New York City tour guides and authors James and Michelle Nevius explore the stories of 20 iconic New Yorkers, from Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant to Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, park architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux to business titans JP Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, Jr, and use them to guide the reader through four centuries of the city's history.
Beginning with the oldest standing building in the city, a 1652 farmhouse in Brooklyn, all the way to the post-war city as seen through the lens of director Martin Scorsese, and beyond into the NYC's multi-cultural present, the book literally follows in the footsteps of these iconic New Yorkers, tracing the development of the city from a ramshackle trading post to the center of American finance, art, media, tourism, architecture, and more.
One part history and one part personal narrative, the book tells the story of the city from the point of view of two experts, with NYC ancestry, who traverse its streets with an eye to detail. What does an archaeological ruin tell us about the War of 1812? How is Tavern on the Green really a reminder of Boss Tweed's era of graft? Did Robert Moses have the biggest influence on twentieth century New York, or was it J.D. Rockefeller?
By journeying back in time to see the city as it was built and transformed by these famous figures, the book creates a different way of looking at the past, exploring new connections and forgotten chapters in the story of America's greatest metropolis.
"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