The Historical Atlas of New York City: A Visual Celebration of Nearly 400 Years of New York City's History

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A New York Public Library Outstanding Reference Book

A visual celebration of nearly 400 years of New York City's history.

To celebrate the one-hundredth anniversay of Greater New York, what Alfred Kazin calls "a treasure of a book" is now a gorgeous paperback. The New York Times Book Review raved that The Historical Atlas of New York City "may be as close to a printed CD-ROM as paper can get." Now, this visual cornucopia of full-color maps, ...

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Overview

A New York Public Library Outstanding Reference Book

A visual celebration of nearly 400 years of New York City's history.

To celebrate the one-hundredth anniversay of Greater New York, what Alfred Kazin calls "a treasure of a book" is now a gorgeous paperback. The New York Times Book Review raved that The Historical Atlas of New York City "may be as close to a printed CD-ROM as paper can get." Now, this visual cornucopia of full-color maps, charts, photographs, and drawings covering four hundred years of the city's history is a trade paperback. Neighborhood by neighborhood, the Atlas takes the reader back through history, detailing such crucial events as the initial settlement of 270 people in thirty log houses; John Jacob Astor's meteoric rise from humble fur trader to the richest and most powerful man in the city; Frederick Law Olmsted's design for Central Park; and the fascinating ethnic mix of modern Queens. For both history buffs and the twenty-five million people who visit New York each year, The Historical Atlas of New York City is the guide to America's first city.

Arranged chronologically and illustrated throughout with full-color maps, photographs, drawings, and charts, this atlas tracks New York City from early Native American culture to the present with meticulously researched detail and compelling text.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A beautifully produced reference work . . . here, in maps, drawings, photographs, and illuminating text, are the five little boroughs and how they grew."-E. L. Doctorow

"A treasure of a book."-Alfred Kazin

Library Journal - BookSmack!
An app that captures the pure awesomeness of NYC information here would *sell*! Though Homberger offers "the usual" kind of ho-hum history-e.g., that the British settled near the East River-there are far more intriguing facts on offer, such as that former mayor Rudy Guiliani was about 300 years late to the politician's cross-dressing party. Gov. Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury (g. 1702–08), not only shared the name of Dr. Jekyll's alter ego, but he was also both "notorious for appearing in public dressed in his wife's clothes" and hotter than Guiliani on a bad hair day. Other chapters cover places of import (e.g., Harlem), movements like beaux arts architecture, and topics à la skyscrapers. If I'm reading the maps correctly, I emerged from Grand Central smack in the middle of the 1920 dividing line between the city's French and Syrian/Turkish sections. After a jig to the west, I headed down Seventh Avenue, proudly sharing with the wife that we were traversing land once inhabited by the Sopokanikan Indians, going through what was once the estate of Dirck Van Clyff Jan Smeedes and ending up in what was once the West India Company Governor's Garden. I mentioned that we were speeding past the old Tenderloin where, in 1912, the Lenox Avenue Gang murdered underworld bookmaker Herman Rosenthal and that the concert venue, on Varick Street, lay in an area that in 1865 featured upscale tenements, "526 drinking shops, and 30 brothels." My old lady gave me one withering look and dropped her nose into her smartphone to delete some of my old texts. Douglas Lord, "Books for Dudes," Booksmack! 10/7/10
Library Journal
"Atlas" is almost a misnomer for this encyclopedic overview of the history of New York City. Homberger (American studies, Univ. of East Anglia; Scenes from the Life of a City: Corruption and Conscience in Old New York, LJ 9/1/94) details the growth and development of the Big Apple from earliest times, with attention to geological formation, pre-Colonial settlement, and transformation to first city of the young republic. Detailed color maps abound, accompanied by a running commentary of major historical and cultural eras. Many of the most detailed maps are rendered schematically for easier reading. Each period treated features historical photos and illustrations along with accompanying map(s). Some of the best-known aspects of the city, e.g., the UN, Rockefeller Center, receive individual treatment, as do neighborhoods such as Harlem, Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, and Chinatown. Two fascinating illustrations are stylized diagrams of Broadway, the longest street in the city, and Fifth Avenue, arguably the city's main street. A detailed, illustrated chronology of important events in the city's history concludes the volume. A visual delight; highly recommended for all libraries.-Edward B. Cone, New York City
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805060041
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/15/1998
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.28 (w) x 10.56 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Homberger received his doctorate in American studies from Cambridge University and is reader in American studies at the University of East Anglia. Alice Hudson is curator of the Map Division of the New York Public Library.

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