New York City History book cover
New York City History book cover back
Bob Swacker

New York City History

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New York City History is essential reading not only for fans of regional history, but for readers who wish to understand the American experience through the heartbeat of one of our greatest cities.

With a focus on the stories that built the city, historian Bob Swacker explores the growth and development of the metropolis from its Dutch and English colonial past, beginning in 1625, to today’s modern Gotham.

In 125 chapters the author weaves a narrative that presents the unique historical developments of New York City including: architecture, infrastructure, industry, consumer businesses, public spaces, pestilence, cemeteries, housing, religion, education, literature, immigration, and harbor and river activities.

The book features six chapters focused on the Civil War covering a wide range of topics such as slave revolts, abolitionists and reformers, raising battalions, and the Draft Riot of 1863.

Immigration has been fundamental to the development of New York City and is a key topic, with discussions of the first European settlers on Governors Island, the Irish Potato Famine, orphanages and orphan trains, Kleindeutschland, Abraham Cahan and the Jewish Daily Forward, kosher and halal ritual slaughtering, Chinatown, and refugee settlement after the Second World War.

Biographical chapters explore the lives of such memorable historical characters as: Peter Stuyvesant, Washington Irving, John Jacob Astor, Peter Cooper, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, P.T. Barnum, Archbishop John Hughes, Walt Whitman, Elizabeth Blackwell, Samuel Gompers, Dorothy Day, Paul Robeson, Robert Moses, Jane Jacobs, and Jackie Robinson.

New York City History brings to life the boroughs, people, and events that founded and continue to influence this great American city.

Bob Swacker headshot

About The Author

Bob Swacker is a historian who has taught at Saint Ann's Schools in Brooklyn since 1970. For many years he has taught courses on New York City at Saint Ann's and at New York University, and has given walking tours in all five boroughs. Dr. Swacker is the co-author, with Leslie Jenkins, of Irish New York (Rizzoli Publishing, 2006). He lives in Stuyvesant Town.

March 2017

ISBN: 978-1-63331-024-7

747 pages

6 × 9 in