These unique full-color books capture the events and emotions of times gone by through beautiful postcard images, personal messages, and captivating text. Each book is designed to bring alive not only the sights of the last century, but also the sentiments—whether those of a young actress telling her family that she’s landed a job with Rudy Vallee’s revue, or of an army corporal letting his friend know that he’ll be discharged by Christmas 1941. Perfect as mementos, pictorial histories, and gifts, the Postcards ...
These unique full-color books capture the events and emotions of times gone by through beautiful postcard images, personal messages, and captivating text. Each book is designed to bring alive not only the sights of the last century, but also the sentiments—whether those of a young actress telling her family that she’s landed a job with Rudy Vallee’s revue, or of an army corporal letting his friend know that he’ll be discharged by Christmas 1941. Perfect as mementos, pictorial histories, and gifts, the Postcards From . . . Series transports you back in time, allowing you to explore the events, places, and people that have enriched our country and our culture.
This postcard-shaped, spiral-bound book gives readers a walking tour of Manhattan, from Battery Park to the top of the island via a terrific set of vintage and contemporary postcards. The images generally document one or another landmark building or site straightforwardly-with the rare fanciful or moody shot. Yet what sometimes emerges is less a collection of postcards than one man's overwrought love letter to New York. Historian Lankevich captions the cards in an informative, but often deliriously over-the-top manner: the Stock Exchange is "one of the most intimidating places on earth." Lankevich also writes, "Everything about Manhattan is stupendous and inadequate....It is a place of blind ambitions, intellectual hauteur, and frightening indifference." One need not be a Brooklynite to ask: "Everything?" Yet when the original inscriptions are visible or provided by Lankevich, they are bizarre, hilarious and romantic. "The Matt Hudsons" write: "Well Chas! This is some place. Boy, no place for an Okie! They don't even speak our language." One shows an entire street covered with hanging laundry, with the mysterious scrawled inscription: "Please-stop praying, if you don't, we will all be drowned. Jack." The overall impression is of a group of transfixed outsiders looking in. Combine that with vintage drawings and photographs of places like the Empire State Building, Riverside Drive mansions, a teeming Hester Street, and cheesy productions incorporating all of the most famous at once-and the result is an unusual perspective on a much-vaunted metropolis. (Feb.)
Lankevich (history, emeritus, Bronx Community Coll., CUNY; American Metropolis: A History of New York City) proposes that Manhattan history is in many aspects the history of the United States. He writes that Manhattan was the nation's first capital, the largest American city in the 19th century, and a primary source of the nation's revenue prior to the 1913 passage of the Income Tax Amendment. Founded by the Dutch as a trading post in 1624, Manhattan developed from the southern tip of the island and advanced northward. Similarly, the book's chapters proceed from south to north. They include information about the New York Stock Exchange, Midtown's street grid, Central Park's creation, Harlem's decline and recent revival, and a tribute to the Twin Towers. Short, discrete chapters and more than 150 fascinating postcard illustrations enable time-pressed readers to savor the book in brief periods. Lankevich's clear, inspired writing conveys his love for the place that outer borough residents, even though it's been more than 100 years since the consolidation with Manhattan, still refer to as "the city." The book will make the reader want to go out and visit or revisit New York's attractions. Recommended for larger public libraries, especially New York City collections.-Elaine Machleder, Bronx, New York Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
George J. Lankevich received his PhD in American History from Columbia University. He taught for over thirty years in the City University of New York, and is now a professor emeritus. Dr. Lankevich is the author of over twenty volumes of history, including New York City: A Short History.