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Breezy History of the Magic Island,
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This review is from: Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City (Paperback)Breezy pop history of Manhattan by reference to notable people and places, which seems appealing, judging by prior reviews, to out-of-towners, although it doesn't purport to be anything other than a selective historical guide. But how many New Yorkers have been to the Statute of Liberty or the Empire State Building, much less, for example, Governor's Island, or know their history? For New Yorkers it's good to be reminded of the likes of Peter Stuyvesant; and there's interesting history in this book regarding places denizens of the Magic Island have never much thought about. The read is effortless, informative and enjoyable. The author-couple is free of cant or ideology. Just the facts, Ma'am. There are many deeper accounts/guides re NYC specializing in architecture, Tammany politics, the subways, the Brooklyn Bridge, the WTC, and even natural history and geology. This is Manhattan 101 and works on that level. Guides such as Lonely Planet, which no Manhattanite would ever think of perusing, are probably more satisfying overall. The text is mapped into 14 walking tours, which, predictably, exemplify the guide's limited breadth, as the walker passes all kinds of interesting sites that are not treated in the main narrative. There can never be too many useful and informative books about NYC, for reasons these authors readily and continually explain.