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Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City Paperback – March 24, 2009
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"Roots" by Alex Haley
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"As a longtime New Yorker, I never tire of walking the streets and uncovering something new about the world's most fascinating city, where every street has a story to tell. Inside the Apple is a gem of a book, filled with nuggets about New York's extraordinary past, from the sidewalks up. Whether you are a tourist exploring for the very first time or a seasoned walker in the city, this book is a must." -- Kenneth C. Davis, author of the bestsellers America's Hidden History and Don't Know Much About® History
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Top Customer Reviews
I fully admit that I am not even "into" history and found this book fascinating. AND they include 14 walking tours at the end of the book.... my husband and I went on one this weekend as a "date" and had a wonderful (COST-FREE) day. I can't wait until the spring when we can go on all of the tours!
I'm going to buy this for all of my NYC friends and will hand it over to any out-of-towners visiting me looking for fun things to do in the city. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who lives in or will visit NYC (or anyone just interested in learning more about the city).
Can't wait to see what these authors have lined up next.
On one hand, Inside the Apple traces a chronological history of the city from its Native American settlements to the present, divided into thematic chapters such as The Early City (1600s), The Growth of the Immigrant City (mid-1800s) and Boom and Bust (1920s). By focusing on a number of well-chosen places, people and events in each period, the authors bring their stories to life. For instance, the section on The Great Port (1805-1835) includes detailed discussions of: DeWitt Clinton's role in implementing Manhattan's street grid; the consruction of the city's first tenement building; and the hugely destructive but little remembered Great Fire of 1835.
Complementing the chronological history, the book also contains a collection of self-guided walking tours. Fourteen easy-to-follow tours, accompanied by maps, appear at the end of the book and continually refer readers back to the historical discussions. So, when you come upon a statue commemorating the Great Fire while walking through Central Park, you're directed to the earlier chapter on the fire.
I recommend this book for visitors to NYC, for history buffs, and also for life-long New Yorkers who are sure to uncover layers of the past hiding in plain sight just beyond their doorsteps.
I first got the kindle version, but did not find it to be very useful. You need to flip back and forth sometimes in the book because there are maps and such. So I got the paperback and I love it. Very informative book on NYC history and the famous people who helped built this city.
Update: After reading some of the reviews it seems some tourists have bought this book as a means to sightseeing. If you plan on doing that I would highly recommend you get another book specifically for that purpose. This book is not a travel guide, but more of a history book and the maps and such are only there to supplement the telling of the history of this great city. However this can make a great supplement to a travel guide if you are a tourist. I am a NY native, but I learned a lot from this book. For example, I learned that the reason "Wall Street" is named such is because back in the late 1600's there was a literally a big wall there! Built to protect New Yorkers from British colonists and it was built by a collaboration of NY volunteers, residents and black african slaves. Perhaps this rare culture of black slaves working side by side with free men was the reason why in the 1700's "The New York Manumission Society" was founded... which was a group of white males who thought slavery was ungodly and wrong and they fought to abolish it. This society also founded a school specifically meant to educate the children of black slaves so that they could grow up to compete in the market place as free adults. All this and more happened right here in NY! I walked these streets for years not understanding their meaning and now I do.
The book itself is mainly a look at Manhattan's history focusing mainly on the history surrounding its buildings and other locations. The idea of the book was to write about places that can still be visited today. There are stories of New York's most famous places such as Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Terminal, the Empire State Building, Ellis Island, along with many others.
Even though the book stays mostly in Manhattan, I found the information in it to be absolutely fascinating. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of New York City.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this for my husband for Christmas. He's a train nut so this was right up his alley.Published 4 months ago by JR
This has long been one of my favorite books about New York City. It can be read as either a reference book or as a kind of narrative history. Read morePublished 6 months ago by S. Jacobson
I have done tours with Michelle and am thrilled to have this book as a resource.Published 11 months ago by Carol Ann Zinn
This is a really neat book, I just wish that it read a little more fluidly. For me, there's a lot of page turning and referencing back and forth. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Melissa Durel Porter
very interesting..a little too long..but the walking guides at the end of the book are awesome!Published 14 months ago by maxpayne22