Peter Marcus' New York, the Nation's Metropolis was first published in the spring of 1921. The book received only moderate attention in its time, and it has spent the past eight decades in what I imagine to be something like a coma for books. Despite its marked iterdisciplinary appeal (to Architectual History, Art History, Literary Studies, Urban Studies, American History), its engagement with stories and debates of longstanding interest to American Studies (e.g. the rise of the skyscraper, the relation of urban to non-urban space, the attempt of the individual to represent an increasingly dehumanizing world), and its obvious comparative value for discussions of more widely-celebrated works (e.g. Hugh Ferriss' Metropolis of Tomorrow, the paintings of Charles Sheeler or those of Charles Demuth, Bernice Abbot's Changing New York), there has been virtually no scholarship on the book or its author.

This site aims to wake the book from its long sleep in two ways, by presenting it as two separate -- though interdependent -- electronic republications:

The Facsimile Edition reproduces each page as a high resolution .jpg image. Depending on your connection speed and monitor this version may take a while to download and/or be difficult to read, but it nonetheless offers the most immediate presentation of the original ink-and-paper text.
The Hypertext Edition presents the book as a combination of images and html-formatted text. This edition also includes editorial introductions, chapter annotations, and an afterward outlining opportunities and materials for further research. It also several supplementary images, including photographs, postcards, original maps, and works by other artists of the 1920s.

Each page of the Facsimile and most pages in the Hypertext edition contain links to the corresponding page in the other version, so if at any time in reading one you want to switch to the other, follow the link at the bottom of the page.

Samuel A. Turner
Summer, 2000