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Urban Selfhood and the Making of Modern Cracow
Nathaniel D. Wood
“An original work that challenges the reader to question whether national issues really were upmost in the minds of early twentieth-century rank-and-file Cracovians. As such, Becoming Metropolitan doubtless will spark discussion and interest in the field of Polish urban history.”—Patrice M. Dabrowski, Harvard University
The “Age of Great Cities” erupted in East Central Europe in the last quarter of the 19th century as migrants poured into imperial and regional capitals. For citizens of places like Cracow, discovering and enacting metropolitan identities reinforced their break from a provincial past while affirming their belonging to “modern European civilization.” Strolling the city streets, sipping coffee in cafés, riding the electric tram, and reading the popular press, Cracovians connected to modern big-city culture. In this lively account, Wood looks to the mass circulation illustrated press as well as to supporting evidence from memoirs and archives from the period to present Cracow as a case study that demonstrates the ways people identify with modern urban life.
(2010) 268 pp.
Nathaniel D. Wood is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Kansas.
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