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Beyond darkness and daylight: Constructing New York's public image, 1890--1930

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posted on 2023-09-06, 03:00 authored by Angela M. Blake

"City of Living Death," "Metropolis of the Western World," "City of Dreadful Height," "World's Prize Borough of Bunk," "Little Old New York": between 1890 and 1930, urban reformers, newspaper men, city officials, "old" New Yorkers, business boosters, and tourism promoters constructed competing "versions" of New York. In the interests of politics and commerce, each worked to promote their version of a clear public image of a city frequently perceived and experienced as unknowable. This project examines the representations they employed to make New York "knowable" to their constituents and consumers. I argue that the tourist's desire to know and see the city ultimately shaped a set of commercial representations of New York more prolific and more powerful than other previous or contemporaneous versions of the city. The tourist industry and its consumers, in both their practices and representations, made the city visible, legible, and navigable to an extent not offered by non-commercial constructions of New York.

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American University

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English

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Ph.D. American University 2000.

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http://hdl.handle.net/1961/thesesdissertations:2402

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application/pdf

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Part of thesis digitization project, awaiting processing.

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