Gilfoyle, Timothy J. 1956-
Gilfoyle, Timothy J. 1956-
(Timothy Joseph Gilfoyle)
PERSONAL: Born March 24, 1956, in Harrisburg, PA; son of Joseph Daniel Gilfoyle and Mary Dorothy Norton; married Mary Rose Alexander, August 19, 1990; children: Maria Adele, Danielle Louise. Education: Columbia University, B.A., 1979, M.A., 1980, Ph.D., 1987. Hobbies and other interests: Basketball.
ADDRESSES: Office— Department of History, Loyola University, 6525 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL, 60626-5385. E-mail— [email protected]
CAREER: Historian, educator, and writer. Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York, NY, visiting professor, 1987-88; Barnard College, New York, NY, visiting professor, 1988-89; Loyola University, Chicago, IL, assistant professor, 1989-95, associate professor, 1995-2003, professor of American history, 2003—. Member of the board of directors for the Chicago Metro History Education Center and the Museum of Sex, New York, NY; trustee of the Chicago History Museum.
MEMBER: American Historical Association, American Studies Association, Organization of American History, Urban History Association.
AWARDS, HONORS: Allan Nevins Prize, Society of American Historians, and Dixon Ryan Fox Prize, New York State Historical Association, both for City of Eros; National Endowment for the Humanities/Lloyd Lewis Fellow at the Newberry Library in Chicago, 1993-94; Senior fellow at the Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, 1997; John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellow, 1988-99; Minow Family Foundation fellow, 2001-02; Best Article, Society for the History of Children and Youth, 2005, for “Street-Rats and Gutter-Snipes: Child Pickpockets and Street Culture in New York City, 1850-1900”; Dixon Ryan Fox Prize, New York State Historical Association; best book of the year citation, Chicago Tribune and London Times, 2006, for A Pickpocket’s Tale: The Underworld of Nineteenth-Century New York; best book of the year citation, Chicago Tribune, 2006, for Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark; New York State Archives Award, 2006.
City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution, and the Commercialization of Sex, 1790-1920, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1992.
Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2006.
A Pickpocket’s Tale: The Underworld of Nineteenth-Century New York, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including the American Quarterly, Prospects, New York History, Missouri Review, and the Atlantic Monthly. Author of regular “Making History” feature in Chicago History. Associate editor of the Journal of Urban History, and coeditor of the“Historical Studies in Urban America” series, University of Chicago Press. Has served on numerous editorial boards, including the boards for New York History, The Encyclopedia of New York City, The Encyclopedia of Chicago History, and the New-York Journal of American History.
SIDELIGHTS: Timothy J. Gilfoyle is a history professor who specializes in American urban and social history. In his first book, City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution, and the Commercialization of Sex, 1790-1920, Gilfoyle focuses on a social history of prostitution in New York City. The author recounts how a growing population combined with various social factors—such as a high rate of transience, low wages for women, and a male subculture that threw aside age-old beliefs about proper sexual behavior—led to a growing trade in prostitution. Referring to the book as “scholarly yet ribald,” a Publishers Weekly contributor wrote: “The details—erotic or shocking, depending on one’s point of view—are here.” David Nasaw, writing in the New York Times Book Review, called City of Eros“a fascinating study.” Nasaw wrote: “Mr. Gilfoyle... does not simply catalogue the omnipresence of the prostitutes. He situates their trade in the economic life of the city.” The reviewer continued: “City of Eros is social history at its best, beautifully written, with a mosaic of rich detail that informs but does not overwhelm the narrative line.”
In his monograph Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark, the author provides a history of how the city of Chicago between the years of 1998 and 2004 took twenty-four acres of neglected land and turned it into a widely admired urban park. In the process, Gilfoyle details the history of the site as a railroad depot that the owners refused to sell for decades, long after the depot was gone, and while the tracks crisscrossing it remained. The author also delves into the creation of the park’s landmarks, which include sculptures, a theater for music and dance, and a music pavilion. “Gilfoyle has written a thorough account of the creation of these works,” commented Michael J. Lewis in the New York Times Book Review.
Gilfoyle returns to the environs of New York City with A Pickpocket’s Tale: The Underworld of Nineteenth-Century New York. Focusing on the late nineteenth-century pickpocket and con man George Appo, the author explores the criminal underworld of post-Civil War New York. The author follows Appo on his criminal meanderings through the city, his spending habits (which included visiting opium dens), and his eventually notoriety when he testifies in court about police corruption. Appo even appears as himself on Broadway. In a review in Booklist, Gilbert Taylor commented that “Appo and his story acquire meaningful context in Gilfoyle’s professional historical reconstruction.” A Publishers Weekly contributor called A Pickpocket’s Tale“a colorful, evocative social history.” Referring to the author’s research as “prodigious,” a Kirkus Reviews contributor called the book “eye-opening and grand, good fun to read.” Glenn C. Altschuler, writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, noted that the author “provides... a fascinating examination of late-19th-century America’s urban underworld, with its opium dens, houses of prostitution, neighborhood gangs, ‘fences’ of stolen goods, cops, courts, and correctional institutions.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Booklist, August 1, 2006, Gilbert Taylor, review of A Pickpocket’s Tale: The Underworld of Nineteenth-Century New York, p. 15.
Entertainment Weekly, August 11, 2006, Whitney Pastorek, review of A Pickpocket’s Tale, p. 73.
Financial Times, September 23, 2006, Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, review of A Pickpocket’s Tale, p. 49.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2006, review of A Pickpocket’s Tale, p. 505.
New York Times Book Review, August 30, 1992, David Nasaw, review of City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution, and the Commercialization of Sex, 1790-1920, p. 9; August 6, 2006, Michael J. Lewis, review of Millenium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark, p. 1; August 9, 2006, William Grimes, review of A Pickpocket’s Tale.
Philadelphia Inquirer, September 27, 2006, Glenn C. Altschuler, review of A Pickpocket’s Tale.
Publishers Weekly, July 27, 1992, review of City of Eros, p. 55; May 1, 2006, review of A Pickpocket’s Tale, p. 46.
University of Loyola Chicago Web site, http://www.luc.edu/ (January 20, 2007), faculty profile of author.