So you think you know New York? Well, fuggedaboudit! You don’t know New York until you’ve read James Trager’s massive compendium of events, people and anecdotes that shaped the Big Apple from the coming of the Dutch to the present day.
The New York Chronolog is as big as the city itself, with year-by-year historical moments of interest that begin with the arrival of Verrazano in the year 1524 and lead all the way up to what is happening in the city of eight million stories as of the new millennium. Trager, who has written about world history in The People’s Chronology, women’s history in The Women’s Chronology, and the history of food in The Food Chronology, now uses his gift for research and takes on the greatest city in the world, offering up hundreds of facts, details and anecdotes about the names and faces and events that shaped New York and continue to shape it to this day.
The book opens with a key to the many symbols of the categories Trager covers, including political events, commerce, retailing, technology, medicine, religion, education, literature, art, theater, music, crime, real estate, food and drink, population and many others, no doubt taking full bragging rights to the “everything you’ve always wanted to know about New York” claim. We travel through history year by year with intriguing and entertaining data that shows a city evolving and changing along with its residents, visitors and commerce. Trager makes sure to provide plenty of detail in the form of names and dates, so that the reader gets a comprehensive and thorough education on all things NYC.
This is a big, fat, thick, heavy book that will put a dent in your coffee table and thrill anyone who lives in or just plain loves New York. History buffs will enjoy the vast array of facts and figures, and readers who want to know more about this most fascinating city will appreciate the amazing time, effort and sheer sweat that must have gone into putting this ultimate encyclopedia together.
The New York Chronology is a book no New Yorker should be without. And it is a great treat for those of us who used to live there and long to return.