1st Edition

New York State: Peoples, Places, and Priorities
A Concise History with Sources

ISBN 9780415819985
Published September 3, 2015 by Routledge
302 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

USD $55.95

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Book Description

The state of New York is virtually a nation unto itself. Long one of the most populous states and home of the country’s most dynamic city, New York is geographically strategic, economically prominent, socially diverse, culturally innovative, and politically influential. These characteristics have made New York distinctive in our nation’s history.

In New York State: Peoples, Places, and Priorities, Joanne Reitano brings the history of this great state alive for readers. Clear and accessible, the book features:

  • Primary documents and illustrations in each chapter, encouraging engagement with historical sources and issues
  • Timelines for every chapter, along with lists of recommended reading and websites
  • Themes of labor, liberty, lifestyles, land, and leadership running throughout the text
  • Coverage from the colonial period up through the present day, including the Great Recession and Andrew Cuomo’s governorship

Highly readable and up-to-date, New York State: Peoples, Places, and Priorities is a vital resource for anyone studying, teaching, or just interested in the history of the Empire State.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introducing New York

Chapter 2: Borderlands: Pre-History to the 1690s

Chapter 3: From Colony to State: 1690-1790

Chapter 4: The Empire State: 1790-1830

Chapter 5: The Maturing State: 1830-1865

Chapter 6: The Booming State, 1865-1900

Chapter 7: The Progressive State: 1900-1928

Chapter 8: The Activist State: 1929-1954

Chapter 9: The Stressed State: 1954-1975

Chapter 10: The Reslient State, 1975-2014


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Joanne Reitano is Professor of History at La Guardia Community College, City University of New York. She is the author of The Restless City: A Short History of New York from Colonial Times to the Present, The Restless City Reader, and The Tariff Question in the Gilded Age: The Great Debate of 1888.


"No other state has a history that is as complicated, contradictory, and so full of controversies as New York’s; on the other hand, few places can claim a past that is so distinctive, dramatic, and significant. Making sense of such a topic is no small task. But Joanne Reitano has managed to do the job. New York State: Peoples, Places, and Priorities fills a gap in the literature, and it should long serve as a valuable resource for a new generation of students—from high school to graduate school—as well as for scholars, public officials, and anyone else with an interest in the state that boasts a history which reflects the American experience better than that of any other."
— Robert Weible, New York State Historian

"Joanne Reitano offers a wonderfully insightful and accessible narrative on the history of New York State from the colonial period to the present. For students and educators interested in the varied and diverse history of the ‘empire state,’ this book is a must have."
— David Kinkela, Associate Professor of History, State University of New York at Fredonia

"Professor Reitano has produced a history of the state that, in general, captures the development of New York from pre-colonial times to the present and has done so in a very logical and informative manner. It should become the new dominant text, and hopefully will be widely adopted for use in the New York courses."
— F. Daniel Larkin, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, History, State University of New York at Oneonta