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Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City Paperback – March 24, 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City + The Historical Atlas of New York City: A Visual Celebration of 400 Years of New York City's History + Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 (The History of New York City)
Price for all three: $52.14

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Read about the top five lists of activities to explore in New York City from Michelle and James Nevius's book, Inside the Apple [PDF].

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Original edition (March 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141658997X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416589976
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Most of this guide book is devoted to an exhaustive catalog of New York City history, beginning with glaciers' impact on the geography of Central Park and ending (161 chapters later) with the aftermath of 9/11. Not for cover-to-cover reading, this guide from a tour-guide/entrepreneur husband-and-wife team is best approached from behind, with the 14 walking tours that cap the volume; each highlighted site references the relevant chapters preceding. Considering New York's dense history, these tours offer something for everyone: the Greenwich Village tour alone encompasses the Stonewall Inn, considered the birthplace of gay rights; Jefferson Market Courthouse, the nation's first night court; and the house where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women. Not even natives know this much; even if they do recall the late-19th and early-20th century tenement laws meant to improve living conditions (chapter 84), they'll probably be surprised to learn where the city's first tenement is located (chapter 32). From the 1765 Bowling Green Park protest of the Stamp Act to the 1980 murder of John Lennon outside the Dakota Apartments, this extremely thorough sidewalk-level guide is rich with 20 years of combined tour experience. Photos and maps.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"I was born in New York and lived there for years, but I had no idea what I was missing until I picked up Inside the Apple. It's jammed with fascinating pieces of history and great nuggets of trivia. I can't wait to walk Manhattan again with this book in hand." -- Noah D. Oppenheim, coauthor of the bestselling The Intellectual Devotional™ series

"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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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 46 customer reviews
I read it twice before going and was so excited to actually see the city!
Teresa
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).
Jenny F
This well researched and highly informative book is a must for anyone interested in the history of and historic sites in New York City.
James Hoge

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Jenny F on March 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
I live in NYC and admit that I am daily taking all of the great sites around me for granted. I saw the positive NY Post review about the book and decided to buy it. It was well worth every penny. This book is broken down into concise, well-written and clever chapters (182 of them! Great info!) that do a phenomenal job of introducing the reader to little-known facts about a huge variety of areas in the city. I've learned more things about the city in reading the book than I have in the 6 years I've lived here!!

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.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Andrew W. Zeitler on May 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
I really loved this book. Both the historical account of the city and the walking tours work amazingly well as if separate books, and the way they integrate into one another so seamlessly makes this a truly unique resource. I disagree with Publisher's Weekly where they said that "Inside the Apple" was not for cover to cover reading. In fact, I read it cover to cover and found it both fascinating and easy to read. You don't need to be out there using it as a tour book--it makes an excellent history of the city for anyone interested in New York.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lea on April 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
As a historian, I'm truly impressed with the way this book succeeds in presenting a wealth of in-depth, thoroughly researched information about New York City history in a highly readable, sometimes downright humorous, manner.

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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By B. Nasar on August 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm a native New Yorker, born and bred in Queens, and I could not put this book down the moment I picked it up! The authors write in such an interesting and engaging manner, you almost forget you are reading history. Now I happen to be a history buff but my husband, who's a doctor and about as interested in history as I am in medicine also found this book fascinating. The tours in the end are great, especially because you can appreciate the buildings and structures so much more since you've read about them. I actually borrowed this book from the library, read it, and then bought it from Amazon because I enjoyed it so much. five stars!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By L. Nozari on September 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I took this to NYC with me to read on the plane and get some history of NY and also for the walking tours. The book is divided up by time periods, from before the Europeons to present day. It's an interesting fast paced history focusing on the places and institutions of NYC and the people associated with them. Lots of interesting trivia. On the down side, it's a relatively large book, 364 pages and standard size. Not easy to carry around. But what really put me off this book were the walking tours. I bought the book basically to take these tours and really understand the history behind what I was seeing. We were going to the Statue of Liberty so we decided to do Tour 2, Wall Street and Beyond. Forget it. The "map" was sketchy with lots of streets not named. The directions for walking did not correspond to the streets on the map. The sites we were supposed to look for were named in the text but on the map they were numbers and to figure out what site the numbers corresponded to you have to go to the front of the book where they are listed in numerical order. Sound confusing? Try doing it with a husband and nine year old waiting on marching orders and hundreds of thousands of people milling around. After flipping back and forth furiously for an hour I just gave up and used my no frills guide book. I really like the idea of this book but it needs work to make it more user friendly.
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