Conquering Gotham

By Jill Jonnes

  • Release Date : 2007-04-19
  • Genre : Art & Architecture
  • FIle Size : 2.94 MB
Score: 4.5
From 8 Ratings


Conquering Gotham “Superb. [A] first-rate narrative” (The Wall Street Journal) about the controversial construction of New York’s beloved original Penn Station and its tunnels, from the author of Eiffel's Tower and Urban Forests

As bestselling books like Ron Chernow's Titan and David McCullough's The Great Bridge affirm, readers are fascinated with the grand personalities and schemes that populated New York at the close of the nineteenth century. Conquering Gotham re- creates the riveting struggle waged by the great Pennsylvania Railroad to build Penn Station and the monumental system of tunnels that would connect water-bound Manhattan to the rest of the continent by rail. Historian Jill Jonnes tells a ravishing tale of snarling plutocrats, engineering feats, and backroom politicking packed with the most colorful figures of Gilded Age New York.

Conquering Gotham will be featured in an upcoming episdoe of PBS's American Experience.

From the Trade Paperback edition.


  • Riveting Railroad History!

    By WillForce
    Jonnes captures the exceptional vision and courage of the men responsible for bringing the PPR into Manhattan. A riveting tale, that is exceptionally well written and inspirational.
  • So good, difficult to describe

    By Audiose
    It is the most fascinating book I have ever read. Just learning about the greatness of Alexander Cassatt is worth the cost of the book, no matter the cost. Leadership and greatness this country no longer has. If you aren't a fan of history, you will be after you read this. As others have said, all those I told about this book read it and loved it.
  • Conquering Gotham

    By Fab One
    I LOVED this book, am very grateful to the person who gave it to me as a gift, and have heard nothing but equally enthusiastic thanks from everyone I've told about it and who has read it. Not a topic that many might ordinarily be inclined to read about, this book has it all - fascinating personalities and intriguing relationships, larger-than-life challenges, old-time graft, corruption and politics in the Tammany Hall days, turn-of-the century Teddy Roosevelt trust-busting, railroad magnates, seemingly impossible technological challenges, wealth, power, and raw competition and rivalries on both a corporate and very personal level. The insight into the everyday plight, and dangers, of laborers, immigrants and prostitution houses run amok in old-time Manhattan is gripping. The inspirational vision and leadership of one man running the Pennsylvania Railroad and his unswerving determination is something our leadership sorely lacks today, and it is a lesson that directly ties into our worn out, overburdened infrastructure of today that gets plenty of lip service but marginal attention. But, be prepared for the heart-breaking rise and fall of what had been one of America's true, magnificent, artistic, archeological accomplishments and icons - the original Penn Station - on the site of the present-day disgrace. A true page-turner, this book is a fascinating must-read!