Catalogue


In the watches of the night : life in the nocturnal city, 1820-1930 /
Peter C. Baldwin.
imprint
Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, c2012.
description
284 p.
ISBN
0226036022 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780226036021 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, c2012.
isbn
0226036022 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780226036021 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Making night hideous -- Lighting the heart of darkness -- Quitting time -- Recreations and dissipations -- After midnight -- Nightmen -- Incessance -- Mashers, owl cars, and night hawks -- Night life in the electric city -- Regulated night.
catalogue key
8314250
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-07-01:
In his first book (Domesticating the Street, 1999), Baldwin (Univ. of Connecticut) examined the evolving functions of urban streets. He now takes up another topic only recently receiving attention, and excavates the nocturnal city. Baldwin explains that as the modern city expanded physically, first gas and then electric lighting allowed urban activity to extend beyond daylight hours and occur around the clock. The northeastern/Midwest quadrant of the country, in the forefront of technological innovation and thus, cultural change, is the focus here. New York City, as usual, receives the most attention, but Baldwin also discusses Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other cities within and on the periphery of this region. He finds that the city in nighttime "conspicuously exaggerated" the distinctive social aspects of modern urban life: individual anonymity among strangers and weakness of community. Throughout his book, he emphasizes class and gendered differences in jobs, leisure, childrearing, and childhood experiences, as well as changing cultural viewpoints and regulations regarding nighttime, darkness, and those people engaged in nighttime activities. Two noteworthy strengths: the surprising range of economic and leisure activities considered and the creative variety of contemporary sources revealed in the endnotes. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. A. E. Krulikowski West Chester University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"This is a brilliantly conceived and superbly written examination of the physical, economic, social, and cultural changes in nighttime urban life in the cities of the Northeast during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries."
"Like an attentive nineteenth-century night watchman, Baldwin is ever alert to new behaviors fostered by the advent of night illumination in American cities. He explores changes in work routines, city amusements, and crime, and does not neglect the night scavengers collecting privy wastes and the farmers bringing their perishables to markets, activities improved by the preservative effects of cool night air. I found In the Watches of the Night an engrossing book."
"Like an attentive nineteenth-century night watchman, Baldwin is ever alert to new behaviors fostered by the advent of night illumination in American cities. He explores changes in work routines, city amusements, and crime, and does not neglect the night scavengers collecting privy wastes and the farmers bringing their perishables to markets, activities improved by the preservative effects of cool night air. I found In the Watches of the Night an engrossing book."-Patricia Cline Cohen, University of California, Santa Barbara
" In the Watches of the Night is a terrific book, engaging and truly informative, on a topic so interesting that one wonders why it had not been adequately explored already. Particularly impressive is the careful delineation of life beforehand, so change can really be assessed, and the range of groups and activities embraced in the analysis."
" In the Watches of the Night is a terrific book, engaging and truly informative, on a topic so interesting that one wonders why it had not been adequately explored already. Particularly impressive is the careful delineation of life beforehand, so change can really be assessed, and the range of groups and activities embraced in the analysis."-Peter N. Stearns, George Mason University
" In the Watches of the Night is a terrific book, engaging and truly informative, on a topic so interesting that one wonders why it had not been adequately explored already. Particularly impressive is the careful delineation of life beforehand, so change can really be assessed, and the range of groups and activities embraced in the analysis."Peter N. Stearns, George Mason University
" In the Watches of the Night brings a much-needed fourth dimension to the spatial turn of urban studies. Its originality and insight establish Peter Baldwin as a leading authority on the everyday life of the urban flneur in nineteenth-century America. This well-written, lively book builds upon his award-winning monograph. . . . Baldwin deserves credit for opening up the frontier of the urban night for future exploration."
"Highly recommended."
"In an engrossing and richly researched book, Peter C. Baldwin explores how US cities responded to the sun's inevitable daily setting--economically, socially, and culturally--during a century of industrialization. Synthesizing monographs on nightlife, city lighting, urban vice, and trade and commerce after dark (among other topics) and incorporating his own wide-ranging research, Baldwin has produced a pioneering analysis of how urban America's relationship with the night evolved from colonial times to the industrial age."
"Few works of history can claim to alter the landscape of the past, but In the Watches of the Night deeply enriches our understanding of the American experience during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Extensively researched and crisply written, this splendid volume rescues a vibrant realm of urban life from the shadows of historical neglect."-Roger Ekirch, Virginia Polytechnic University
"Few works of history can claim to alter the landscape of the past, but In the Watches of the Night deeply enriches our understanding of the American experience during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Extensively researched and crisply written, this splendid volume rescues a vibrant realm of urban life from the shadows of historical neglect."Roger Ekirch, Virginia Polytechnic University
"Baldwin's book is an example of just how rich and revealing an exploration of night in terms of work, practice, and power can be. Extensively researched, In the Watches of the Night weaves diaries, newspapers, government documents, travel guides, and more into a complex new picture of life and labor during the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American urban night."
"Few works of history can claim to alter the landscape of the past, but In the Watches of the Night deeply enriches our understanding of the American experience during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Extensively researched and crisply written, this splendid volume rescues a vibrant realm of urban life from the shadows of historical neglect."
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Before skyscrapers and streetlights glowed at all hours, American cities fell into inky blackness with each setting of the sun. But over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, new technologies began to light up streets, sidewalks, buildings, and public spaces. Peter C. Baldwin’s evocative book depicts the changing experience of the urban night over this period, visiting a host of actors-scavengers, newsboys, and mashers alike-in the nocturnal city. Baldwin examines work, crime, transportation, and leisure as he moves through the gaslight era, exploring the spread of modern police forces and the emergence of late-night entertainment, to the era of electricity, when social campaigns sought to remove women and children from public areas at night. While many people celebrated the transition from darkness to light as the arrival of twenty-four hours of daytime, Baldwin shows that certain social patterns remained, including the danger of street crime and the skewed gender profile of night work. Sweeping us from concert halls and brothels to streetcars and industrial forges, In the Watches of the Night is an illuminating study of a vital era in American urban history.
Main Description
Before skyscrapers and streetlights glowed at all hours, American cities fell into inky blackness with each setting of the sun. But over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, new technologies began to light up streets, sidewalks, buildings, and public spaces. Peter C. Baldwin's evocative book depicts the changing experience of the urban night over this period, visiting a host of actors-scavengers, newsboys, and mashers alike-in the nocturnal city. Baldwin examines work, crime, transportation, and leisure as he moves through the gaslight era, exploring the spread of modern police forces and the emergence of late-night entertainment, to the era of electricity, when social campaigns sought to remove women and children from public areas at night. While many people celebrated the transition from darkness to light as the arrival of twenty-four hours of daytime, Baldwin shows that certain social patterns remained, including the danger of street crime and the skewed gender profile of night work. Sweeping us from concert halls and brothels to streetcars and industrial forges, In the Watches of the Night is an illuminating study of a vital era in American urban history.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Before skyscrapers & streetlights, American cities fell into inky blackness with each setting of the sun. But over the course of the 19th & early 20th centuries, new technologies began to light up the city. This text depicts the changing experiences of the urban night over this period, visiting a host of actors in the nocturnal city.
Table of Contents
Making Night Hideousp. 1
Lighting the Heart of Darknessp. 14
Quitting Timep. 34
Recreations and Dissipationsp. 54
After Midnightp. 75
Nightmenp. 104
Incessancep. 119
Mashers, Owl Cars, and Night Hawksp. 138
Night Life in die Electric Cityp. 155
Regulated Nightp. 179
Acknowledgmentsp. 205
List of Abbreviationsp. 209
Notesp. 211
Indexp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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