Aus der Reihe „Phantastische Krankheiten“: Newyorkitis

Via laphamsquarterly: „New York was a place of substantial flux and chaos when Newyorkitis was first published. Between 1870 and 1900 over twelve million immigrants arrived in the United States, and more than 70 percent of them entered the country through Manhattan, which became known as “the Golden Door.” This continuous stream of people meant more noise, more traffic jams, more pollution, and more sanitation problems. At the same time innovations and expansions in steamship and railroad infrastructure increased trade in the region; almost 70 percent of all U.S. imports entered via Manhattan by 1884. Technological inventions such as electric lights and wireless radio changed the pace of society and the length of time people could spend working. New York became known as the capital of commerce, opportunity, modernity—but also the epitome of the fast life in a way that both excited and frightened people, whether they lived in the city or watched it from afar. And it was this buzz, this extreme growth and new style of living, that invited questioning and analysis; it provided an opportunity for ideas like those in Girdner’s Newyorkitis to catch on and spread like a disease.“