City of Ambition: FDR, La Guardia, and the Making of Modern New York

SEP 25, 2013 | 6:30 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


1201: Elebash Recital Hall


September 25, 2013: 6:30 PM


Free, Reservations Required


212-817-8215 or


The Gotham Center for New York City History presents
Mason Williams, author of City of Ambition, will examine the relationship between Franklin Roosevelt and Fiorello La Guardia as they rose in counterpoint through the ranks of New York politics before the Great Depression, and how a new vision of urban governance reshaped the political culture of the city. Williams will speak with the Gotham Center’s Mike Wallace.
Mason B. Williams is a Bernard and Irene Schwartz postdoctoral fellow at the New York Historical Society and the New School. He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2006, and earned a Ph.D. in 2012 at Columbia University, where his doctoral thesis (the basis for City of Ambition) won the Bancroft Dissertation Prize. Mike Wallace, coauthor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, is a distinguished professor of history at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Wallace’s most recent book, A New Deal for New York, presents a vision of renewal for the city, post-September 11, in light of its 400-year history. An active public historian, he was an onscreen commentator and senior consultant for Ric Burns's New York: A Documentary Film on PBS.

This program is part of the yearlong initiative Cultural Capital: The Promise and Price of New York’s Creative Economy, produced by GC Public Programs in collaboration with the Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC). For more information and the full schedule, CLICK HERE.