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Footprints in New York: Tracing the Lives of Four Centuries of New Yorkers

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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  7 reviews
NYC tour guides and authors James and Michelle Nevius explore the lives of 20 iconic New Yorkers—from Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant to  Alexander Hamilton, park architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux to JP Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, Jr.—and use them to guide the reader through four centuries of the city’s story. Beginning with the oldest standing building ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by Lyons Press
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Theresahpir
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book as part of Goodreads' First Reads and I have to apologize for taking so long to getting around to actually posting a review of this book, but it took me a good month to get through.

It's not that its a bad book or a boring book (quite the opposite in fact). It simply took me so long to digest because this book was literally PACKED with fascinating facts and a concise and thorough history of America's favorite city.

Not being from New York and not being too well versed in New Y
...more
Lawrence A
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Delightful, well-written, and meticulously researched, this impressionistic view of New York City (and Brooklyn) by a fellow Upper West Sider and Columbia University alum (and his wife) is an introduction to the social history of the City through its architecture and streetscapes. Author James Nevius is a direct descendant of the early Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam (whose progeny were later known as Knickerbockers, after a humorous coinage by Washington Irving), and he takes his heritage---and ...more
Mary
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have taken several walking tours with James and just loved each and everyone… the time goes by so fast and you just want him to keep talking and telling you all these interesting little tidbits…. this book is like having James (and Michelle) at your fingertips…Loved this book… every chapter has hidden jewels of information… and you don't have to read them in order… before I had finished it, I realized I was meeting friends at the Morgan Library… so I quick jumped to that chapter and learned al ...more
Theresa
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I grew up in NYC and had the opportunity through my high school to take a variety of classes and extra credits in the history of NY. Some of the information in this book was new and some reminded me of past lessons. Each section was well written and I could picture walking through the areas mentioned. I preferred the earlier sections since I am interested more in history, but having moved away from the city, the more ...more
Lauren
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is cool but the author's tone is slightly irksome and condescending. Also, people are "hanged" (sadly) pictures are "hung"; One of the many grammatical things in this book that bothered me. The subjects are sort of interesting and the content is thoroughly researched, so that's one good thing. However, I think this author has more interesting books.
Garnette
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've developed quite a fondness for this kind of book: a long-time resident of a great city provides little vignettes of city history and draws attention to the visible remnants of these historic events. It's a great way to get a sense of the development of the city over time: greater depth than a guidebook yet covering a broader scope than histories devoted to specific events or individuals. Nevius, an experienced tour guide and himself a descendant of early Dutch settlers, does a great job des ...more
Elizabeth
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What fun to find a book in your favorite area (New York history) and find a fresh perspective. The authors give tours of New York and know lots of history and, perhaps more importantly, know how to share it in an interesting way. In this book, they have chosen to tell the history of New York century by century through the people who created it while traveling through the neighborhoods in which they lived.

It's a well-written history and while I've read lots of New York history, they've given me n
...more
James Nevius
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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James is a New York City-based historian and walking tour guide.

With his wife, Michelle, he has written three books: a concise walking tour guide book called Frommer's 24 Great Walks in New York (released in March 2008) and Inside the Apple A Streetwise History of New York City, which was released in March 2009, and Footprints in New York Tracing the Lives of Four Centuries of New Yorkers.

The auth
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