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New York City, New York

Urbanist approaches to New York remain deeply fragmented. The Russell Sage Foundation studies of the impact of the September 11, 2001, attacks, edited by Nancy Foner, John Mollenkopf, and Howard Chernick in 2005, appeared in three volumes (social impact, politics of recovery, economic impact) with only minimal cross-referencing. Nuanced individual research projects are often praiseworthy, but the whole is in effect a heap of disconnected analyses, using different languages and addressing different readerships. The city's story remains many stories. It seems that readers do not expect, and may actually distrust, any attempt at larger coherence. Edmund G. Burrows and Mike Wallace's Gotham (1999) awaits completion. Narrative history regularly threatens to make a comeback but seldom seems capable of holding this complex metropolis in clear ...

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