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How We Got to Coney Island: The Development of Mass Transportation in Brooklyn and Kings County Paperback – January 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0823222094 ISBN-10: 0823222098 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823222098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823222094
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 1 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This is an example of a familiar and decidedly old-fashioned genre of transport history. It is primarily an examination of the business politics of railway development and amalgamation in Brooklyn and adjoining districts since the mid-nineteenth century"

About the Author

BRIAN J. CUDAHY's books include Around Manhattan Island: And Other Maritime Tales ofNew York and A Century of Subways: Celebrating 100 Years of New York's Underground Railways (both Fordham). He lives in Bluffton, SC.

More About the Author

Brian Cudahy was born in Brooklyn, New York, and it was there that he developed a life-long fascination with subway trains. His first professional career was as a professor of philosophy, and he held positions on the faculoty of both Niagara University and Boston College. Cudahy left the academic world in the mid-1970s and spent the rest of his career working in the field of mass transportation, first with Boston's MBTA, then with the RTA in Chicago, and finally with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

He has published widely in two areas of transportation ... urban mass transit and maritime history. When Fordham University Press celebrated its centennial in 2007, Cudahy's history of the New York subways, "Under the Sidewalks of New York," was cited as one of the Press' ten best sellers during its first hundred years.

Brian Cudahy retired in 1999 and currently lives near Hilton Head, South Carolina. Watch out, though! One of these days, readers may be able to get an inside look at urban mass transit in America through Cudahy's first work of fiction, a book that will bear the title "Foggarty's Heart Attack."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Just ask me! VINE VOICE on July 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Did you ever sit down with an elderly relative who is in a chatty mood, and suddenly realize how ignorant you were about your own family history? Finally learning how a particular "aunt", whom you've heard about a million times, is related to you? That's what reading Cudahy's book about the development of mass transit on Coney Island is like.
For example, I'd taken the "Culver" train many times without realizing that the destination had no street are area by that name, and only learned from this book that Andrew Culver developed one of the original rail lines across Brooklyn.
If you're a current or former Brooklynite, there are many "aha!" moments in this book, and a great explanation of how the development of Coney Island for recreation is what led to the development of mass transit across the borough.
This is a "niche" book, for those interested in Brooklyn history and for those interested in trains, and if you are looking for human interest, i.e., for a book about how the waves of immigrants have changed Brooklyn many times over, you should look elsewhere. The only people this book focuses on are the industrialists who left their imprint on Brooklyn by developing and redeveloping its transportation. It does that amazingly well. Make sure you really do want to hear these old stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Regulator on January 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
There is a lot of information in this book covering the period of mass transit in brooklyn from earliest trolleys to the BMT era and effectively ending with consolidation with the IND and IRT.
This man single-handedly knows more about this subject than anyone living or dead, quite impressive.
Only complain is that it does not quite meet academic standards, not that is was meant to, in that events such as bankruptcies are spoken without being put into a national context (as does Molloy in his excellently researched book on Rhode Island mass transit).
Nevertheless, if you ever worked for the MTA in Brooklyn or knew a loved one who did or care about the greatest borough in the universe, there is something in this book for you. That said, the writing is a bit dense.
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By E. Farr on February 13, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
OK I am a native Brooklynite but I learned a lot about how mass transit in Brooklyn evolved. Answered several questions I had about what some routes went the way that they did. Book could have a few more maps for my taste. An enjoyable read!
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