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The Gilded Age in New York, 1870-1910
by Esther Crain
The drama, expansion, mansions and wealth of New York City’s transformative Gilded Age era, from 1870 to 1910, captured in a magnificently illustrated hardcover.
In forty short years, New York City suddenly became a city of skyscrapers, subways, streetlights, and Central Park, as well as sprawling bridges that connected the once-distant boroughs. In Manhattan, more than a million poor immigrants crammed into tenements, while the half of the millionaires in the entire country lined Fifth Avenue with their opulent mansions.
The Gilded Age in New York captures what is was like to live in Gotham then, to be a daily witness to the city’s rapid evolution.
Newspapers, autobiographies, and personal diaries offer fascinating glimpses into daily life among the rich, the poor, and the surprisingly large middle class.
The use of photography and illustrated periodicals provides astonishing images that document the bigness of New York: the construction of the Statue of Liberty; the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge; the shimmering lights of Luna Park in Coney Island; the mansions of Millionaire’s Row.
Sidebars detail smaller, fleeting moments: Alice Vanderbilt posing proudly in her “Electric Light” ball gown at a society-changing masquerade ball; immigrants stepping off the boat at Ellis Island; a young Theodore Roosevelt witnessing Abraham Lincoln’s funeral.