Here is New York

Here is New York

by E. B. White, Roger Angell

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In the summer of 1948, E.B. White sat in a New York City hotel room and, sweltering in the heat, wrote a remarkable pristine essay, Here is New York. Perceptive, funny, and nostalgic, the author’s stroll around Manhattan—with the reader arm-in-arm—remains the quintessential love letter to the city, written by one of America’s foremost literary figures. Here is New York has been chosen by The New York Times as one of the ten best books ever written about the city. The New Yorker calls it “the wittiest essay, and one of the most perceptive, ever done on the city.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590174791
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 03/30/2011
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 58
Sales rank: 210,982
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

“Thoroughly American and utterly beautiful” is how William Shawn, his editor at the New Yorker, described E. B. White’s prose. At the magazine, White developed a pure and plain-spoken literary style; his writing was characterized by wit, sophistication, optimism, and moral steadfastness. In 1978 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the body of his work. E. B. White died in 1985

Roger Angell is a writer and fiction editor at the New Yorker.

Date of Birth:

July 11, 1899

Date of Death:

October 1, 1985

Place of Birth:

Mount Vernon, New York

Place of Death:

North Brooklin, Maine


B.A., Cornell University, 1921

Read an Excerpt

….Mass hysteria is a terrible force, yet New Yorkers seems always to escape it by some tiny margin: they sit in stalled subways without claustrophobia, they extricate themselves from panic situations by some lucky wisecrack, they meet confusion and congestion with patience and grit—a sort of perpetual muddling through. Every facility is inadequate—the hospitals and schools and playgrounds are overcrowded, the express highways are feverish, the unimproved highways and bridges are bottlenecks; there is not enough air and not enough light, and there is usually either too much heat or too little. But the city makes up for its hazards and deficiencies by supplying its citizens with massive doses of a supplementary vitamin—the sense of belonging to something unique, cosmopolitan, mighty and unparalleled.Manhattan has been compelled to expand skyward because of the absence of any other direction in which to grow. This, more than any other thing, is responsible for its physical majesty. It is to the nation what the white church spire is to the village—the visible symbol of aspiration and faith, the white plume saying that the way is up. The summer traveler swings in over Hell Gate Bridge and from the window of his sleeping car as it glides above the pigeon lofts and back yards of Queens looks southwest to where the morning light first strikes the steel peaks of midtown, and he sees its upward thrust unmistakable: the great walls and towers rising, the smoke rising, the heat not yet rising, the hopes and ferments of so many awakening millions rising—this vigorous spear that presses heaven hard. New York is nothing like Paris; it is nothing like London; and it is not Spokane multiplied by sixty, or Detroit multiplied by four. It is by all odds the loftiest of cities…

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Here Is New York 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Prompted by his son-in-law to return to New York City to write a magazine article, E.B. White wound up writing one of the most elegant, compact and poignant books on the subject. And although White rhapsodized about the New York of youth, and was a little saddened by the New York he was revisiting in the mid-40s, there is no doubting his love and fascination with Gotham. His descriptions of a walk through The Park in the evening, the sounds of ships' horns in the distance, and the comings and goings of commuters are especially provocative. One of the central theses of this little tome is that so much of the destinies of New Yorkers are measured in inches. He describes how everyday New Yorkers can wind up inches away from a celebrity at a luncheonette, and that at any time you can be as close to or as distant from any significant event or person. He describes the fate of one New Yorker who was crushed by a falling piece of masonry from an old building. If that person had been six inches away in any direction on the sidewalk, that person would've gone on living. A matter of inches. And so it is with this slender volume, which is not even a half- inch thick. And yet it, like the crowded little island of Manhattan, is filled with so much richness, humanity, and life that it draws you in like a supermagnet. And only E.B. White could have pulled off something as beautiful as this book. Buy it, read it.
dtillyer More than 1 year ago
It's a nice essay. Not entirely relevant, but noteworthy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Here is New York is a beautifully written description of New York City as it was in the late 40's. E.B. White writes how the city is forever changing yet stays the same, how residents can live within the grand metropolis and yet never venture past a few blocks. He captures the essence and the spirit of New York City with a keen perception of what is ironic, what is interesting, what is beloved.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The most beautiful essay on New York and what New York is. But the last pages will rip your heart out and start a flood of tears.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This incredible essay leaves one with the same feeling you experienced as a child discovering one more Christmas present tucked away behind the tree - it suddenly becomes all yours - brilliant!!
madamepince on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An amazing reflection on New York by a former citizen; an essay about the reasons why those of us yearn towards the city and why we eventually leave. Even more amazingly, in 1949 White writes of the city's vulnerability to attack by planes that foreshadows 9-11. As someone who lived in New York for 16 years and returned only once for a visit, White captures the longing for the New York we experienced when we arrived fresh and hopeful and the sadness upon realizing it can't be recaptured any more than our youth.
bookworm12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this in the week leading up to my first trip to New York City last year. I loved it, then I visited the city and I loved the book even more. It's amazing to me that someone could so perfectly capture the magic of that city and write about it in a way that still rings true 60 years later. The author, famous for his children's books, Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web, was living in the city in 1948 when he wrote the slim book. White understood that despite being filled with people, NYC can be a lonely place. It gives its inhabitants privacy and anonymity in the midst of its bustling streets. It somehow allows you to feel connected and disconnected at the same time. I love how White talks about both the city as a whole and the diverse neighborhoods that make up the city. He saw the beauty of the pockets of familiarity within the intimidating beast. He embraced the paradoxes within New York, parks and pavement, rich and poor. The essay is a glowing love letter to the city of New York, but there are elements that ring true for any city. The attachment a person can feel for a place, the unique personality a city has, etc. Pick it up before your next trek to the Big Apple or really anytime.
Faradaydon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Brief, but breathtakingly brilliant
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This "book" clearly is not worth the money charged for it. It is an essay rather than a book, and the first third to half of it is an introduction.
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