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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem
Like the Elements of Style, the timeless writing manifesto that White revised and rewrote for generation after generation of scribes, Here is New York has lasting appeal.
White captures a very large city in a very small book. Yet the end this slender volume is as satisfying as a weighty tome because White seems to get the philosophy of New York right.
And I must...
Published on November 10, 2003 by Daniel C. Wilcock

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little for a lot
I like E.B. White and looked forward to reading this book...however, it is only and essay, and a good one, but to charge $7.99 for something that can be read in less than a half-hour is a bit much.....
Published 14 months ago by Kevin Kennedy


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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem, November 10, 2003
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This review is from: Here is New York (Hardcover)
Like the Elements of Style, the timeless writing manifesto that White revised and rewrote for generation after generation of scribes, Here is New York has lasting appeal.
White captures a very large city in a very small book. Yet the end this slender volume is as satisfying as a weighty tome because White seems to get the philosophy of New York right.
And I must agree, the final pages seem to eerily fortell September 11, 2001.
If you already love New York, or if you want to know why so many do, pick this baby up and guarantee yourself a good night's reading.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless description of an undescribable city., May 2, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Here Is New York (Paperback)
This book, written almost fifty years ago, captures the qualities that make New York the greatest city in the world. It is a brief character sketch of the whole city. The fact that almost every word is still applicable today illustrates the eternal uniqueness and unchangability of the Big Apple. This book should be read by anyone who lives in, commutes to, or plans to visit New York
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love New York -- Great Gift for New Yorkers Over 70!, October 15, 2000
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Here is New York (Hardcover)
No one could say, "I Love New York," better than E.B. White did in this slim volume of stylish, moving caresses for her lovely, loving face. To each of us, though, New York shows a different face. E.B. White has captured the universal elements of that face in his perceptive observations about what you have noticed and felt about New York, but never shared with anyone.
I have many relatives and friends in New York City who are over 70 and have told me many wonderful stories about the late 40s there. Imagine my delight when I discovered that E.B. White had written this magnificent 7,500 word essay about his experiences in the city during the summer of 1948! I have the perfect gift now to help these warm-hearted people happily relive their more youthful days. And those who love New York, regardless of their age, will love this book, as well. So I will need to buy and give many copies of this book.
The book begins with a new introduction by Roger Angell, who is E.B. White's stepson. Mr. Angell was an editor at Holiday who helped arrange for this assignment for Mr. White. Mr. White had gone to live permanently in Maine by this time, so coming to New York was a travel assignment. You may recall that Mr. White had done a stint at The New Yorker during World War II that had brought him to Manhattan, so it was also a homecoming. Mr. Angell points out that many of the scenes described in the essay are now gone, something that Mr. White also pointed out in his introduction to the essay in 1949. In addition, many of Mr. White's complaints would be even more vociferous if uttered today. But one aspect of the work is unchanging, "Like most of us, he wanted it [New York City of an earlier time] back again, back the way it was." So this essay is very much about time-specific memory, and how that evokes moods and thoughts we value most. Change that dilutes those values is to be resisted. As Mr. White said, "New York has changed in tempo and temper during the years I have known it. There is greater tension, increased irritability."
The essay teems with stylish, dynamic prose that reminded me of the vibrancy of the exploding krill population during the summer months in whale feeding grounds. New York was experiencing a heat wave, and there was no air conditioning. Perhaps that's what accounts for the often heavy mood of pessimism, relieved by only a little peek at optimism here and there.
"It is a miracle that New York works at all. The whole thing is implausible."
"Mass hysteria is a terrible force, yet New Yorkers seem always to escape it by some tiny margin . . . ."
"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."
The great strength of the essay is in its many wonderful, astute observations about New York. First, Mr. White points out that there are three types of New Yorkers: Those who actually were born and live there, those who commute daily, and those who come to realize some ambition. Each adds something important to the pot.
"The city is literally a composite of tens of thousands of tiny neighborhood units." "Each neighborhood is virtually self-sufficient." So in many ways, New York is also about small-town America at this time.
While the city pulses with incredible energy and activity, the New Yorker or visitor has "the gift of privacy, the jewel of loneliness." Small town America never had these qualities. In other words, you can be disconnected from the great events in the city (except for the St. Patrick's Day parade, which is ubiquitous in its noise, as Mr. White points out) if you want to be, and you can retreat from human connection into solitude amongst the masses.
He describes the ethnic groups of the city, from Jews (the largest group) to blacks (a rapidly growing one in Harlem), and comments on the diverse rituals of very different lives. The section on the Bowery and the New Yorker's reactions to the people there was particularly powerful.
He is pessimistic about the new weapons of mass destruction (the atomic bomb at this time), but cheered by the building of the United Nations. "But it [New York] is by way of becoming capital of the world" despite being capital of nothing.
The end of the essay is a meditation on an old willow tree that has been nurtured in a courtyard, a humanizing reminder of nature and of caring . . . and the past. "This must be saved, this particular thing, this very tree." "If it were to go, all would go -- this city, this mischevious and marvelous monument which not to look upon would be like death."
After you have finished meditating on this paean to humanity's strivings, consider your own home town. What does it tell you that is equally uplifting? Write down those thoughts, and share them with your family. You will have made an irresistible connection into the future through the present and the past.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New York City in 1949, by the author of Charlotte's Web, September 25, 2001
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This review is from: Here is New York (Hardcover)
If you have not discovered this gem in the past, you absolutely must read it now. E.B. White was extremely prophetic in light of the recent tragedy in New York City. You will be amazed at his descriptions of the city and of its diverse citizens. Everything he says is relevant today. You will also be amazed at his concerns for the safety of the city. He even mentions danger from airplanes! He knew and loved New York City and he is such a gentle and moving writer. This 54 page essay will touch a chord with any reader looking for some uplifting words about the place we are all thinking about now.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glimpse of old New York, inspiring for today's readers, September 24, 2001
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This review is from: Here is New York (Hardcover)
I've loved E.B.White's writing ever since a grade school teacher read Charlotte's Web aloud to the class, chapter by chapter. His writing is unique, clear and memorable, whether he is writing about what he sees out his window or about life in New York walking down a busy sidewalk, masses of people all around him. While life in New York has changed significantly since E.B. White first wrote the words contained in this book, readers will find his writing also timeless in spirit and inspirational in invoking a renewed appreciation for New York and the little details that make it special. White once said of his writing: 'Writing to me is not an exercise in addressing readers, it is more as though I were talking to myself while shaving'. If only we could all be as articulate, memorable and even humorous while talking to ourselves and others! A very special book, worth reading and re-reading.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A NOSTALGIC LOOK AT THE "BIG APPLE", October 30, 2001
By 
Sandra D. Peters "Seagull Books" (Prince Edward Island, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Here is New York (Hardcover)
Anyone who has ever read the children's book, "Charlotte's Web" will know what a fine and accomplished writing style E. B. White possesses. This book is another fine example of the author's capabilities.
There is something about New York that has fascinated and captivated people since time began. It is a city rich with history, culture, style, charisma, and, yes, tragedy. However, through the years the city has had many stories to tell, and to visitors, it has long been considered the city of excitement and action, with a zillion things to visit and do.
The year is 1948 and E. B. White takes the reader on a trip down memory lane, to the city of his youth, a city of splendor and wonder. There have been some very evident changes over the years; however, some aspects will always remain, "typically New York." Perhaps residents of the city and surrounding area take much of what the author portrays for granted; however, for one who is not an American, the city still holds a uniqueness unmatched by few cities in North America.
The only downside of the book is it's length; it is extremely short, but I still highly recommend the book. As White indicates, "the city is like poetry". The magic, music and wonder of the city still draw people to its core like a magnet.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Love Letter to New York City, April 23, 2006
This review is from: Here is New York (Hardcover)
HERE IS NEW YORK is a truly spectacular 1948 essay that originally appeared in Holiday magazine. Written by E.B. White and named one of the ten best books ever written about New York, this is a quick read that will leave you years later savoring White's timeless observations.

Writing in a hotel room during a sweltering heat wave, White takes the reader through the essence of New York City and its eight million inhabitants who he notes roughly fall into three groups: the natives, the commuters and the transplants.

Warning that "no one should come to New York unless he is willing to be lucky," White lovingly explains how the city is more a collection of thousands of small neighborhoods that implausibly operate independently of each other, completely oblivious to what is occurring only a few blocks away.

Though it was written almost 60 years ago, HERE IS NEW YORK is just as accurate today as the moment it was written. Yes, the city has changed but the basic structure of life in New York remains the same.

Overall HERE IS NEW YORK is a very positive book that will leave everyone feeling welcome and needed in America's biggest city. But eerily the book presciently warns that "a single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal passages, cremate the millions."

Though it was tough to read that passage right after 9/11 as I did, I still whole heartedly recommend HERE IS NEW YORK to anyone who lives in New York, commutes to and from there, or has just moved there and is now, as White observed, generating "enough heat and light to dwarf the Consolidated Edison Company."

- Regina McMenamin
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swells With Universal Meaning, December 28, 1999
This review is from: Here is New York (Hardcover)
White's beautifully undulating prose illumes the movement, ambiance, paradox and gravity of a city that is, ironically and miraculously, both floodgate and a floodplain of the world.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Style, Truth, Prescience, December 10, 2005
By 
Barry Drogin (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Here is New York (Hardcover)
Early to a party, I was looking at a friend's bookcase and pulled this slim volume from a shelf. After reading the first sentence, I knew I had to have it.

Originally published in 1949, E.B. White, who no longer lived in New York City, captured the soul and spirit of the place. Nothing has changed. At the time, the United Nations building was under construction, and the bombing of London was fresh in his mind. He ends the book with a vision that perfectly balances hope with danger, in words prescient of September 11 - I re-read those paragraphs on every anniversary, it has become my ritual.

But what originally drew me to the book is not only the truth and insight of White, but his style, his felicity of expression. The author of "The Elements of Style" certainly knew the rules, and knew when to break them, as well. The second paragraph ends with a run-on sentence 198 words long, a thrilling joy ride which itself demonstrates how impossible it is to capture, in prose, the enormity and importance of this city.

I agree with Russell Baker, this is "the finest portrait ever painted of the city."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A swell little essay, August 28, 2005
This review is from: Here is New York (Hardcover)
I bought a 1949 first edition of this and just loved holding the 4"x6" (or thereabouts) gem in my hands. It has a sepia "Fairchild Aerial Surveys" image of Manhattan on the cover, as well as blurbs calling E.B. White "swell" and "meaty" and "original, all wool and a yard wide." I'm just starting to learn that part of the pleasure of a book, occasionally, is its packaging - and this was a swell example. I barely know what to add to the other comments here about White's writings. If you know him only through his three beautifully crafted childrens' books, this is one place to start with his essays. Here is New York was originally written for Holiday magazine. You can read the essay (and, consequently, this book) in one sitting. The ideas here are admittedly romantic and, from my twenty-first-century perspective, sometimes a tad cloying. That said, White's sentences always deliver spare, direct ideas. He is truly a joy to read. If you love Manhattan as I do, you'll want to have this as part of your library, if only to be reminded every once in awhile that someone voiced your own feelings 60 years ago.
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Here is New York
Here is New York by Roger Angell (Hardcover - January 1, 2000)
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