Picturing New York: The City from Its Beginnings to the Present

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Overview

As every reader knows, New York defies any single attempt to take its measure. Here is a unique approach: a single-volume, thematically organized history of the city filled with prints, paintings, and photographs -- many in full color -- that make the book a feast for the eye.

The book consists of fourteen mini-histories, each of which can be read independently of the others. The author explores the city's multiple birth (it was named and renamed five times, and was originally known as Angoulême, not as New Amsterdam as most people believe). Deák covers the religious pluralism the city enjoyed as a scruffy Atlantic trading post, the marketing and merchandising that propelled its development, and the rise of the arts, literature, architecture, and sports. Throughout, the author attempts to answer the beguiling question: Was New York unique from the beginning?

Readers will find:

• The map recording the visit of the explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano to Manhattan Island, circa 1540

• The print depicting the defensive barricade, built in 1653 by Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant, which gave Wall Street its name

• Artists' renditions of a bucolic ninteenth-century Brooklyn -- before bridges transformed it into an extension of the Manhattan megalopolis

• An 1892 planning sketch of the Grand Concourse, the Bronx's principal boulevard, intended to simulate the grandeur of Parisian roadways and ultimately to outclass Manhattan.

Comments from observers as diverse as Alexis de Tocqueville, Frances Trollope, Fanny Kemble, Charles Dickens, Sarah Bernhardt, Leon Trotsky, Fernand Leger, and W. H. Auden create an immediate sense of time and place and animate an already lively work.

Columbia University Press

Named one of the 25 Best Reference Books by the New York Public Library; AAUP Excellence in Interior Design;

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Editorial Reviews

ForeWord Magazine - Peter Skinner

An elegant combination of impressive illustration, perceptive text and spacious format gives this volume distinction.... Deák's knowledge of historical and pictorial resources is daunting.

Imprint

Unique among books telling the tale of New York, Gloria Deák's volume is a lively work that will delight reader's interested in the nation's largest city...Each section is generously illustrated with meaningful and important historical images, regardless of medium or place of origin. The result makes for wonderful reading...This is a most enjoyable book.

ForeWord Magazine
An elegant combination of impressive illustration, perceptive text and spacious format gives this volume distinction.... Deák's knowledge of historical and pictorial resources is daunting.

— Peter Skinner

Thomas Bender
Relying upon her unmatched command of the pictorial history of New York, Gloria Deák has crafted a graceful, illuminating, and fascinating synthetic narrative as a frame for an extraordinary selection of pictures, some familiar but many unfamiliar, even to specialists.
Peter Skinner
An elegant combination of impressive illustration, perceptive text and spacious format gives this volume distinction. . . . Deák's knowledge of historical and pictorial resources is daunting.
Edwin Burrows
Gloria Deák's Picturing New York will be savored by anyone who appreciates the richness and complexity of New York's past. Anchored by an abundance of wonderful illustrations, her vignettes of the main themes are entertaining as well as informative. An eye-opening book in every sense of the word.
Imprint
Unique among books telling the tale of New York, Gloria Deák's volume is a lively work that will delight reader's interested in the nation's largest city...Each section is generously illustrated with meaningful and important historical images, regardless of medium or place of origin. The result makes for wonderful reading...This is a most enjoyable book.
Library Journal
De k, an independent scholar of American art and cultural affairs, has written an engaging history of New York City filled with prints, paintings, and vintage photographs that greatly enhance the text. While admitting that the city defies any single effort to take its measure, she has nevertheless succeeded in presenting a straightforward account of its progress from a scruffy Atlantic Coast trading post in the 17th century to a great metropolis at the turn of the millennium. Organized into 14 vignettes, as De k calls them, the book takes up the growth of the seaport, the development of manufacturing, and the expansion of banking, insurance, and stock trading. It depicts the city as the nation's center of the arts, theater, other popular entertainment, and publishing. Recommended for New York City collections in academic and larger public libraries.--Harry Frumerman, formerly with Hunter Coll., New York Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Internet Book Watch
Gloria Deak's Picturing New York provides a lavish history of New York covering a range oftopics; from immigrant waves and their influences upon New York culture to the rise of politicians and establishment of religion and culture. A chronological arrangement of chapters allows for a fine historic overview, while the arrangement of information also lends to browsing. A recommended pick for any collection strong on New York City history and culture. Geremie R. Barme's In The Red (10615-7, $22.50) offers insights into contemporary Chinese culture, blending facts and anecdotes with cartoons, photos and illustrations to bring to life various facets of Chinese relationships. Recommended for any student of Chinese history and culture. Catherine Clinton and Christine Lunardini's Guide To American Women In The 19th Century (10920-2, $40.00) is designed for students of women's studies and American history alike, providing historical facts and interpretations which emphasize important changes in scholarship approaches. From discussions of families to an A-Z listing of terms and notable figures and a chronology of events, this uses different approaches to impart American history basics.
—Internet Book Watch
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231107280
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2000
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.82 (w) x 7.46 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Gloria Deák is an independent scholar of American art and cultural affairs. Her writings include Picturing America (a two-volume work that won the 1990 ALA Award for Distinguished Scholarship), American Views: Prospects and Vistas, and Profiles of American Artists.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

PrefaceOne - A MULTIPLE BIRTH - The European Discovery and Naming of Manhattan: Angoulême, New Amsterdam, New York, New Orange, and Forever After, New YorkTwo - A MULTIRELIGIOUS DESTINY - The Early Establishment of Religious Pluralism in Churches and SchoolsThree - SEAFARING SPLENDOR - The Shaping of New York's Destiny as a World-Class SeaportFour - MERCHANT PRINCES - The Lure of Marketing, Merchandising, and MoneymakingFive - PEOPLING NEW YORK - Asia, Europe, and Africa TransplantedSix - A CITY OF CONTRASTS - Ascent of the Rich and Struggles of the PoorSeven - BROADWAY - The Metamorphosis of a Manhattan StreetEight - BROOKLYN AND STATEN ISLAND - The People, Parks, and AmbienceNine - THE BRONX AND QUEENS - The People, Parks and AmbienceTen - POLITICIANS FOR ALL SEASONS - Peter Stuyvesant, Thomas Dongan, Fernando Wood, and Fiorello La GuardiaEleven - TRIUMPHS OF ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN ENGINEERING - Buildings, Bridges, Parks, and the City's UndergroundTwelve - PAINTING, THEATER, MUSIC, AND DANCE - New York's Rise as an International Center in All Phases of the ArtsThirteen - COMMUNICATION AS ART AND AS INDUSTRY - Literature, Newspapers, Printing, and PublishingFourteen - SPORTS FOR ALL SEASONS AND ALL FANS - Take Me Out to the BallgameNotesBibliographyPicture CreditsIndex

Columbia University Press

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