Today, New York is America’s greatest city. But 30 years ago, they couldn’t even keep the lights on. A blackout plunged 7 million people into darkness. Then the nightmare began. Anarchy exploded on the streets: thousands of shops were looted, whole neighborhoods were burned: it seemed the civilization of the city had come to an end.
The financial capital of the wealthiest nation on earth was flat broke. The Statue of Liberty City had lost her freedom, and New York herself trembled on the brink of collapse.
This is the story of what happened in New York in the 1970s. It’s the story of the death of an idealistic welfare state, and of how New York’s climb back to dominance laid the foundations for Thatcherism, Reaganomics, and the political economy of the rest of the 20th century. It’s the story of why New York was where the future came to rehearse, and is told through the experiences of those who were there, including:
Ed Koch – the Mayor who saved the city
Rupert Murdoch – the Media Mogul who got him elected
Mike Wallace – Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Gotham"
Tommy Ramone – The Inventor of Punk
Curtis Sliwa – Founder of the Guardian Angels
Herman Badillo – The Congressman who warned them all
Felix Rohatyn – The banker who rode to the rescue