American Experience (1988– )

New York: Part 7 - The City and the World 

Episode seven chronicles the history of New York from the end of the Second World War to the present.


Ric Burns


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Episode credited cast:
David Ogden Stiers ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bella Abzug Bella Abzug ... Herself
Marshall Berman Marshall Berman ... Himself
Philip Bosco ... (voice)
Calvin O. Butts III Calvin O. Butts III ... Himself (as Rev. Calvin O. Butts III)
Robert A. Caro ... Himself
Keith David ... (voice)
Joshua Freeman Joshua Freeman ... Himself
Paul Giamatti ... (voice)
Brendan Gill Brendan Gill ... Himself
Allen Ginsberg ... Himself
Rudy Giuliani ... Himself (as Rudolph W. Giuliani)
Frances Golden Frances Golden ... Himself
John Steele Gordon John Steele Gordon ... Himself
Spalding Gray ... Himself


City planner Robert Moses appears obsessed with his power and authority such that he publicly denounces through television interviews and newspaper editorials anyone who is opposed to what he calls inevitable progress. Moses is responsible for re-developing existing large city neighborhoods and when he is opposed he simply uses the threat of Federal intervention to proceed with his re-building. Whole neighborhoods are told to move out in the next 90 days, and then one woman community activist Jane Jacobs, fought tooth and nail to stop Moses latest major project, the Lower Manhattan Expressway. Jane Jacobs persistence has the public support as well as political support such that the Lower Manhattan Expressway project is cancelled, and it leads to the creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, ensuring the survival of New York's most architecturally important buildings and neighborhoods. It is also the time period of an influx of southern African-Americans moved ... Written by Ed Shullivan

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Release Date:

1999 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

WGBH See more »
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Did You Know?


In this episode, when Robert A. Caro is discussing the Cross Bronx Expressway, he is speaking from the Jesup Avenue overpass, the middle of three overpasses between University Avenue and Jerome Avenue (the other two are Nelson Avenue and Macombs Road, respectively.) In the background is the Jerome Avenue exit of the Cross Bronx Expressway and the Mt. Eden Avenue Station of the Number 4 Train. See more »

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