The Epic of New York City: A Narrative History
In swift, witty chapters that flawlessly capture the pace and character of New York City, acclaimed diarist Edward Robb Ellis presents his masterpiece: a thorough, and thoroughly readable, history of America's largest metropolis. Ellis narrates some of the most significant events of the past three hundred years and more—the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr's fatal duel, the formation of the League of Nations, the Great Depression—from the perspective of the city that experienced, and influenced, them all. Throughout, he infuses his account with the strange and delightful anecdotes that a less charming tour guide might omit, from the story of the city's first, block-long subway to that of the blizzard of 1888 that turned Macy's into one big slumber party. Playful yet authoritative, comprehensive yet intimate, The Epic of New York City confirms the words of its own epigraph, spoken by Oswald Spengler: "World history is city history," particularly when that city is the Big Apple.
Basic Books (2004), 640 pages