Designing Gotham

  • by Jon Scott Logel
  • Narrated by Mark Kamish
  • 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Between 1817 and 1898, New York City evolved from a vital Atlantic port of trade to the center of American commerce and culture. Although this important urban transformation is well documented, the critical role of select Union soldiers turned New York engineers has, until now, remained largely unexplored. In Designing Gotham, Jon Scott Logel examines the fascinating careers of George S. Greene, Egbert L. Viele, John Newton, Henry Warner Slocum, and Fitz John Porter, all of who studied engineering at West Point, served in the US Army during the Civil War, and later advanced their civilian careers and status through the creation of Victorian New York.
After the war these industrious professionals leveraged their education and military experience to wield significant influence during New York's social, economic, and political transformation. Logel examines how each engineer's Civil War service shaped his contributions to postwar activities in the city, including the construction of the Croton Aqueduct, the creation of Central Park, and the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. Examining the West Pointers' experiences - as cadets, military officers during the war, and New Yorkers - Logel assesses how these men impacted the growing metropolis, the rise of professionalization, and the advent of Progressivism at the end of the century.
The book is published by Louisiana State University Press.

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What the Critics Say

"Will grace the libraries of all those interested in the history of the city, or in those important but little-known aspects of West Point's remarkable history." (Theodore J. Crackel, author of West Point: A Bicentennial History)
"Logel's attention to multiple contexts and his balanced interpretation of change and continuity are models for historians in any field." (Samuel Watson, author of Peacekeepers and Conquerors)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

about both military history and engineering.

Interesting book. great narration for this kind of book. Was a bit hard to remember who was who. Made me curious to learn more about the subject.

I was given a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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- Camilla

Great geekdom!

civil-engineering, west-point, progress, nyc

I was only expecting an interesting doctoral thesis, but this is a history geek's delight! How many civilians bother to wonder about the curricula of West Point beyond the military stuff? Once challenged, it is obvious that civil engineering would be mandatory both for war involvement and reconstruction. And what do graduates do after military service? They insert their knowledge into infrastructure. In the time and place of this study we are talking mostly about things like Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Bridge, just to name my favorites. The exploration of the impact of graduates upon the structure of NYC in the 19th century is well organized and also clearly informative to several kinds of geeks. Like me.
I was fortunate to have my request for an audio copy filled in a giveaway, but it is definitely worth paying for.
Mark Kamish does really well as narrator in that his voice is pleasant, speech clearly understandable, and cadence smooth.

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- Jan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-14-2017
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks