Historic Cities of the Americas

An Illustrated Encyclopedia

by David F. Marley


From the snowy French bastion of Quebec City to the carnival streets of tropical Rio de Janeiro, the Americas—North, South, Central, and Caribbean—are dotted with cities of historical and cultural import. How did tiny frontier settlements grow into world metropolises, national capitals, and centers of commerce?

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Cover image for Historic Cities of the Americas

September 2005


Pages 1010
Volumes 2
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics World History/Race and Ethnicity
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    Hardcover: £147.00/160,00€/A$245.00

With rare maps, prints, and photographs, this unique volume explores the dramatic history of the Americas through the birth and development of the hemisphere's great cities.

Written by award-winning author David F. Marley, Historic Cities of the Americas covers the hard-to-find information of these cities' earliest years, including the unique aspects of each region's economy and demography, such as the growth of local mining, trade, or industry. The chronological layout, aided by the numerous maps and photographs, reveals the exceptional changes, relocations, destruction, and transformations these cities endured to become the metropolises they are today.

Historic Cities of the Americas provides over 70 extensively detailed entries covering the foundation and evolution of the most significant urban areas in the western hemisphere. Critically researched, this work offers a rare look into the times prior to Christopher Columbus' arrival in 1492 and explores the common difficulties overcome by these European-conquered or -founded cities as they flourished into some of the most influential locations in the world.


  • Over 70 richly detailed entries on the most colorful, important cities of the New World, from Quebec City, Boston, and San Francisco in the Northern Hemisphere, to Buenos Aires, Cuzco, and Bahia in the Southern
  • Four geographical sections (the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, North America, and South America), enabling the reader to easily locate information
  • Hundreds of rare, historically significant antique maps, prints, and photographs, enhancing both the value and appearance of the book
  • A very extensive bibliography, providing users with easy access to many hard-to-find materials


  • Detailed coverage of the effects of wars, slavery, medical and scientific innovations, journalism, immigration, and economic progress on each city
  • Hard-to-find information on each city's earliest years, its struggles to survive against enemy sieges, outbreaks of disease, and devastating natural phenomena such as earthquakes, tidal waves, and fires
  • Offers extensive coverage of Latin American and Caribbean cities at a time when there is a generally increased awareness of this continent's Hispanic heritage
  • Entries provide the reader with dramatic and compelling reading, describing some of the most extraordinary events in history
Author Info

David F. Marley is an award-winning historian who has lived and traveled extensively in Latin America since childhood. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Pirates and Privateers of the Americas and Wars of the Americas: A Chronology of Armed Conflict in the New World, 1492 to the Present.



"This is an important addition to the field of urban history of the Western Hemisphere and would find appreciative readers and researchers in larger public academic library collections."Booklist

"Aimed at a population of readers ranging from high school students to urban study specialists, the reference contains studies of 70 cities in the New World, covering their earliest years and subsequent struggles to survive. The text is supplemented with over 600 maps, illustrations, and photographs."Reference & Research Book News

"This reference source would be a very useful addition to any Latin American studies library or historical urbanism collection, as well as a good investment for specialist scholars in these fields. Summing up: Recommended. All academic libraries."Choice

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