Cover image for New York, New York : a history of the world's most exhilarating and challenging city
New York, New York : a history of the world's most exhilarating and challenging city
Allen, Oliver E.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Atheneum, [1990]

Physical Description:
xvi, 365 pages ; 24 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F128.3 .A45 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
F128.3 .A45 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

At a time when New York City is re-experiencing a surge of rumors about its impending demise, it's reassuring to read about how the city has survived past assaults on its reputation. Allen's brief history of the city, while not boosterism per se, takes less than a hard-eyed look at where New York (specifically Manhattan) has been these past 400 years and where it's headed. His basic premise is that, love it or hate it, New York City is the true birthplace of our nation; for, unlike Plymouth or Jamestown, New York has always epitomized what the rest of the nation was becoming or has aimed to become. Allen puts to good use the popular history style that was his strong suit as a writer for Time-Life Books, giving this lively account broad appeal. A native New Yorker and longtime inhabitant of that city, he also has unearthed some previously overlooked nuggets of information, missing from other histories, about the people, places, and events that shaped the city. Contains numerous photos and illustrations, notes, and an extensive bibliography. To be indexed. ~--Mary Banas

Publisher's Weekly Review

Allen, a former editor and writer for Time-Life Books, spans in one entertaining volume New York City's history, from its earliest days as a bustling port to its recognition as financial capital of the world. Using as his leitmotif the great harbor, which has shaped New York from the start as a port of entry for people, money and power, he covers noteworthy aspects of the city from the 1700s to the present--prominent citizens, political figures, scandals and crises, financial organizations, immigrant groups, cultural institutions and majestic buildings. Telescoping so much history into fewer than 500 pages, the narrative is as fast-paced as New York City itself, as Allen conveys the energy and excitement that have enabled the city to thrive and prosper. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Allen, a former editor and writer for Time Life Books, offers a narrative history of the city from its establishment in 1624 to the 1990 mayoral election. He attributes the prominence of present-day New York to its financial power, symbolized by Wall Street, and to its harbor, which contributed to its economic clout and served as the destination for a diverse immigrant population. Though promising a description of the 375-year history of New York, Allen concentrates mainly on the Colonial/Revolutionary era and the Gilded Age, and summarizes the findings of books published during the last half century. Writing in an offhand, journalistic style, he focuses on the more visible, popular elements of New York and seldom explains the dynamics of the city or the people who have lived in it. Useful only as a basic introduction to the complex history of a paradoxical city.--David Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.