New York City, New York Centennial, Daniel Soyer, Robert Himmbelberg, David C. Hammack, Fred Siegel, Ester R. Fuchs, Kenneth T. Jackson


In this transcript of a symposium held at Fordham University School of Law on November 16, 1998 on the Future of New York, the six participants addressed the broad subject of what the future can bring as New York celebrated its centennial year. Professor Hammack spoke first. He focused on the future of “Greater New York” by discussing the creation of it, the hopes at the time and the changes that occurred since. Next, Professor Siegel addressed the challenge of the telecommunications revolution as New York faced an economic downturn, and possibly an impending national recession. He recounted some of the complexities of the revolution, decentralization of the economy as a result of telecommunications and New York’s advanced standing in the revolution resulting from early deregulation. Third, Professor Fuchs spoke about the common characterization of New York as exceptional. Reviewing the past century, she explained in what regards New York, a global city, was indeed exceptional. Looking forward, Professor Fuchs argued that a successful future was dependent on continuing a course of being exceptional, as opposed to “making New York like the rest of America,” through political innovation. Professor Jackson spoke last. He first dispelled the conception that circumstances are presently worse than they were 100 years ago and then briefly commented on the remarks of the earlier speakers. Dean Robert Himmelberg of Fordhan’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences gave an introduction, followed by brief remarks from Professor Daniel Soyer, a member of Fordham’s History Department who organized the conference. The six participants were: (1) Robert Himmelberg (Chair); (2) Daniel Soyer (Moderator); (3) David C. Hammack (Panelist), Elbert Jay Benton Professor of History at Case Western Reserve University and Pulitzer Prize nominated author; (4) Fred Siegel (Panelist), Professor of History at Cooper Union for the Arts & Sciences in New York, author, and a Senior Fellow of the Progressive Policy Institute; (5) Ester R. Fuchs (Panelist), Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Barnard College and Columbia University, Director of the Columbia Center for Urban Research and Policy, and author; and (6) Kenneth T. Jackson (Respondent), Jacques Barzun Professor of History and the Social Sciences at Columbia University, author and editor of the Encyclopedia of New York City.

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