Recommended Books About New York History

America is a very young country compared to other places around the world, but it's still fascinating to explore its history.  As a New Yorker, I love visiting historic sites in my area and learning about how my city came to be and changed over the years.

Here are some books about New York history that I think you would enjoy if you're also interested in the topic.

Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City by Eric W. Sanderson - Amazing illustrations show what the island of Manhattan probably looked like when Henry Hudson first arrived on its shores in 1609.  It's incredible to be reminded that the concrete jungle was once a lush, green space.  The title refers to the Native American name for the island.

The Epic of New York City: A Narrative History by Edward Robb Ellis - This well-written book chronicles the history of NYC from Giovanni da Verrazano's first trip into New York Harbor in 1524 through the mid-1960s.

Bronx Accent: A Literary and Pictorial History of the Borough by Lloyd Ultan and Barbara Unger - A look at fiction, non-fiction, and poetry about my hometown from colonial times through the modern era, by some noteworthy historical people shuc as Edgar Allan Poe, E.L. Doctorow, and others.

The King's Best Highway: The Lost History of the Boston Post Road, the Route That Made America by Eric Jaffe - Many people don't realize the rich history surrounding what we call Boston Road (U.S. Route 1) that runs from the Big Apple to Beantown.  This book traces its centuries-spanning legacy.

Boulevard of Dreams: Heady Times, Heartbreak, and Hope Along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx by Constance Rosenblum - The almost-five-mile thoroughfare, modeled after the Champs Elysees in Paris, has seen it all from glory days of the rich and famous to the scary times when the "Bronx was burning" and now through a new renaissance.  Not too many urban neighborhoods can boast their own world championship baseball team like the Concourse can with Yankee Stadium or the home of great literary figures like Edgar Allan Poe.

Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 by Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace - This enormous, well-researched tome tells the tale of the city that never sleeps from the earliest Lenape Indian inhabitants through the end of the 19th century. 

Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City by Michelle Nevius and James Nevius - You can't get more comprehensive than this: from the glaciers that formed the rock outcrops located throughout the city right up to the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, this guidebook covers it all.

If there are others out there that you recommend, or even some that cover New York as part of the broader American history, please let me know.

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