Date of this Version
Great Plains Quarterly Volume 28, Number 4, Fall 2008, pp. 333.
Upstream Metropolis is an "urban biography" of the "Omaha-Council Bluffs NE-IA Metropolitan Statistical Area," the nation's sixtieth most populous urban center in 2005. The life-story approach draws from an impressive array of local primary and secondary sources to bring depth, complexity, and an updated chronology to the literature on Omaha's development.
Omaha-Council Bluff's childhood, familiar to many readers, was marked by rapid growth as railroad money, meatpacking plants, and a multiethnic laboring population made their way to the improvised settlements in the 1830s- 40s. As with most youngsters, the settlements showed glimmers of potential eclipsed by a need for discipline and socialization; rowdiness, licentiousness, and street justice thrived alongside business and industry in unregulated space.