The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC, October 4, 2017.
Philip Lopate, "Mike Wallace," BOMB 141 (Fall 2017).
A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919
By Mike Wallace
Oxford University Press (October 2, 2017)
1200 Pages | 15 maps, 326 linecuts & halftones
View the Table of Contents
John Glendall, "A Pulitzer Prize Winner Explains How These 20 Years in New York Changed the World," Architectural Digest, October 11, 2017
Joseph Berger, "The 20 Years That Made New York City," New York Times Book Review, October 9, 2017
Sam Roberts, "Man of 'Gotham' Returns," New York Times, September 29, 2017.
"Metropolis Rising: How the Big Apple took its Place
among the World’s Great Cities," reviewed by Brooke Kroeger, American Scholar (Fall 2017).
Joe Donahue, "Book Picks," WAMC, October 3, 2017.
Jean Zimmerman, "'Greater Gotham' is a Great Big Book for a Great Big City," NPR Books, October 4, 2017
Robert S. Davis, New York Journal of Books
Jane Ciabattari, "Ten Books to Read in October," BBC, October 3, 2017
Lisa L. Colangelo, "Mike Wallace’s new ‘Greater Gotham’ explores NYC history from 1898 to 1919," AM New York, October 2, 2017
Read the Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus reviews
“At last! Mike Wallace's sequel to Gotham is here, after years of honing this vast subject into a whopping good read. Greater Gotham is the definitive story of New York City, in a time of conflict and dynamic growth. Wallace makes the history sing.”
- Kevin Baker
"An unprecedented feat, the new gold standard of urban history, Greater Gotham both extends and enhances the achievement of Gotham. Employing considerable analytical acuity, Mike Wallace has uncovered the through-lines in New York's story, cutting through the tangle of competing interests with wit, skepticism, nuanced judgment and masterful understanding. It's a tour-de-force of research, synthesis and literary clarity, and is full of surprises and the illumination of dark corners."
- Phillip Lopate
"From Wall Street to immigrant slums, from vaudeville to the Metropolitan Opera, from Tammany Hall to union radicals, Mike Wallace expertly offers a kaleidoscope of New York life in the two pivotal decades in which it emerged as the nation's largest city and center of commerce, culture, and political radicalism. The writing brings it all vividly to life. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of the city, or the nation."
- Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History, Columbia University
"The bounty continues! With Greater Gotham, Mike Wallace advances his impossible-to-put-down chronicle of New York City. Combining unmatched knowledge, striking narration, and analytical power, this stunning book is more than a portrait of a city, but a fresh vantage from which to consider the making of twentieth-century America."
- Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University
"Scholars, students and all who love New York are indebted to Mike Wallace for extending his command of the city's history into its glory days of the early twentieth century. In accessible and authoritative prose he explains how the city matured into a national and global leader of political, economic, social and cultural expression. A remarkable achievement!"
- Kathryn Sklar, Distinguished Professor Emerita, SUNY Binghamton
"Greater Gotham is an engaging, provocative, highly-informative, and beautifully-written history of New York just as it assumes its position of privilege on the world stage. An indispensable new resource that illuminates and explains how the city we know today came to be."
- Louise Mirrer, President & CEO, New York Historical Society