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The Historical Atlas of New York City: A Visual Celebration of Nearly 400 Years of New York City's History Paperback – 25 Apr 2003

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press; New edition edition (25 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805060049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805060041
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 1.2 x 26.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 509,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A beautifully produced reference work . . . here, in maps, drawings, photographs, and illuminating text, are the five little boroughs and how they grew."-E. L. Doctorow "A treasure of a book."-Alfred Kazin

About the Author

Eric Homberger received his doctorate in American studies from Cambridge University and is reader in American studies at the University of East Anglia. Alice Hudson is curator of the Map Division of the New York Public Library.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
An eye-opening look at the unfolding of Manhattan Island's current sprawl. Chock-a-block with maps and diagrams, but not skimping on the text. If you're at all interested in the city's history, spend the money.
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Format: Paperback
Who knew Henry Hudson was set adrift in a boat by his crew in Hudson Bay? History at its best.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Go to N.Y. every year. Wanted to know more about this tiny island and how it grew. Very informative.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly enjoyable introduction to the great city 4 Dec. 2002
By audrey frances - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It would be impossible to do justice to the history of New York City in a couple of hundred pages, so approaching this book with realistic expectations is important. With that in mind, this book is a wonderful overview of a fascinating metropolis, beginning with the formation of the land mass and continuing through its inhabitance by the Manahatta, the Dutch, the Brits and the Americans. Key historical eras are covered including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and many areas of interest are addressed such as immigration, politics, sports, the arts and architecture.

There are many photographs, drawings, charts and maps, and I appreciated that the scales were similar so that a reader can compare various maps easily.

Articles are well-written and graphics are clean and well-designed. I would call this more an historical almanac of NYC, but whatever you call it, it is a fun and interesting read.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New York Primer 17 Oct. 2003
By Rocco Dormarunno - Published on
Format: Paperback
Mr. Homberger's book, as the subtitle explains, is a VISUAL celebration. And on that level, the book is highly successful. In other words, don't expect any in-depth, thorough analysis of 400 years of NYC history. (For that, read Burrows and Wallace's GOTHAM.) To me, the sections dealing with pre-Revolutionary War New York are the most valuable, and Ms. Hudson's artwork is at its best there. This book is a great introduction to NYC history. I've lent my copy to several people over the years, and I return to it, again and again. Read, learn and enjoy.
Rocco Dormarunno
Author of The Five Points
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars COLORFUL AND FUN TO READ 24 Feb. 2000
By frisky2000 - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though a few facts are inaccurate here and there, the general look and presentation of this book makes it an absolute pleasure to read through. It's not a page for page heart-stopping, boring narrative of historical facts, but rather a full color 400 year history of the greatest city in the world: New York City! Includes maps, authentic photos, amusing stories and very interesting accounts of the evolution of the region. You will enjoy it.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I agree 1 May 2004
By William Apt - Published on
Format: Paperback
I agree with Timothy Durkin's December 1999 customer review that this book contains a number of errors and inconsistencies, but my judgment is not as harsh. I also believe a great deal of information that should appear in a historical atlas about the city is inexcusably omitted. However, this is an appealling, informative book and makes for enjoyable reading and reference.
Insofar as positive attributes, the book contains wonderful graphics and color reproductions; is printed on good quality, non-glare paper; and, for a paperback, is well bound. Insofar as flaws, they are both minor and major. Minor flaws consist of editorial oversights such as the misstatement on page 176 that the Broadway musical OKLAHOMA! was written by Rodgers & Hart when it was written by Rodgers & Hammerstein, and the photograph on page 146 reproduced in reverse. (Looking south toward the Flatiron Building, Madison Square Park should be on the left and the World Trade Center Towers should be on the right). Major flaws consist of omission of maps or other graphics pertaining to vanished landmarks such as Jones Wood, an open space on the upper East side once considered as the site for Central Park; Chelsea when it was a country estate; and the Five Points. I had hoped to see maps of large 18th and 19th century upper Manhattan tract holdings; of the boundaries of the Battery before and after Castle Clinton went from island fortification to part of the mainland; of the gradual expansion by landfill of the Manhattan shoreline; and of unique streets and alleys, long vacated. Those, too, are absent.
A conflict is presented by the maps of the DeLancey farms on pages 60-61. On page 60, Division St. is shown to traverse the property, but on page 61 it is absent. According to Burrows & Wallace's GOTHAM, Division St. was the boundary separating the DeLancey and Rutgers estates, hence the derivation of the name [see GOTHAM page 178]. If Burrows & Wallace are correct, the presence of Division St. on page 60 is error.
Finally, although not mentioned by the author, the Dutch house appearing on page 30 reappears in subsequent renditions on pages 56 and 62. The house is readily identifiable by its facade numbering scheme. This may be a minor point, but one, I would have thought, worthy of note.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not complete 26 Jan. 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I just finished the Historical Atlas and while the book does a great job of touching on so many subjects in such a small space, it leaves a little to be desired because it does not focus on any one point in the city's development enough. I would have enjoyed the book more if it had a little more detail on how landmarks came to be where they are, and what the political an social culture of the city was at different time points that influenced the way the city developed. I suppose that wasn't the book's intent, though. Also, it would be nice to get a follow up chapter on the city's continued development since 1994. Overall, I thought the book was a good intro to NYC history, but I think I'm going to try a more in-depth history to fill in some gaps.
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