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New York: A Documentary Film is an eight-part, 14 1/2 hour, Americanmarker documentary on the history of New York Citymarker directed by Ric Burns that originally aired in the U.S. on PBS and was a co-production of Thirteen/WNETmarker New York and WGBHmarker Boston. The first four two-hour installments, which covered the history of the city from its founding to the turn of the 20th century, originally aired in the fall of 1999.

This documentary is divided into eight parts:

  • Episode One: The Country and the City (1609-1825)
  • Episode Two: Order and Disorder (1825-1865)
  • Episode Three: Sunshine and Shadow (1865-1898)
  • Episode Four: The Power and the People (1898-1918)
  • Episode Five: Cosmopolis (1918-1931)
  • Episode Six: City of Tomorrow (1929-1941)
  • Episode Seven: The City and the World (1945-present)
  • Episode Eight: The Center of the World (1946-2003)


Originally, the documentary consisted of seven parts. The eighth part, The Center of the World (1946-2003), which told the history of the World Trade Centermarker, was produced following the September 11 attacks in 2001.

The series was written by Burns and James Sanders . Several noted New York City historians, including Mike Wallace, Kenneth T. Jackson, and Robert Caro participated in the making of the series, as consultants, and appeared on camera. It was narrated by David Ogden Stiers. Other notable figures who appeared in the series include Rudolph Giuliani (then the mayor of New York City), former mayor Ed Koch, former New Yorkmarker governor Mario Cuomo, former U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, poet Allen Ginsberg, novelists Alfred Kazin and Brendan Gill, director Martin Scorsese, journalist Pete Hamill, former Congresswoman Bella Abzug, conservative academic Niall Ferguson and billionaire Donald Trump.

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