Written by Mike Wallace, and weighing in at almost 1200 pp., this is one of the best books of the year. Every page has interesting material. You could pull out just the bits on the origins of the subway, or the development of the arts and entertainment, or immigration, and still have one of the best books of the year. From one Amazon review:
The narratives are well-honed and to the point. There is not one ounce of journalistic fluff. There are no fanciful digressions into fads and fashions of the day. There is no imaginary dialogue, unlike the situation found in some “history books” written by mere poseurs.
Simply put this is another masterpiece deserving the highest accolades. Tremendously rich in anecdotes it is superbly written. If you grew-up in New York, particularly in the outer boroughs, the book will have a special meaning for you as you see the physical, cultural and human development of your neighborhood. My favorite sections were on the development of the ‘arteries and ligaments’ of the city; the radicals among the Jewish immigrants, and New York in World War I.
I have read only a few hundred pages of it, and may not read it all, but am likely to read more than half of it. Strongly recommended, it’s also one of the best books on American history period. You can order it here.