The Essential 25 New York City History Books For Your Book Shelf


Just some of my favorite books about the people, places and events of New York City. All represented here bring valuable insight into the history of NYC and most are accessible to read via your local book store or library.

  • American Passage: The History of Ellis Island

  • The Bridge: The Building of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City

  • Conquering Gotham: Building Penn Station and Its Tunnels

  • The Epic of New York City: A Narrative History

  • The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

  • Five Points: The 19th Century New York City Neighborhood that Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections, and Became the World's Most Notorious Slum

  • The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld

  • Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940

  • Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898

  • The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

  • Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center

  • Alexander Hamilton

  • Harlem: The Making of a Ghetto : Negro New York, 1890-1930

  • The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America

  • Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York

  • Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

  • Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City

  • The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher

  • New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery, and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan

Greg Young, The Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast and blog