New City Upon a Hill: A History of Columbia, Maryland

Joseph R. Mitchell and David L. Stebenne, New City Upon a Hill: A History of Columbia, Maryland (Charleston, SC: History Press, 2007).

The authors of this book have prepared the first major work on Columbia in more than a decade. The book provides a clear discussion of the history, starting with the early settling of Howard County and its agricultural development and moving through James Rouse’s early years into his desire to build Columbia. The history shows the social interactions among Columbia’s founders and residents and how those interactions shaped Columbia during its first forty years. This work provides new insight through extensive interviews which go beyond the initial founders and describes how individuals living in Columbia worked with each other to create community while the city was built around them.

Mitchell and Stebenne interviewed more than seventy-five of Columbia’s founders and early residents to produce a concise and accessible history of Columbia, Maryland. The book is well-researched through the records of The Rouse Company, the Columbia Association, and other contributors to Columbia’s development.