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Distributed for Reaktion Books

New York

From the Big Apple to the City that Never Sleeps, New York has many identities. It is a melting pot of peoples and cultures, a capital of finance and commerce, and a mecca of fashion, art, and entertainment. It is home to the United Nations Headquarters and Wall Street, and it is the destination for millions of tourists each year. But outside of the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, where does one even start? In this concise and witty guide from a native New Yorker, Elizabeth L. Bradley mixes history with high and low culture to make sense of this city for visitors and armchair travelers alike.
Tracing the development of New York City from a Dutch trading post to the cultural capital of the world, Bradley provides brief histories of each of the five boroughs and introduces the city’s most important—and colorful—personalities. In addition to a rich account of the city’s past, she offers a series of ruminations on themes germane to New York today, describing its natural landmarks, unnatural gin joints, immigrant enclaves, and even its many noises. All along she includes thoughtful, eclectic lists of where to eat, drink, and shop, as well as what to see and do.
Exploring the features that make New York both inimitable and extraordinary, this generously illustrated guide is a lively and engaging look at this ever-shifting archipelago.

192 pages | 80 color plates, 20 halftones | 5 x 7 3/4 | © 2015


Travel and Tourism: Travel Writing and Guides

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“Great things come in small packages: this concise history of the Empire City is a smart and lively read, as fast-paced and colorful as Gotham itself. Bradley is a thoughtful and witty tour guide, and her book makes an excellent travel companion for tourists and natives alike.”

Susan Henshaw Jones, Ronay Menschel Director, Museum of the City of New York

“Bradley’s concise and compelling history gracefully traces the city’s rise from Dutch trading center (enriched by Algonquin and slave labor) to world capital. Anyone who likes, loves, or tolerates New York will adore this fine book.”

Paul LeClerc, President Emeritus, New York Public Library

“Newcomers will love Bradley’s tips on finding true ethnic enclaves and the best resting (or trysting) spots in the city’s museums, while locals will appreciate a remarkably insightful analysis of the changes in the city’s collective psyche in the wake of 9/11. This brisk, illuminating, and highly entertaining book belongs on the bookshelf of every New York City admirer—and isn’t that simply everyone?”

Sherill Tippins, author of Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel.

Table of Contents


1. From Manhattan to Nieuw Amsterdam
2. The First New York
3. A Post of Infinite Importance
4. Gotham
5. Money Town
6. Knickerbocker Village
7. The World of Tomorrow
8. Fun City
9. The Capital of the World
The City Today
Dives and Speakeasies
Flotsam and Jetsam
Suggested Reading and Viewing
Photo Acknowledgements

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