With the economy on wobbly legs and an election in the balance, the idea of New York City in ruins doesn’t sound like such a far-fetched Halloween nightmare. In fact, it's undeniable that the demolition of our most famous city--even from its first days of construction--has been a perennial subject for writers, artists, cartoonists, and filmmakers alike.In The City's End, Max Page chronicles the history of imaginative destructions of the metropolis, from rampaging animatronic beasts to acts of divine intervention. At the heart of these pop-cultural cataclysms, he explains, there lies a desire to articulate our greatest national fears, be they terrorist attacks or social decay or the after-effects of an environment long marred by our own acts. But even more importantly, what stands alongside these perverse fantasies is an affirmation of the city's resilience in the face of troubled times. And that's something we could use more of these days.
To hear Sam Roberts of the New York Times discussing the book in his "Only in New York" audio podcast: click here.