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The Monied Metropolis

The Monied Metropolis
New York City and the Consolidation of the American Bourgeoisie, 1850–1896


  • Date Published: March 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521524100

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About the Authors
  • This book, first published in 2001, is a comprehensive history of the most powerful group in the nineteenth-century United States: New York City's economic elite. This small and diverse group of Americans accumulated unprecedented economic, social, and political power, and decisively put their mark on the age. Professor Beckert explores how capital-owning New Yorkers overcame their distinct antebellum identities to forge dense social networks, create powerful social institutions, and articulate an increasingly coherent view of the world and their place within it. Actively engaging in a rapidly changing economic, social, and political environment, these merchants, industrialists, bankers, and professionals metamorphosed into a social class. In the process, these upper-class New Yorkers put their stamp on the major political conflicts of the day - ranging from the Civil War to municipal elections. Employing the methods of social history, The Monied Metropolis explores the big issues of nineteenth-century social change.

    • First systematic history of nineteenth-century United States bourgeoisie
    • Links the history of merchants, industrialists, and bankers to the large political issues of the nineteenth century
    • First work to introduce European debates on bourgeoisie to an American audience
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… this is, in general, a deftly told account of the Manhattan bourgeoisie's impressively shrewd negotiation of the ever-shifting terrain of the American political and economic landscape. As such, it yields thought-provoking insights into the ways in which power has been - and continues to be - acquired and exercised in the US.' Publishers Weekly

    '… [an] illuminating book on the upper social reaches of Manhattan in the gilded age.' The Economist

    'A fascinating history of New York during the late 19th-century, a time when big money was changing the face of the city … dazzlingly successful.' Kirkus Reviews

    '… he has drawn deftly on an immense body of recent historical work on the period as well as on extensive New York archives.' William R. Taylor,

    'Academic libraries supporting the most serious research in modern US urban, business, and social history will need this book for their collections, as will the major borough publics.' Library Journal

    'Beckert's work is an important contribution to economic history. Mikko Hyvärinen, Scandinavian Economic History Review

    '… a significant contribution to the study of the elite, corporate power and political economy, and urban history.' Business History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521524100
    • length: 516 pages
    • dimensions: 222 x 153 x 31 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • contains: 47 b/w illus. 4 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Manners, Fortunes, Politics:
    1. Accumulating capital
    2. Negotiating the New Metropolis
    3. The politics of capital
    Part II. Reluctant Revolutionaries:
    4. Bourgeois New Yorkers go to war
    5. The spoils of victory
    6. Reconstructing New York
    Part III:
    7. Democracy in the Age of Capital
    8. A Bourgeois world
    9. The rights of labor, the rights of property
    10. The power of capital and the crisis of legitimacy

  • Author

    Sven Beckert, Harvard University, Massachusetts

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