A History of New York in 101 Objects | Author: Sam Roberts | Rating: 11/11 |
Have you ever wondered how the New York Public Library began? What about the historical roots behind some of the street names that are recognizable to so many the world over? Do you ever just marvel at the wonder of such an amazing, vibrant, and one-of-a-kind city? If so, A History of New York in 101 Objects is for you.
A different type of read than your average historical nod to a city, New York Times urban affairs correspondent Sam Roberts organizes the book’s objects chronologically, painting a picture of Manhattan – literally – from the ground up as it develops. All while celebrating the objects ranging from something as obscure as an Irish lumper potato, to something as monumental as the “Schagenbrief”: the certificate documenting the sale of the island to the Dutch which that led to its place as one of the world’s greatest metropolises.
Roberts begins with a preamble that explains how he narrowed the selections down, and why some obvious initial choices were excluded since New York (Manhattan, in particular) is such an iconic city. Even those items that are seemingly innocuous – such as the aforementioned potato – tell a tale that leaves the reader engaged and thirsty for knowledge about New York City. There isn’t a boring chapter in the entire book which, considering there are 101 of them, speaks volumes. A captivating read for anyone who has ever had interest in, visited and, especially, lived in this impressive city.