New York: An Illustrated History—Expanded Edition

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The newly revised and expanded edition of the companion volume to New York: A Documentary Film offers a sweeping portrait of America’s greatest metropolis in the first decades of the 21st century, when the city rose from a half-century of decline to reassert its place at the center of a new globalized culture—while facing new challenges unlike any in its history.

The story of New York, like that of an ancient myth, needs to be told again and again, because the drama never ends and because the past appears different depending on when you pause to look back. This hefty but fleetly narrated volume starts with Henry Hudson’s arrival in 1609 and ends with the most current of the city’s innumerable recoveries. The illustrations are so luscious they’re practically edible, and the writing is lively and well researched. What makes the book a joy is all the varied and vibrant New York voices and images so vivid you want to dive in.
Justin Davidson, New York magazine
The only work of its kind, this beautifully illustrated volume spans four centuries from 1625 until today, documenting spirit of the “City of Dreams” from revolution and resistance to the resilience of its inhabitants—capturing all that is extraordinary and heartbreaking about this wonderful city.
A.M. Homes
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The revised and expanded edition of New York: An Illustrated History—the only comprehensive single-volume illustrated history of the city—includes new two chapters, more than 120 new illustrations and new guest contributions by Adam Gopnik, Suketu Mehta, and Ester Fuchs. Above, right: a photograph by Matthew Pillsbury of “Manhattanhenge,” the day of the year when the sunset aligns with the street grid of Manhattan.

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Alongside its rendering of historic events and crises, the new edition offers a vibrant portrait of the city’s life and culture over the past three decades: the rise of hip-hop in the South Bronx, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Gates in Central Park, the groundbreaking musical productions of RENT and Hamilton, the explosion in film and television production around the city, the pivotal rise of the tech industry, and more. Above: Times Square on New Year’s Eve, 2017.

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Through its extensive illustrations, the new edition offers a wide-ranging visual survey of 21st century city, featuring the work of some of New York’s most celebrated contemporary photographers, including Daniel Arnold, Iwan Baan, Sally Davies, Ashley Gilbertson, Alexei Hay (below), Meredith Kohut, Matthew Pillsbury, Gus Powell, George Steinmetz, and Mark Seliger. Above: photograph by Domino Park on the Brooklyn waterfront by Brian Doherty.

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In its new chapters, New York: An Illustrated History presents the portrait of a city challenged—indeed, sometimes shaken to its core—by a series of profound crises: 9/11 and its aftermath, the financial crisis of 2008, the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, and, of course, the cataclysm of the COVID-19 pandemic—whose earliest and deadliest urban epicenter was New York itself. Above: Photograph by Alexei Hay of Times Square in late March 2020, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Below: photograph by Ashley Gilbertson of a couple dancing on the Brooklyn Bridge, empty of tourists, March 2020.

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