The Gilded Age in New York, 1870-1910


By Esther Crain

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$48.00 CAD


This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 27, 2016. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

An expansive exploration of The Gilded Age in New York City, from of the extravagant lifestyles and magnificent mansions of the ultra-rich to the daily doings of the wretchedly poor who lived in the shadows of their newly constructed skyscrapers. Written by the curator of Ephemeral New York and illustrated with hundreds of rarely-seen images.

Mark Twain coined the term the "Gilded Age" for this period of growth and extravagance, experienced most dramatically in New York City from the 1870s to 1910. In forty short years, the 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 City covers daily life for the rich, poor, and the burgeoning middle class; the colorful and energetic entrepreneurs known as both “captains of industry” and “robber barons” including John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Leland Stanford, and J.P. Morgan;  the opulence and excess of the new wealthy class; the influx of immigrants which caused the city's population to quadruple in 40 years; how new-found leisure time was spent in places such as Coney Island and Central Park; crimes that shocked the city and altered the police force; the rise of social services; and the city's physical growth both skyward and outward toward the five boroughs.

With more than 300 illustrations and photographs (including images colorized specifically for this book) combined with firsthand accounts and fascinating details, The Gilded Age in New York presents a vivid tapestry of American society at the turn of the century.

  • "A beguiling, lavishly illustrated book that. . . epitomizes what Ms. Crain calls the city's incredible energy and sense of its own greatness and destiny."
    Sam Roberts, The New York Times
  • "Crain unspools the story of four decades in crisp prose studded with pictures."
    Entertainment Weekly

On Sale
Sep 27, 2016
Page Count
304 pages

Esther Crain

About the Author

Esther Crain is an author and native New Yorker. She launched Ephemeral New York, a website that chronicles the city's past and has been profiled in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and New York Post. She is also the author of The New-York Historical Society's New York City in 3D in the Gilded Age

Learn more about this author