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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times Notable Book

A lively, immersive history by an award-winning urbanist of New York City’s transformation, and the lessons it offers for the city’s future.

Dangerous, filthy, and falling apart, garbage piled on its streets and entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble; New York’s terrifying, if liberating, state of nature in 1978 also made it the capital of American culture. Over the next thirty-plus years, though, it became a different place - kinder and meaner, richer and poorer, more like America and less like what it had always been.

New York, New York, New York, Thomas Dyja’s sweeping account of this metamorphosis, shows it wasn’t the work of a single policy, mastermind, or economic theory, nor was it a morality tale of gentrification or crime. Instead, three New Yorks evolved in turn. After brutal retrenchment came the dazzling Koch Renaissance and the Dinkins years that left the city’s liberal traditions battered but laid the foundation for the safe streets and dotcom excess of Giuliani’s Reformation in the ‘90s. Then the planes hit on 9/11. The shaky city handed itself over to Bloomberg who merged City Hall into his personal empire, launching its Reimagination. From Hip Hop crews to Wall Street bankers, D.V. to Jay-Z, Dyja weaves New Yorkers famous, infamous, and unknown - Yuppies, hipsters, tech nerds, and artists; community organizers and the immigrants who made this a truly global place - into a narrative of a city creating ways of life that would ultimately change cities everywhere.

With great success, though, came grave mistakes. The urbanism that reclaimed public space became a means of control, the police who made streets safe became an occupying army, technology went from a means to the end. Now, as anxiety fills New Yorker’s hearts and empties its public spaces, it’s clear that what brought the city back - proximity, density, and human exchange - are what sent Covid-19 burning through its streets, and the price of order has come due. A fourth evolution is happening and we must understand that the greatest challenge ahead is the one New York failed in the first three: The cures must not be worse than the disease.

Exhaustively researched, passionately told, New York, New York, New York is a colorful, inspiring guide to not just rebuilding but reimagining a great city.

©2021 Kelmscott Ink, Inc. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about New York, New York, New York

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OMG...right on 👍👍👍👍👍

Growing up in Minnesota, then selling computers for IBM in Hawaii, then meeting a beautiful, wonderfully free and hip woman from NYC who got me to move to, live, experience and endure New York from 1975 until 2015, this excellent book relates so much to my first hand experience. This is a must read for anyone interested in what makes NYC literally the greatest city of the world.

45 people found this helpful

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A biased view of NYC from an UWS liberal

I was born in NYC (UES) and have lived on the UWS (very very close to the author) and JaxHeights so I have perspective being close in age to the author. There are a lot of inaccuracies, mistakes and an overwhelming bias in this liberal account of the history of NYC. Rudy saved NYC! Bloomberg was an overrated egotist who did very little to help NYC and viewed himself abover the term limits he espoused. The book talks about shutting down Rikers as a good thing? I wonder if Mr Dyja would think that if they put one of the community borough prisons on his street - I know the answer to this question! He talks about density yet wants more parks (I am for both) but would he want a 40 story monstrosity blocking his view of Riverside Park? As for DeBozo, he is the WORST and has ZERO redeeming qualities, the day he leaves office will be the best day in recent history in NYC. I could go on and on about the biases in this book but you get the picture.

6 people found this helpful

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New York, New York

As a 75 year old man from upstate New York I never realize the complexity nor the intrigue that took place 160 miles south of me. I find a better informed, and have a better understanding of this miracle we call New York City. I regret as an upstater I did not have more compassion what took place down the Hudson River. Enlighten yourself and take a listen.

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Another Liberal Viewpoint

I liked hearing the history of NY but not the left, liberal slams throughout.

1 person found this helpful

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Gossipy and shallow

This book is like reading 500 pages of the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town."

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Thank God I don’t live there

Thank God I don’t live in New York. I would not know how to handle living in a city with so many people and it’s liberal politics