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New York, Capital of the 20th Century, is a 1,500 page kaleidoscopic assemblage and poetic history of New York, composed entirely of quotations drawn from a huge array of sources—histories, memoirs, newspaper articles, novels, government documents, emails—and organized into interpretive categories that reveal the philosophical architecture of the city.
“Reading Capital feels like walking the city, through time and space, jumping neighborhoods, going in and out of buildings, slipping through wormholes. It's a kind of exuberant eavesdropping on the muttering, shouting narrative of the twentieth-century city.” – Jeremiah Moss, Vanishing New York
Gothamist has created thirteen different digital "walking tours" of some of the best and most outlandish morsels of NYC history inspired by Kenneth Goldsmith's Capital, a marvelous thousand-page compendium of citations that offers up all the beautiful, harrowing, delicious, and fucked-up tidbits of New York's history throughout the 20th century. Goldsmith has stressed that "If it appeared in the history books, it wouldn't be in my book," and so what he's dug up and included about the places like the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center is refreshing.
See here for the complete set of walking tours, including Animal New York, Ghost Town, Under the Influence, The Scene, and Cinematic New York.