Revolting New York
How 400 Years of Riot, Rebellion, Uprising, and Revolution Shaped a City

General Editors: Neil Smith and Don Mitchell
Editors: Erin Siodmak, JenJoy Royball, Marnie Brady, and Brendan O'Malley

The many uprisings that helped to forge modern-day New York City


"Like a woke dog zapped by an invisible electric barrier whenever it tries to leave the yard, I now recognize the real reason I can’t escape this place. Revolting New York is an electrifying compendium of tales of four centuries of the energetic insubordination that is so completely foundational to our character. While the causes and constituencies have varied all over our map, the constant has been taking to the streets, fomenting an unending festival of resistance. I couldn’t be prouder than to discover that my homes downtown have been at uprising’s very epicenter. You can’t scare me; I’m sticking to the Union Square!"
—Michael Sorkin, author of What Goes Up: The Rights and Wrongs of the City

"Revolting New York takes you on a whirlwind tour of Indian wars, riots, slave revolts, strikes, protests, and police rampages, from Dutch New Amsterdam to Occupy Wall Street. The sheer number and ferocity of past disorders, and the strangeness of so many of them, will leave you seeing the history of New York as you never did before."
—Joshua B. Freeman, author of Working-Class New York: Life and Labor Since World War II

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Occupy Wall Street did not come from nowhere. It was part of a long history of riot, revolt, uprising, and sometimes even revolution that has shaped New York City. From the earliest European colonization to the present, New Yorkers have been revolting. Hard hitting, revealing, and insightful, Revolting New York tells the story of New York’s evolution through revolution, a story of near-continuous popular (and sometimes not-so-popular) uprising.

Richly illustrated with more than ninety historical and contemporary images, historical maps, and maps drawn especially for the book, Revolting New York provides the first comprehensive account of the historical geography of revolt in New York, from the earliest uprisings of the Munsee against the Dutch occupation of Manhattan in the seventeenth century to the Black Lives Matter movement and the unrest of the Trump era. Through this rich narrative, editors Neil Smith and Don Mitchell reveal a continuous, if varied and punctuated, history of rebellion in New York that is as vital as the more standard histories of formal politics, planning, economic growth, and restructuring that largely define our consciousness of New York’s story.

Contributors: Marnie Brady, Kathleen Dunn, Zultán Gluck, Rachel Goffe, Harmony Goldberg, Amanda Huron, Malav Kanuga, Esteban Kelly, Manissa McCleave Maharawal, Don Mitchell, Justin Sean Myers, Brendan P. O’Malley, Raymond Pettit, Miguelina Rodriguez, Jenjoy Roybal, McNair Scott, Erin Siodmak, Neil Smith, Peter Waldman, and Nicole Watson

Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation

Page count: 368 pp.
90 b&w images
Trim size: 8.5 x 8.5


List price: $94.95

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List price: $29.95

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Neil Smith (1954–2012) was Distinguished Professor of Geography and Anthropology at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York and the author of many books, including Uneven Development: Nature, Capital, and the Production of Space (Georgia).

Don Mitchell is Distinguished Professor of Geography Emeritus at Syracuse University and Professor of Cultural Geography at Uppsala University in Sweden. He is the author of several books, including They Saved the Crops: Labor, Landscape, and the Struggle over Industrial Farming in Bracero-Era California (Georgia). He was a MacArthur Fellow in 1998.