Max Page examines the destruction fantasies created by American writers and imagemakers at various stages of New York’s development. Seen in every medium from newspapers and films to novels, paintings, and computer software, such images, though disturbing, have been continuously popular. Page demonstrates with vivid examples and illustrations how each era’s destruction genre has reflected the city’s economic, political, racial, or physical tensions, and he also shows how the images have become forces in their own right, shaping Americans’ perceptions of New York and of cities in general.
Max Page is an Associate Professor of Architecture and History at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he teaches urban, architectural, and public history. He writes for a variety of publications about New York City, urban development and the popular uses of history. He is a 2003 Guggenheim Fellow and author of The Creative Destruction of Manhattan, which received the 2001 Spiro Kostof Award of the Society of Architectural Historians.