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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Holidays

The 2022 Bowery Boys History Book Holiday Gift Guide

The best gifts in the world are books and history lovers, in particular, want nothing more than more books than they possibly have time to read. (My own library and its aching shelves are witness to this.) Here are some of my favorite books of 2022 (with a couple award-winners published in 2021), stories which… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

Spending the summer with two Pulitzer Prize winning histories

Two books won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in History this year, underscoring the excellent offerings on the history shelf in 2021. They are two wildly different stories but they share a similar theme — the complicated relationship between the United States and foreign nations. In Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Bronx History

‘Freedomland’: A New Book Explores the Story of Co-Op City

Most New Yorkers have probably never been to Co-Op City, the massive residential development in the Bronx. And that’s partially by design. This historic development, built upon the site of the old Freedomland amusement park, is the largest single residential development in the world. It is a true city-within-a-city — and also a place seemingly… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Brooklyn History

That Kid From Bensonhurst: ‘The Adventures of Herbie Cohen’

Playboy Magazine called Herb Cohen “the world’s greatest negotiator” and whether or not that was true, Cohen could convince you that it most certainly was. He wrote You Can Negotiate Anything and in 1982 it became a best-seller during a wave of self-help books. A year before its release, Cohen became involved in the Iran… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Revolutionary History

‘Rebels at Sea’: How Privateers Helped Win American Independence

Privateers have been much maligned in history, so much so that perhaps you didn’t realize their important role in gaining America its independence from Great Britain. If your first image of a privateer is a sinister, blood-thirsty madman with a knife in his teeth and a skull on his sails, you’re probably thinking of a… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Health and Living

‘The Doctors Blackwell’: The riveting biography of two medical mavens

In 1857 Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell threw open the doors to the New York Infirmary for Women and Children at 58 Bleecker Street, revolutionary as being the first hospital in the world to employ an all-female staff. We rightly see this today as a major stride in the rights of women as medical professionals and… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

‘Manhattan Phoenix’: How The Great Fire of 1835 Transformed New York

When a terrible fire swept through lower Manhattan on the late evening of December 16, 1835, and into the morning, many believed the city would never recover. As we’ve spoken about in our podcast on the subject, “the massive fire, among the worst in American history in terms of its economic impact, devastated the city … destroying… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

The Doomsman: an apocalyptic view of New York City in 2015, written in 1906

“Such is the world, or, rather, one infinitesimal portion of the cosmos, in the year 2015, according to the ancient calendar, or 90 since the Terror.” From the original illustrations of The Doomsman: a look up Park Row in 2015, a decrepit row of deteriorating structures. You can clearly see the ruins of old Post… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf The Immigrant Experience

In ‘The Great Disappearing Act’, German New York fades into the background

In the 1850s, New York City had become the third largest German-speaking capital in the world, topped only by Berlin and Vienna. In just thirty years — since the first significant influx of immigrants in the 1820s — Germans had helped to transform the city’s cultural life. But today, even as we celebrate a tapestry… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf The Gilded Gentleman

The Gilded Page: A conversation with author Carol Wallace

Calling all fans of Downton Abbey! The newest episode of The Gilded Gentleman podcast, hosted by Carl Raymond, features a very special guest. New York Times bestselling author Carol Wallace discusses her just published novel of the Gilded Age called Our Kind of People as well insights on her book To Marry an English Lord which served as an inspiration for Downton… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

Best of the Bowery Boys Bookshelf: Holiday gift ideas for history buffs

Our annual holiday history-book gift guide is here! Of course that also means gifts for you. You don’t have to give these away at all. Treat yourself or that history lover in your life to one of these fascinating 2021 releases, some of our favorite reads of the year. NOTE: Some of them have been… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Film History

“Keep ‘Em In The East”: A new book on New York and the movie business

New York City (and the surrounding region) was the capital of movie making at the industry’s inception until the major studios moved out to Hollywood in the mid 1910s. By the late 1960s, a creative revolution of independently made film — a “New Hollywood” movement, inspired by European filmmakers and driven by film students will… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

The beauty and artistry of early American maps

HOLIDAY HISTORY GIFT GUIDE Each week for the rest of the year, the Bowery Boys will recommend a newly released book that you might like to include on your holiday wish list. For other book suggestions, check out other entries on the Bowery Boys Bookshelf. Pretend GPS was never invented or that man never sent… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Writers and Artists

‘Republic of Detours’: Paying great writers to discover New Deal America

For the hundreds of thousands of people employed by New Deal programs during the Great Depression, it was always infrastructure week. Even for those employed by the WPA’s Federal Writers’ Project, aimed at giving paychecks to unemployed writers by creating meaningful employment that benefited the public good. But their objectives weren’t to build new infrastructure;… Read More

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American History Bowery Boys Bookshelf

‘An Open Secret’: A gay life in Jazz Age Chicago

Robert Allerton lived without a care thanks to his family’s Gilded Age fortune, built from the stockyards of Chicago’s meat processing district. As a young man, Allerton used his inherited wealth to maintain the family estate near Monticello, Illinois, cultivating a garden escape where he could be left to his own devices. And then, in… Read More