Building Gotham traces the development of New York City over a one hundred year period, the 1830s to the 1930s. These four books reflect upon what makes New York unique. They explore the increasing complexity of urban life and give the reader snap shots of New York City and its development. The authors endeavor to explain the conflict between public and private interests as the city grew. These books can be connected through major themes of the city’s development. They explore prostitution, abortion, machine and reform politics, the livability of the city and its consolidation. Amalgamation of the events and people detailed in these works provides a bigger picture and allows the reader to see the parts as a whole.