The Public Interest

New York: the “old city”

Nathan Glazer

Fall 1996

THE appearance of The Encyclopedia of New York City,† edited by Kenneth T. Jackson, leads one to think of one of Parkinson’s laws: When the capital is complete, the empire is ready to fall. Or perhaps, more grandly, of Hegel’s owl of Minerva, which takes flight at dusk. For New York City’s current economic and social woes have been accompanied by a spate of major scholarly works that are unparalleled and were unavailable in the days of New York’s glory, wherever we place it. This is a phenomenon that certainly deserves some consideration. 

Download a PDF of the full article.


to your National Affairs subscriber account.

Already a subscriber? Activate your account.


Unlimited access to intelligent essays on the nation’s affairs.

Subscribe to National Affairs.