Gotham Logo Gotham Logo  
 
About The Gotham Center
Recent Books on NYC History
back to book list
Fat of the Land: The Garbage Behind New York-The Last Two Hundred Years
by Benjamin Miller
Publisher: Four Walls Eight Windows 2000
Category:
Avg Rating: (0 reviews)
Of all of New York's unnatural resources, garbage is perhaps the most lucrative and, historically, the most contested. This deeply researched, eclectic history of how New York has handled its increasingly mountainous accumulations of trash is social and political history at its best. As Miller's comprehensive view makes clear, the problem of urban garbage disposal has many tentacles. While social philosopher Jeremy Bentham viewed it as a moral problem, yellow fever and cholera outbreaks in the city later revealed that it was also a health problem. When new technology allowed grease to be easily extracted from refuse, however, it became an economic boon; as the metropolis began to expand, garbage also became a basic landfill material, producing millions for developers and city politicians. Miller, the former director of policy for the New York City Department of Sanitation, is equally at ease with the intricacies of Brooklyn ward politics, Frederick Law Olmsted's theories of urban planning and Edison's plan for convenient electricity, and manages to work many fascinating details into his larger economic and political framework. His story grows pointedly relevant when he details the 1938 efforts of municipal administrator Robert Moses to designate the Fresh Kills marshland as a landfill area (in order to fulfill his secret plan to build a bridge to New Jersey from Staten Island)The move that infuriated environmentalists and continues to haunt the city's administrations. Miller has crafted a notably elegant treatment of this important though neglected topic.

Reviews

(none)

Write a Review

On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the best,
How do you rate this book?
Please enter a title for your review:
Type your review in the space below:

Search Books
 

Featured Books

Trying Leviathan: The Nineteenth-Century New York Court Case That Put the Whale on Trial and Challenged the Order of Nature
by D. Graham Burnett
More

740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building
by Michael Gross
More

A House On The Heights
by Truman Capote
More

A Moment in the Sun
by John Sayles
More

Abandoned: Foundlings in Nineteenth-Century New York City
by Julie Miller
More

American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, The Birth of the "It" Girl and The Crime of the Century.
by Paula Uruburu
More

Fat of the Land: The Garbage Behind New York-The Last Two Hundred Years
by Benjamin Miller
More

Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners during the American Revolution
by Edwin G. Burrows
More

Gastropolis: Food and New York City
by Annie Hauck-Lawson and Jonathan Deutsch, eds.
More

Gravesend, Brooklyn: Then and Now
by Joseph Ditta
More

Half Slave Half Free
by David Manning
More

Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s
by Stefan M. Bradley
More

Here is New York
by E. B. White
More

Life on the Lower East Side: Photographs by Rebecca Lepkoff, 1937-1950
by Rebecca Lepkoff, Suzanne Wasserman, Peter Dans
More

Manhattan Projects: The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York
by Samuel Zipp
More

Nearest Thing to Heaven: The Empire State Building and American Dreams
by Mark Kingwell
More

New York City Trees: A Field Guide for the Metropolitan Area
by Edward Sibley Barnard
More

On the Town: One Hundred Years of Spectacle in Times Square
by Marshall Berman
More

On the Wall: Four Decades of Community Murals in NYC
by Janet Braun-Reinitz and Jane Weissman
More

Other People’s Money: Inside the Housing Crisis and the Demise of the Greatest Real Estate Deal Ever Made
by Charles Bagli
More

Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus
by Dean Jensen
More

The City’s End: Two Centuries of Fantasies, Fears, and Premonitions of New York’s Destruction
by Max Page
More

Categories
19th century
20th century
Architecture/Built Environment
Bronx
Brooklyn
Dutch/Colonial
Fiction
Immigration
Journal Articles
Leisure
Manhattan
Neighborhoods
Non-fiction
Papers/Dissertations
Photography/Art/Design
Politics
Queens
Reference
Staten Island
Tours
Transit
Urbanism
Wall Street
Waterfront

Donate Now!
Help support the Gotham Center.


Municipal Art Society's

Urban Center Books
Specializing in architecture and related subjects.



© Gotham Center for New York City History. All Rights Reserved.

The Gotham Center for New York City History
The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, Room 6103
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309
Telephone: 212-817-8460
FAX: 212-817-1541
E-mail: gotham@gc.cuny.edu