The Encyclopedia of New York City (1995) brings together in a single 1350-page volume, contributions from hundreds of scholars concerned with almost every aspect of metropolis. The book richly details the history of the city's many ethnic groups, with good accounts of religious and educational institutions and leading financial and legal firms. There are also well-wrought entries on a host of specialized topics from graffiti to sports. But The Encyclopedia is disappointing when it comes to explaining such fundamental questions as how did New York get so big or how might it be distinguished from other cities? The absence of systematic cross-referencing of articles within such key areas as transportation and politics indicates what is missing here - a strategy for explaining what is perhaps the most influential city in the world. For prospective editions, editorial attention should be directed toward developing a coherent historical treatment of transportation, from the Erie Canal to the automobile. An appreciation of New York's efforts to sustain a home-grown welfare state - embracing public transit, housing, health and higher education - would also go a long way to explaining what, in this century at least, has made this place so distinctive.
Source Citation (MLA 8 th Edition)
Wunsch, James L. "The Encyclopedia of New York City." Journal of Social History, vol. 31, no. 1, 1997, p. 184+. Academic OneFile, Accessed 15 Oct. 2018.
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