The Encyclopedia of New York

Avid Reader: S. & S. Oct. 2020. 368p. ed. by ed. by New York Magazine. ISBN 9781501166952. $35. REF
This work from the editors of New York Magazine details how innovation and ideas that germinate in New York City ultimately shape life and thought in the rest of the nation and the world. The book superbly details the Big Apple’s evolution from a mercantile and manufacturing hub into the country’s financial center and intellectual home for book publishers, fashion houses, art galleries, ad agencies, and media outlets. The layout is simple, with an introduction, a section of 121 milestones in the life of the city, and hundreds of brief, alphabetically arranged entries. Instead of a steady stream of historical and political personalities and events, the editors focus on the ways that creativity, imagination, and resourcefulness shaped the area’s culture—from the I Love New York campaign to the development of hip-hop to the origin of the Oreo. The depth and variety of images, including cartoons, iconic pictures, magazine covers, and newspaper headlines, capture the city’s character and make the book a standout. Though the book contains a wealth of subject matter for student reports, it’s ideally suited for long browsing sessions.
VERDICT A must purchase; those who love New York will adore it, and those less enamored with the Big Apple will still find this fun and informative encyclopedia a fascinating portrait of the metropolitan area.
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