The City's End: Two Centuries of Fantasies, Fears and Premonitions of New York's Destruction

Front Cover
Yale University Press, Jul 1, 2010 - History - 271 pages
3 Reviews

From nineteenth-century paintings of fires raging through New York City to scenes of Manhattan engulfed by a gigantic wave in the 1998 movieDeep Impact, images of the city’s end have been prolific and diverse. Why have Americans repeatedly imagined New York’s destruction? What do the fantasies of annihilation played out in virtually every form of literature and art mean? This book is the first to investigate two centuries of imagined cataclysms visited upon New York, and to provide a critical historical perspective to our understanding of the events of September 11, 2001.

 

Max Page examines the destruction fantasies created by American writers and imagemakers at various stages of New York’s development. Seen in every medium from newspapers and films to novels, paintings, and computer software, such images, though disturbing, have been continuously popular. Page demonstrates with vivid examples and illustrations how each era’s destruction genre has reflected the city’s economic, political, racial, or physical tensions, and he also shows how the images have become forces in their own right, shaping Americans’ perceptions of New York and of cities in general.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: The City's End: Two Centuries of Fantasies, Fears, and Premonitions of New York's Destruction

User Review  - Kristen Kim - Goodreads

A pretty interesting read and a stimulating cinematic analysis. On the other hand, pretty repetitive. Read full review

Review: The City's End: Two Centuries of Fantasies, Fears, and Premonitions of New York's Destruction

User Review  - Ely - Goodreads

An broad, but not terribly deep, analysis of a fascinating subject. Nice to see "Soylent Green" getting the academic treatment though. Read full review

About the author (2010)

Max Page is professor of architecture and history, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is a 2003 Guggenheim Fellow and author of The Creative Destruction of Manhattan, which received the 2001 Spiro Kostof Award of the Society of Architectural Historians. He lives in Amherst.

Bibliographic information