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Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York
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Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  6 reviews
This is the story of the monumental struggle between New York and the natural world. From Henry Hudson's discovery of Mannahatta to Hurricane Sandy, Gotham Unbound is Ted Steinberg's sweeping ecological history of one of the most man-made spots on earth.

Here is a tale of "the world with us"—lots of us—a groundbreaking book that recounts the four-century
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Simon & Schuster
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Peter Mcloughlin
Ecology, Wildlife and conservation and the history of NYC are usually kept in between the covers of the same book. NYC is not someones idea of a wildlife refuge. Instead it is called rightly the most engineered environment on earth. 400 years ago the area that would become NYC was woodlands and marshes surrounding a river estuary where timber wolves roamed. The history of New York city is one of humans and machines filling in wetlands, dividing Manhattan into a gridded metropolis of rising skys ...more
Paul Pessolano
“Gotham Unbound” by Ted Steinberg, published by Simon and Schuster.

Category – History/Ecology Publication Date – June 03, 2014

If you are a New Yorker, or if you want to know about the history and ecology of New York this will be an excellent read. I am neither but I must admit that there are parts of this book that amazed me and kept me reading it until the end. The book is very detailed and contains too much information for a reader that has little interest in New York history and specifically
I thought this would be a good follow-up to Robert Caro's The Power Broker, so I'll admit that maybe I was a little biased after reading Caro's exceptional, Pulitzer Prize winning narrative of the building of New York City. Steinberg simply does not write as well as Caro, which made this book feel extremely slow and dry. There is definitely a difference between writing and reporting: Caro is the epitome of the former and Steinberg of the latter. Steinberg is also unabashedly negative about most ...more
He calls it the ecological history of greater New York. It will help any reader understand the relationships between nature and man and his works. For four centuries New York and New Jersey have been filling in meadows and marshlands. He focuses on the relationships between the land and water and the effects on humans and animal life. I didn't realize how much of New York was built on garbage and how much water under the land there still is. I have a better understanding of the impact from Hurri ...more
This book outlines in great detail everything that New York has done to change the physical environment of the city. Mostly this means altering shorelines and filling in marshes -- turning water to land. It's interesting stuff, and goes far beyond what I knew had happened. But the writing is dry (boom!) and the tone is a bit sanctimonious. It's clear that the author disapproves of everything that has ever happened to change New York at all, and there are parts where this really wears on the read ...more
A fascinating and thought-provoking book. I am not a New Yorker (as they say, it's a nice place to visit, but...) but this book gave me a much better sense of what Gotham is all about. Well-written and a pleasure to read, though it would have benefited from more pictures and maps.
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