“New York is Not America”: Immigrants and Tourists in Post-World War I New York



In contrast to the prevailing public image of New York before World War I, when the burgeoning skyscraper “landscape” seemed its greatest new attraction, by the 1920s observers of New York had lowered their gaze to the streets, as it were, and seemed more interested in assessing New York’s status by means of its population rather than its buildings. “It is not so much the place … as the people,” mused renowned British writer and frequent visitor to New York, Ford Madox Ford, in his 1927 book New York Is Not America, hen considering New York’s appeal. He dismissed the urban landscape as the city’s defining characteristic in favor of its diverse urban population.1


American Museum Immigration Restriction Metropolitan Museum Saturday Evening Ethnic Neighborhood 
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© Elspeth H. Brown, Catherine Gudis, and Marina Moskowitz 2006

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