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Divided We Stand: A Biography Of New York's World Trade Center

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When the World Trade Towers in New York City were erected at the Hudson's edge, they led the way to a real estate boom that was truly astonishing. Divided We Stand reveals the coming together and eruption of four volatile elements: super-tall buildings, financial speculation, globalization, and terrorism. The Trade Center serves as a potent symbol of the disastrous consequ When the World Trade Towers in New York City were erected at the Hudson's edge, they led the way to a real estate boom that was truly astonishing. Divided We Stand reveals the coming together and eruption of four volatile elements: super-tall buildings, financial speculation, globalization, and terrorism. The Trade Center serves as a potent symbol of the disastrous consequences of undemocratic planning and development.This book is a history of that skyscraping ambition and the impact it had on New York and international life. It is a portrait of a building complex that lives at the convergence point of social and economic realities central not only to New York City but to all industrial cities and suburbs. A meticulously researched historical account based on primary documents, Divided We Stand is a contemporary indictment of the prevailing urban order in the spirit of Jane Jacobs's mid-century classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities.


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When the World Trade Towers in New York City were erected at the Hudson's edge, they led the way to a real estate boom that was truly astonishing. Divided We Stand reveals the coming together and eruption of four volatile elements: super-tall buildings, financial speculation, globalization, and terrorism. The Trade Center serves as a potent symbol of the disastrous consequ When the World Trade Towers in New York City were erected at the Hudson's edge, they led the way to a real estate boom that was truly astonishing. Divided We Stand reveals the coming together and eruption of four volatile elements: super-tall buildings, financial speculation, globalization, and terrorism. The Trade Center serves as a potent symbol of the disastrous consequences of undemocratic planning and development.This book is a history of that skyscraping ambition and the impact it had on New York and international life. It is a portrait of a building complex that lives at the convergence point of social and economic realities central not only to New York City but to all industrial cities and suburbs. A meticulously researched historical account based on primary documents, Divided We Stand is a contemporary indictment of the prevailing urban order in the spirit of Jane Jacobs's mid-century classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

30 review for Divided We Stand: A Biography Of New York's World Trade Center

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mr.david

    A great account of the building of the World Trade Center. I read this book in the fall of 2000. I was living on East 88th street doing an internship in the public school system. I took a number of trips down to the WTC to match locations mentioned in the book with their real counterparts. Yes, I went to Windows on the World and wandered around the underground shopping mall. I remember reading Darton's account of the 1993 bombing in the parking garage. The cement walls of the parking garage whi A great account of the building of the World Trade Center. I read this book in the fall of 2000. I was living on East 88th street doing an internship in the public school system. I took a number of trips down to the WTC to match locations mentioned in the book with their real counterparts. Yes, I went to Windows on the World and wandered around the underground shopping mall. I remember reading Darton's account of the 1993 bombing in the parking garage. The cement walls of the parking garage which (I think) were integrated in with the 'bathtub' were overbuilt, he wrote, and were easily able to withstand the blast. Looking up at the building at twilight, I felt a confidence in the structure, drawn from that passage of the book. Little did I know that these visits and a further visit to the observation deck in January 2001 would be my last. The day that the towers came down, I felt the rip of those towers as they came down.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    Fascinating study of the rise in the Port Authority, the expansion of Lower Manhattan, and its Crown Jewel, the World Trade Centers. Captivating in its publication just two years before the collapse of the WTC. Seeing the push to revitalize Lower Manhattan, the decline in the Port Authority’s authority, the collapse of the outdated Twin Towers a few years later can be cynically called “timely”. Well researched. Highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Doug Cornelius

    An interesting story of the twisted economic, political and architectural battles waged to get the twin towers built. Sadly, the book was published just a year before the attacks that brought them down.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jerome

    Dry, but to be expected for a history book. An eye opening read for me into the details of speculative real estate, developers, urban planning and the like.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Guido Colacci

    The beginning of the end of NYC...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katja

    This is a hard book to review because it wasn't what I was looking for. My goal was to read a basic book on the history of WTC and since this promised to be the biography of said building, I thought that it would satisfy my curiosity on the subject. Wrong! I'll give Mr Darton credit on his immense knowledge on the subject; he clearly has done his research. But as a story-teller, he has lots to learn. I was hoping for something resembling "The Devil and the White City" but instead, I got a non-li This is a hard book to review because it wasn't what I was looking for. My goal was to read a basic book on the history of WTC and since this promised to be the biography of said building, I thought that it would satisfy my curiosity on the subject. Wrong! I'll give Mr Darton credit on his immense knowledge on the subject; he clearly has done his research. But as a story-teller, he has lots to learn. I was hoping for something resembling "The Devil and the White City" but instead, I got a non-linear timeline where the anecdotes are all jumbled up together. At times the book felt like a tour guide (which would have been great if you know the geography of the area in question - maybe the next issue should have a map?) There were so many names of different people that I would have liked to have a list of the key players in beginning or the end of the book. Judging by the number of fancy words in this book, the writer is definitely an academic. But the tough words and the long sentences resulted in a text with no flow. I would have liked to read about the building of WTC but that was skipped. Towards the end, the writer alluded that he has fallen in love with his subject but, judging by the way in which the book end, he has fallen in love with himself (and not in a good way). I give this book three stars but I think I'm being generous.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This was a fascinating and eerie read. Published in 1999, reading it in 2017 is like looking at the snapshot on the cover. It depicts a bygone world.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Flannery

    Excellent. A living biography of a massive undertaking.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katie White

    To me this was just another WTC book but stiil had great facts and i enjoyed reading it in my spare time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matthew O'Connell

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  12. 4 out of 5

    Luke Crisalli

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tobias Meinecke

  14. 4 out of 5

    Victor

  15. 4 out of 5

    Justin Schrager

  16. 4 out of 5

    Martha Bode

  17. 5 out of 5

    m w bowman

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Will

  20. 5 out of 5

    Martin Lund

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  22. 5 out of 5

    Valentina Morotti

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ria

  26. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Kelly

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marta Pereira

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anupama Mann

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael

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