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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
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"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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
Author of The Five Points
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.
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