FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Manhattan '45 has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ships from USA. Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for delivery. Light shelf wear and minimal interior marks. A tradition of quality and service.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Manhattan '45 Paperback – 6 Jan 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
£9.99
£8.38 £0.01
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£9.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • Manhattan '45
  • +
  • Here is New York. With a new introduction by Roger Angell
Total price: £19.99
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (6 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571241786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571241781
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 572,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A fine and fun bebop Baedeker through the Grandest of all Cities, New York, in its 1945 heyday..a valuable and thoroughly enjoyable journey.

(Gregg Ottinger American Studies International) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jan Morris was born in 1926 of a Welsh father and an English mother, and when she is not travelling she lives with her partner Elizabeth Morris in the top left-hand corner of Wales, between the mountains and the sea. Her books include Coronation Everest, Venice, The Pax Britannica Trilogy (Heaven's Command, Pax Britannica, and Farewell the Trumpets), and Conundrum. She is also the author of six books about cities and countries, two autobiographical books, several volumes of collected travel essays and the unclassifiable Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere. A Writer's World, a collection of her travel writing and reportage from over five decades, was published in 2003. Hav, her novel, was published in a new and expanded form in 2006.


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
0
3 star
2
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeremy Walton TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
Morris takes us back to June 1945 (in between the ends of the European and Asian wars) and puts us with the returning soldiers on the Queen Mary as it arrives in a Manhattan "untouched by the war the men had left behind them, [...] colossal and romantic - everything that America seemed to represent in a world of loss and ruin" (p5). She uses this moment as a jumping-off point to roam the city, describing along the way all aspects of its life (her chapters are named "On Style", "On System", "On Race", etc), characteristically bringing in little vignettes and odd details that stick in the mind - for example, discussing the lengthy history of the city as an important seaport, she mentions that the word "skyscraper" originally referred to the topsail of a clipper ship.

She generously references other books about the city (including Stephen Brook's New York Days, New York Nights, which I read immediately before this book, and apparently found far less "irresistible" than Morris does), building a detailed, multifaceted portrait of a city on the brink of becoming the capital of the world, with a "particular mixture of innocence and sophistication, romance and formality, generosity and self-amazement which seems to have characterized it in those moments of triumph" (p12). The fact that she also acknowledges that much of this promise was to remain unfulfilled in subsequent years (this book was written in 1987, following the economic decline of the 70s, and during the rebirth of Wall Street) makes this an elegiac, wistful portrait of a special place at a special moment which is to be recommended to anyone who's interested in this extraordinary city.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I'm just reading this for the second time now and with some disappointment. While JM's 'moment in time' approach -- Manhattan at the pinnacle of its post-war glory, as the first US troops sail back to New York on board the Queen Mary -- is a superb idea, the book has something of an air of haste about it. It doesn't skimp, exactly, but it is a fleeting, impressionistic view of Manhattan.

Of course it's beautifully written -- JM is incapable of writing a duff sentence -- but it doesn't have quite the stately depth and breadth of her masterpiece, the Pax Britannica trilogy.

Morris is an essentially romantic writer and at her best working a vast canvas. In this sense one might almost call her 'Victorian' and perhaps for this reason the three volume imperial history will remain her towering achievement.

Reading it for the second time I was amazed at how little I had retained -- one detail, in fact: the little nugget explaining that in 1945 the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel still had its own railway siding running beneath the building to which guests arriving in Manhattan on their own private trains could be diverted.

Interestingly, it seems that JM may be over-romanticising here. A recent BBC video item suggests that the 'secret' platform had only one user, in fact: President Franklin D Roosevelt -- who, along with guests and luxury automobile could drive straight off his train onto the platform and into a lift that would whisk him, car and all, into the Waldorf....

[....]
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Jan Morris does such a great job of recreating New York City - Manhattan - in its golden moment that a fun exercise for a writer would be to draft some characters and weave them throughout the structure of this entertaining text and see what comes out.

Morris establishes a framework for her study, a Manhattan that is the last great city standing in the wake of World War II, the product of a recent building boom and sturdy enough to handle the business of two continents rather than one.

Intelligently broken up into novel but digestible categories such as style, system, movement, race and class, Manhattan '45 manages to tell a story while not getting lost in the complexity of its remarkable topic.

Morris writes light and breezy like some of the newspaper columnists of era mentioned and one can't help but wonder the extent to which the place and era have come to infuse the writer's technique.

Reeling through the '40s requires a certain degree of listing. The listing of names, the listing of places and eateries, the listing and Manhattan's less-that-evocative grid of numbered streets and avenues, but Morris drops in just enough prosody to make it work as in the passage about the nightlife so typical of the work:

"The Beau Nash of Manhattan, though, was Sherman Billingsley of the Stork Club. Where but the Stork Club could one see Cobina Wright, "the city's loveliest debutante" in the same room as H.L. Mencken, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor or the Ernest Hemingways? Billingsley, known to his often fawning customers as 'Sherm,' at once basked in their reflected fame and vigorously exploited it.
Read more ›
2 Comments One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant, witty and engaging encounter with the Big Apple from one of our finest writers.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sense of Place 23 Sept. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Few books on New York's past are as rich and revealing as this work. The author does an excellent job of recreating the sense of place of New York. Urban culture, economy, and race relations are dealt with in a very creative way. I found that while its focus is the New York of the 1940s this book really is about a larger American experience that reaches into our day.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for Lovers of New York 19 April 2007
By Renee Thorpe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jan Morris' favorite city is presented in its moment of greatest hope, when the war was won and America was in a blissful state indeed.

Morris always writes beautifully of places as characters in and of themselves. These are usually distilled in essay form to show up some single, wonderful characteristic of the place. She's always done that better than any other travel writer, even if it sounds like pigeon-holing. But this amazing book does anything but pigeonhole.

Morris has composed a kind of love letter about the city, expanding on race, class, and its sheer motion. There's a great deal of history inside, giving a little background and color to how Manhattan came to be what it was in 1945. Mayors and miscellaneous cranks, celebrities and neighborhood personalities all share the stage.

It's a book of history, trivia, memories, gossip, and sheer fun. Gorgeously written. A MUST for Manhattanites and fans of the Big Apple.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A highwayscribery "Book Report" 1 May 2009
By Stephen Siciliano - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jan Morris does such a great job of recreating New York City - Manhattan - in its golden moment that a fun exercise for a writer would be to draft some characters and weave them throughout the structure of this entertaining text and see what comes out.

Morris establishes a framework for his study, a Manhattan that is the last great city standing in the wake of World War II, the product of a recent building boom and sturdy enough to handle the business of two continents rather than one.

Intelligently broken up into novel but digestible categories such as style, system, movement, race and class, Manhattan '45 manages to tell a story while not getting lost in the complexity of its remarkable topic.

Morris writes light and breezy like some of the newspaper columnists of era mentioned and one can't help but wonder the extent to which the place and era have come to infuse the writers technique.

Reeling through the '40s requires a certain degree of listing. The listing of names, the listing of places and eateries, the listing and Manhattan's less-that-evocative grid of numbered streets and avenues, but Morris drops in just enough prosody to make it work as in the passage about the nightlife so typical of the work:

"The Beau Nash of Manhattan, though, was Sherman Billingsley of the Stork Club. Where but the Stork Club could one see Cobina Wright, "the city's loveliest debutante" in the same room as H.L. Mencken, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor or the Ernest Hemingways? Billingsley, known to his often fawning customers as 'Sherm,' at once basked in their reflected fame and vigorously exploited it. He employed two teams of press agents, one on day shift, one on night, and he assiduously cultivated the friendship of newspapers columnists like Walter Winchell (the King), or Leonard Lyons, of the 'The Lyons Den,' who were by then celebrities themselves. Some said he had actually invented Cafe Society; he had first advertised his club in college newspapers, and given publicity to suitably prepossessing and sufficiently moneyed students as "prominent members of Cafe Society."

The author's passion for Manhattan shines throughout and is so infectious even the odd reader who picks up the book because nothing else is at hand may catch the fever.
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a great book. Felt like I was being transported through ... 4 Feb. 2015
By Sharon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Such a great book. Felt like I was being transported through time. As a New Yorker, this book really made me happy to read. Seeing the history of the streets I walk through everyday, being described in so many details was really nice. Love the different perspectives told as well (from what the fashion, attitudes, buildings, etc).
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid 14 Jun. 2014
By Tess Alexander - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As always, Morris does a masterful job taking you somewhere. The NY she recreates is true and fascinating. Great fun, especially for NYers.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know

Look for similar items by category


Feedback