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Subways: The Tracks That Built New York City Hardcover – October 5, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In celebration of the New York City subway system’s 100th birthday, Diehl (The Great Pennsylvania Station; Automat) offers up this easy-to-read, informative history. From its beginnings as an underground amusement ride, to the development of the IRT, BMT and IND rail systems, to its crime-ridden and graffiti-covered fall in the 70’s and, finally, to its current revival, the system has had a more colorful history than most straphangers and tourists realize. Diehl’s well-pitched nostalgia leads readers to appreciate the wonder of the subway’s nascent period and to imagine how incalculably different New York would be today had the transit option that is so taken for granted not been created how and when it was. As Diehl shows, the subway and the cities of New York and Brooklyn grew up together and gave each other character. Tracks weren’t always laid to reach existing neighborhoods. Often neighborhoods sprung up as subway service pushed out farther from the city, while the areas below the elevateds (now long gone) developed a reputation for shadiness in every sense of the word. Those familiar with the layout of the city will most appreciate the implied differences between then and now but any fan of trains, history, New York or grand public works will enjoy the ride. Although Diehl’s tribute is not the definitive work on the subject, this book passes on enough fascinating tidbits, evocative depictions and serious history to have wide appeal. 60 b/w and 20 color photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

LORRAINE B. DIEHL is the author of The Late, Great Pennsylvania Station and coauthor of The Automat, and has contributed to the New York Daily News, New York magazine, the New York Times, Travel & Leisure, and American Heritage. She grew up and still lives in New York City, with her husband, Bill, an entertainment correspondent for ABC network radio.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1St Edition edition (October 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400052270
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400052271
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.5 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,785,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born and raised in New York City, Lorraine B. Diehl is the author of The Late, Great Pennsylvania Station; Subways: The Tracks That Built New York City; and The Automat: The History, Recipes, and Allure of Horn ' Hardart's Masterpiece. She has contributed to New York magazine, the New York Times, Travel & Leisure, American Heritage, and the New York Daily News, where her weekly feature, "Secret City," appeared. She lives in New York with her husband, Bill, an entertainment correspondent for ABC News Radio.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ira Knopf on November 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A good informative book, only wished it had map of subway system, from beginning through each decade to present showing the various route changes over the different time periods
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By Robert Heller Jr. on June 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purchased this for myself. Knew most of the information already. Still a very good book. Very glad I bought it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nice book
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