What a wonderful book! I fear that potential readers might think that this is just another handbook for tourists since the authors are experienced tour guides. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a lot about specific places (and full page maps to help you find them), but this book is really a nuanced history of New York told with uncommon perception, extraordinary research and obvious love for the City.
What makes it so special are the juxtapositions and connections the authors make. I like to scribble in my books, highlighting interesting passages, noting insightful comments, making notes for future reading, etc. When I finished "Footprints," the margins of my copy were covered with asterisks, stars and exclamation points.
But I'm not done with this book. I know I'll reread it, especially my favorite chapters ("Boss Tweed," "Mrs. Astor and Mrs Wharton: Tales of the Gilded Age," and "Gertrude Tredwell"). And with the help of the last chapter which deals with Martin Scorcese and Woody Allen, I intend to organize my own private film festival, viewing those wonderful New York films, benefiting from the Neviuses" insights.
In my opinion, the first few pages offered here as a sample can't fully convey the pleasure one feels after spending a time journeying through the City with the authors. By the end of the book, you really feel like you know James and Michelle Nevius and can't help but share their love and enthusiasm for this great city. The final evocative paragraph actually brought me to tears.
Footprints in New York: Tracing the Lives of Four Centuries of New Yorkers (英語) ペーパーバック – 2014/4/15
"Footprints in New York has some of the sharpest, most informative meditations on the history of the city that I have encountered in a long time." - Edwin G. Burrows, Pulitzer-Prize winning co-author of Gothamand author of Forgotten Patriots. "New York City's history is fantastically deep and rich. Despite the best efforts of the city's developers and political powers to obliterate it all, there's still much of it left to see and many stories to tell--if you have the right guides. You'll find none better than James and Michelle Nevius in this ingeniously conceived, thoroughly informed, and companionably written time machine of a book."--John Strausbaugh, author of The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, a History of Greenwich Village "Reading Footprints in New York is like wandering through the city's history with smart friends. The pages are full of compelling details that mesh together in surprising ways, and throughout shines true affection: you sense that Michelle and James Nevius are rightly proud of New York for being America's most fascinating place."--TM Rives, author of Secret New York: An Unusual Guide"I truly love Footprints in New York. I couldn't stop reading, even when I was reading about things I already knew. James and Michelle Nevius made me feel like I was with them on a personal tour."--Mitch Broder, author of Discovering Vintage New York: A Guide to the City's Timeless Shops, Bars, Delis & More"With lightly carried erudition and the skills born of guiding many visitors--as well as curious natives--James and Michelle Nevius will take you by the hand and tell you amazing true tales. They are the Marco Polos of New York City."- Mac Griswold, author of The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long IslandPraise for Inside the Apple: "A smart and entertaining window on the city of the past." --The New York Times "I can't wait to walk Manhattan again with this book in hand." -- Noah D. Oppenheim, coauthor of the bestselling The Intellectual Devotional(TM) series "As a longtime New Yorker, I never tire of walking the streets and uncovering something new about the world's most fascinating city, where every street has a story to tell. Inside the Apple is a gem of a book, filled with nuggets about New York's extraordinary past, from the sidewalks up. Whether you are a tourist exploring for the very first time or a seasoned walker in the city, this book is a must." - -- Kenneth C. Davis, author of the bestsellers America's Hidden History and Don't Know Much About (R) History