“Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 is a non-fiction book by historiansEdwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace. Based on over twenty years of research by Burrows and Wallace, it was published in 1998 by Oxford University Press and won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for History. Wallace is currently working on the second volume, which will cover New York City history through World War II.
The book was met with mostly laudatory reviews. In his review for The Atlantic, Timothy J. Gilfoyle called the book “the most comprehensive examination to date of the city’s history prior to 1900,” saying that “Gotham may rank in importance with the multi-volume works on Thomas Jefferson by Dumas Malone and on the Civil War by Allan Nevins.” Publishers Weekly called the work “definitive.”
“Gotham” as a term for New York City was coined by Washington Irving in an 1807 November issue of his literary magazine, Salmagundi, based on the legends of the English village of Gotham, whose inhabitants are known for their folly.“