City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis
edited by Keith Gessen and Stephen Squibb.
An n+1 / FSG book.
City by City is a collection of essays—historical, personal, often somewhere in between—about the present and future of American cities. It looks at the national rollback in industry that has caused the death of factory towns like Greensboro, North Carolina, and Reading, Pennsylvania. It also looks at the miniature engines of prosperity that have gentrified places like Brooklyn and Boise. In between are stories both telling and strange. Providence, Rhode Island, experiences a civic renaissance that disguises lingering corruption in its mobbed-up political system. The two hundred citizens of Whittier, Alaska, are approached about starring in a reality TV show. A would-be savior announces plans for the biggest mall in the world in Syracuse, New York. Meanwhile, racial profiling by the police haunts Cincinnati, Palm Coast, and Baltimore in advance of the protests that will go on to sweep the nation.
A cross between Hunter S. Thompson and Studs Terkel, Slouching Towards Bethlehem and the Depression–era WPA guides to each state in the Union, City by City brings this tradition of American storytelling to the era of our own Great Recession.
Keith Gessen is a founding editor of n+1 and the author of All the Sad Young Literary Men, as well as the editor of Diary of a Very Bad Year: Confessions of an Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager and Kirill Medvedev's It's No Good: Poems, Essays, Manifestoes. Stephen Squibb is a graduate student in English at Harvard University. His writing has appeared in Artforum and e-flux journal.
Praise for City by City:
"From Whittier, Alaska, to Williston, North Dakota, to Palm Coast, Florida, these varied essays offer compelling snapshots of how Americans live, move, and work."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Spirited, eye-opening examinations of American cities . . . [an] intelligent collection of essays."
— Publishers Weekly