New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time

Norton. Mar. 2021. 416p. ISBN 9780393242324. $30. SOC SCI
Taylor (Londoners) moved to New York City in January 2014, and proceeded to interview approximately 400 people who lived or worked in the city over the course of the next six years. The recorded interviews were later transcribed, and of those, 75 are published here. Although the author’s personal narrative creates a framework and context for the book, its main thrust is the raw and unedited words of the people he interviewed. It could be argued that these words, taken as a whole, present a portrait of the “real lives” of people in 21st- century New York City; a city whose residents experienced the horror of 9/11, endured the hardships brought about Hurricane Sandy, and suffered extensively with the tragedy of COVID-19. This intriguing book loosely arranges into 15 sections Taylor’s interviews with construction workers, building owners, nurses, salespeople, bodega workers, artists, parents of incarcerated people, people experiencing homelessness, and many others. It creates a fascinating picture of a city that can be loathed and hated, yet admired and revered at the same time.
VERDICT A varied book that will appeal to armchair travelers and others curious about New York. Highly recommended for public libraries as well as large academic libraries the world over.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing