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Synopsis

This classic title, which was the inspiration for the story behind the new musical Newsies, paints a surprising and indelible portrait of the bitter hardships, amazing resourcefulness, and unadulterated joys experienced by immigrant children in American metropolises at the turn of the century.

The turn of the century was a time of explosive growth for American cities, a time of nascent hopes and apparently limitless possibilities. In Children of the City, David Nasaw re-creates this period in our social history from the vantage point of the children who grew up then. Drawing on hundreds of memoirs, autobiographies, oral histories and unpublished—and until now unexamined—primary source materials from cities across the country, he provides us with a warm and eloquent portrait of these children, their families, their daily lives, their fears, and their dreams.

Illustrated with 68 photographs from the period, many never before published, Children of the City offers a vibrant portrait of a time when our cities and our grandparents were young.

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