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Edward Rutherfurd
Format Paperback
Dimensions 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.80 (d)
Pages 880
Publisher Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date September 2010
ISBN 9780345497420
Book ISBN 10 0345497422
About Book

"Edward Rutherford celebrates America's greatest city in a saga that showcases his ability to combine impeccable historical research and storytelling flair. From the empty grandeur of the New World to the skyscrapers of the City That Never Sleeps, from the intimate detail of lives long forgotten to those lived today at breakneck speed - four centuries brought to life in a rich and vibrant fictional tapestry." "The novel begins with a tiny Indian fishing village on the forested island of Manna hata, as Dutch traders arrive from across the ocean, seeking to carve out their fortunes amid the splendor of the wilderness. In a global war for imperial dominance, British settlers and merchants arrived as conquerors, bringing aristocratic governors and then unpopular taxation, which led to rebellion, war, and the birth of the United States. From the very beginning New York has been central to the great events of American history." "Rutherford tells this story through the interwoven tales of families rich and poor, black and white, native-born and immigrant - a cast of fictional and true characters whose fates rise and fall, fall and rise with the city's fortunes. From this intimate perspective we see the Revolutionary War, the emergence of the city as a great trading and financial center, the convulsions of the Civil War, the excesses of the Gilded Age, the explosion of immigration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the trials of World War II, the near demise of New York in the 1970s and its roaring rebirth in the 1990s, and the attacks on the World Trade Center." Here is the story of how in four centuries New York became the envy of the world, the Big Apple, sometimesloved and sometimes hated, until those who envied it most sought - vainly - to destroy it. A mix of battle, romance, family struggles, and personal triumphs, New York: The Novel captures the search for freedom and opportunity at the heart of our nation's history.



"Like James Michener and Leon Uris, Rutherfurd does a magnificent job of packaging a crackling good yarn within a digestible overview of complex historical circumstances and events." - Booklist

Brigitte Weeks

…what makes this novel so entertaining is the riotous, multilayered portrait of a whole metropolis. Rutherfurd offers the reader a chance to watch a rural outcrop grow into one of the world's greatest cities in a mere 350 years. He delivers magnificently on the challenge; it is hard to imagine any other writer combining such astonishing depth of research with the imagination and ingenuity to hold it all together.
—The Washington Post

Kirkus Reviews

Sprawling but undercooked saga of Manhattan and environs. Perhaps the qualifying subtitle of Rutherfurd's latest cat-squasher (Rebels of Ireland, 2006, etc.) is meant to distinguish it from, say, the sidecar volume to Ric Burns' documentary or any number of histories. Sadly, in the comparison, this novel suffers. Written in formulas and cliches, it stretches to the horizon with stock characters, as with this apparition of good Peter Stuyvesant: "The governor's face was set hard as flint. Standing tall and erect on his peg leg, he had never looked more indomitable. You had to admire the man." Given such a description, one wonders why the Dutch ever lost Nieuw Amsterdam in the first place. Prose like that would do Dan Brown proud, but it gets worse. Much better is Rutherfurd's structuring of the tale to track the progress of one generation to the next, showing familial connections and revisiting themes that cross the centuries, many of them touching on the beguiling qualities of the Big Apple: "Before he'd even gone to Columbia, Charlie had shown a precocious interest in the nightlife of the great city . . . More than once he'd come home drunk." The narrative is as studded with characters as Edwin Burrows and Mike Wallace's magisterial history Gotham (1998); within a couple of pages, Woodrow Wilson, Nicholas Murray Butler, Henry Frick, Charles Scribner and the Kaiser make appearances. In the main, though, Rutherfurd's principals are blue-blooded and noble, if conflicted and not always ethical-which seems quite in keeping with the historical realities. A mixed bag, with effective plotting hampered by clunky writing.

From the Publisher

“Like James Michener and Leon Uris, Rutherfurd does a magnificent job of packaging a crackling good yarn within a digestible overview of complex historical circumstances and events.” —Booklist

"History has never been so fun to read....Rutherfurd's research is exhaustive....fun....This is history, but with a very readable story line."—USA Today