HOW MODERNISM WAS BORN

A PSYCHOHISTORY RECALLS THE BIG APPLE WHEN IT WAS REALLY BIG

F. SCOTT FITZGERALD HAD his prescient moments. In 1921 he wrote to Edmund Wilson, chiding his fellow Princetonian for excessive Anglophilia. "Culture follows money," Fitzgerald declared, predicting that New York City rather than London would soon become "the capital of culture." How right he was. Between the end of World War I and the Crash of 1929, the Big Apple (yes, they called it that even then) emerged as the world's most powerful city in finance, music making, theater, literature--practically everything, in fact, except politics. Then, as now, New York had the dubious honor of being the world's largest city that...

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