This "exemplary social history" (Kirkus Reviews) is the first full-scale account of Central Park ever published. In rich detail, Elizabeth Blackmar and Roy Rosenzweig tell the story of Central Park's people - the merchants and landowners who launched the project; the immigrant and African-American residents who were displaced by the park; the politicians, gentlemen, and artists who disputed its design and operation; the German gardeners, Irish laborers, and Yankee engineers who built it; and the generations of New Yorkers for whom Central Park was their only backyards.

In tracing the park's history from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, Blackmar and Rosenzweig give us the history of New York. As they explain how politics, taxes and real-estate development influenced the park, they bring to life larger issues about the meaning of the word "public" in a democratic society.

About the Authors
Roy Rosenzweig
Professor of History at George Mason University, is the author and editor of several books, including Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870-1920. For more books by Mr. Rosenzweig, click here.
Elizabeth Blackmar
Professor of History at Columbia University, is the author of Manhattan for Rent, 1785-1850, also from Cornell.
"Ambitious and adventurous...A surprising and deeply social account of the park's contentious past. A powerful historical resource for the shape American public spaces have taken."
- Susan G. Davis, The Nation
"Prodigiously researched, eloquent. An outstanding study of the evolution of Manhattan's Central Park."
- Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
"A masterpiece combining the story of the park, the history of New York, city and state politics, and the people of the city."
- Library Journal
"Supercedes all previous studies not only in scale and depth of research but especially in its remarkable conceptualization of the park's history."
- Thomas Bender, Journal of American History
Winner of the 1993 Historic Preservation Book Award.
1993 Urban History Association Prize for the Best Book on North American Urban History
Abbott Cumming Lowell Prize for Best Book of 1992 from Vernacular Architecture Forum
Abel Wolman Prize for Best Book in Public Works History
Historic Preservation Book Prize for Best Book of 1992 from Center for Historic Preservation
New York Historical Association Award for Best Manuscript on New York History, 1991