Manhattan '45

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Overview

In 1945, New York City stood at the pinnacle of its cultural and economic power. Never again would the city possess the unique mixture of innocence and sophistication, romance and formality, generosity and confidence which characterized it in this moment of triumph. In Manhattan '45, acclaimed travel writer and historian Jan Morris evokes the city in all its romantic grandeur. From its beguilingly idiosyncratic architectural style to its unmistakable slang, post-War New York springs to life through Morris's brisk, affectionate prose. Morris visits Wall Street, Harlem, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, and the Lower East Side. She rides the trollies, the El, the Hudson River ferries, and the Twentieth Century Limited. She dines at Schrafft's and Le Pavillon, drinks ale at McSorley's Saloon, sips Manhattans at the Manhattan Club, and spots celebrities at El Morocco. She meets Fiorello La Guardia, Robert Moses, Leo Durocher, I. B. Singer, and Dizzy Gillespie. And she tours the tenements of Hell's Kitchen and the Gashouse district, as well as the Foundling Hospital where the crushing realities of poverty belie the unchallenged exuberance of the age. Taking into account both Social Register and slum, Manhattan '45 celebrates New York's Golden Age as a place where, for one unrepeatable moment in history, anything seemed possible.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

American Studies International
A fine and fun bebop Baedeker through the Grandest of all Cities, New York, in its 1945 heyday..a valuable and thoroughly enjoyable journey.

— Gregg Ottinger

New York Times Book Review

Morris's rendition of the city's 1945 moods conveys what it felt like to live in New York at that time... A book crammed with details that bring life again to a city that glows in one's memory.

Christian Science Monitor

Accomplished with a surprising feeling of immediacy... Morris's unabashedly sentimental journey is narrated in a breezy, sometimes gushing style, yet maintains a high level of accuracy... There are intriguing bits of information and insight that spotlight aspects of the city we may have taken for granted... Manhattan '45... provides some food for thought, some fine writing, but mostly, just fun.

American Studies International - Gregg Ottinger

A fine and fun bebop Baedeker through the Grandest of all Cities, New York, in its 1945 heyday..a valuable and thoroughly enjoyable journey.

Library Journal
Noted travel writer Morris takes us on a trip to the Manhattan of 1945. The Queen Mary docked in New York City on June 20, 1945, with the first major contingent of troops returning from the European battlefield. Morris has us join those returning troops in touring a city poised on the brink of a brilliant future. We celebrate Manhattan in all its glory and ignominyits politics, its business, its entertainment, its culture, its various races, classes, and ethnic groups. Vivid descriptions and diverting anecdotes of life make for a fascinating and enjoyable tour. Morris conveys the excitement of being in New York City as it awakens to a new age in a book that will absorb all lovers of Manhattan. Pat Ensor, Indiana State Univ. Lib., Terre Haute
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801859571
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 273
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Morris is a travel writer and historian. Her many books include Hong Kong: Epilogue to an Empire, The Venetian Empire: A Sea Voyage, Conundrum, and Among the Cities.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Prologue 3
1 On Style 15
2 On System 56
3 On Race 89
4 On Class 126
5 On Movement 167
6 On Pleasure 194
7 On Purposes 225
Epilogue 269
Acknowledgements 273
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