New York City

A Cultural and Literary Companion


Eric Homberger

ISBN : 978-190-2669-43-4

History Cities of the Imagination Other Distributed Titles

January 2002

274 pages, 5.25″ x 8″

For sale in Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR only

  • HK$175.00

New York City epitomizes modernity. Its skyscrapers and neon nightlife, together with its inner-city ghettoes, symbolize all the excitements and tribulations of contemporary urban living. The city is world-famous, a magnet for friends and enemies alike, a fact reinforced by the tragic events of September 2001. But the city’s powerful contemporary presence is also built upon a dramatic history. Settled by Dutch traders, seized at gunpoint by an English fleet, its development into a mega-city reveals a story as astounding as any in American history. Home to generations of migrants, an international center of finance and fashion, New York is a world city both entrepreneurial and self-promoting.

Eric Homberger explores the rich contribution New York has made to American history and culture. Birthplace of Herman Melville, Henry James and Joseph Heller and adopted home of poets, playwrights, artists and radicals from every continent, the city has been relentless in overturning cultural conventions. From jazz to hip-hop, from art deco to modernism, New York has always been at the forefront of innovation.

CITY OF POWER AND AMBITION: Wall Street and the heart of US capitalism; the UN and global politics; Ellis Island and the eternal migrant dream.

CITY OF DRAMA, ART AND MUSIC: Broadway. Tin Pan Alley and the bright lights; museums and art collections; orchestras, opera and the power of popular culture.

CITY OF WRITERS AND VISIONARIES: émigré intellectuals and dissidents; novelists and poets; chroniclers of urban life and voices of the dispossessed.

Eric Homberger is the author of two books about New York, and has written widely on American literature, culture and politics.

“His learning is wide and devoid of pedantry, the style is wonderfully readable and the organisation and selection are judicious. The volume should please both the academic and the general reader alike, and will probably realize its aim of finding a home in travelers’ backpacks.” —Journal of American Studies

“[M]akes ideal background reading for potential travellers. The introductory section on the World Trade Centre attack is a model of succinct commentary.” —Oxford Times