The Fall of a Great American City by Kevin Baker is the story of what is happening today in New York City and in many other cities across America. It is about how the crisis of affluence is driving out everything we love most about cities: small shops, decent restaurants, public space, street life, affordable apartments, responsive government, beauty, idiosyncrasy, each other. This is the story of how we came to lose so much—how the places we love most were turned over to land bankers, billionaires, the worst people in the world, and criminal landlords—and how we can – and must – begin to take them back.
With a Foreword by James Howard Kunstler, author of The Geography of Nowhere and The Long Emergency, among many other books.
Kevin Baker was born in Englewood, New Jersey, and grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts. He graduated from Columbia University in 1980. His first novel, Sometimes You See It Coming, based loosely on the life of Ty Cobb was published in 1993. Baker’s New York‚ City of Fire trilogy includes Dreamland (1999), Paradise Alley (2002), and Strivers Row (2006).
Kevin was the chief historical researcher on Harold Evans’ best–selling history, The American Century. He wrote the monthly “In the News” column for American Heritage magazine from 1998-2007, and has been published in The New York Times, The New Republic, New York magazine, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, and Harper’s magazine, among other publications. He was a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow for non-fiction. Baker is married and lives in New York City.
Co-published with Harper‘s Magazine, where an earlier version of this essay was originally published in 2018.
Hardcover – 5.5 x 9 – 176 pages – with 15 black and white photographs of New York City.
Cover photograph by Fred Conrad.
Publication date: October 8, 2019
Available from booksellers everywhere. Distributed worldwide by Simon & Schuster