Cover image for You must remember this : an oral history of Manhattan from the 1890s to World War II
You must remember this : an oral history of Manhattan from the 1890s to World War II
Kisseloff, Jeff.
Personal Author:
First paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Schocken Books, [1989]

Physical Description:
xvii, 622 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F128.5 .K55 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In his first book, Manhattan journalist Kisseloff offers a torrent of verbatim recollections by long-time New Yorkers whose memories remain green, ``as time goes by.'' The past emerges here not as history but as lived life in the vivid descriptions of immigrants and their descendants, who populated the widely varied sections of the metropolis. Hardly a melting pot, the city was divided into ethnic enclaves--Jewish, Chinese, Irish, German--each with an individual character. Mostly poor and uneducated, these new Americans were blessed with certain survival techniques, including a healthy sense of humor. There are also reminiscences by privileged citizens, notably the 1920s society flappers, and anecdotes about famous Manhattanites like Eugene O'Neill, Gene Tunney and Billie Holiday. Kisseloff provides graphic descriptions of neighborhoods, then and now, and the origins of such place names as Hell's Kitchen, Murray Hill, Greenwich Village et al. But the lusty, sad, startling, funny, bawdy--even cruel--stories are so immediate one becomes convinced anew that New York is, as the song has it, a wonderful town. Photos. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Forget for the moment Manhattan as world center for art, theater, business, finance . . . and gaze at the ``island of small towns'' where Kisseloff, a journalist, preserves recollections of 137 ordinary New Yorkers. From the Upper East Side to Hell's Kitchen, he divides the city into ten areas, devoting a chapter and a dozen voices to each. The speakers are a diverse lot; many have lived through interesting events. The accounts are vivid and down to earth. We catch the distinct flavor of neighborhoods as they were. But this is an oral history; many more could be done without exhausting the subject. Necessarily subjective, the author's choice of interviewees (his father is one) subtly affects the total picture. Strengths and weaknesses of the oral history method are here: unique perspectives, the human touch; unverifiability, the flight from meaning. For libraries collecting social history.-- Priscilla E. Pratt, M.L.S., East Setauket, N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.