Foreword Reviews

Chronicles of Old New York

Exploring Manhattan’s Landmark Neighborhoods

This is a travel book for history buffs and those who want to know the story behind the landmark.

It’s hard to imagine a more iconic city than New York. Chronicles of Old New York: Exploring Manhattan’s Landmark Neighborhoods, Second Edition, by James Roman, is a history-minded travel book that pays homage to the city’s past and the age-old art and culture that live on today.

In short chapters, the book examines everything from the city’s days as the United State capital to the Manhattan real estate dynasties that began in the 1920s, from speakeasies and immigrant enclaves to the lives of highly famed and lesser known New Yorkers of days gone by. As a fitting tribute to the Big Apple, it covers art, architecture, business—and all the facets of the city.

While the book is focused on history, Roman is keenly aware that his readers are travelers who are on the go. Each chapter gives just the right amount of depth for people to appreciate what they see, and the walking tours keep the exploration of the past on the move. It’s the perfect book to read in the hotel before you leave for the day or on a park bench as you’re perusing the sites.

The design also has mobile readers in mind—it’s both functional and aesthetic. The type is clear, and the walking tours have key words in bold. The photos are easy to see, despite their age, and the maps are both visually appealing and useful.

Many travel books feel a bit like sales pitches, but this is a travel book packed with scholarship rather than sponsorship. In keeping with that, the tone is intelligent yet light, and the content articulate but never verbose.

This is a travel book for history buffs and those who want to know the story behind the landmark—and even for parents who want their children to see beyond the flashing lights and cheap souvenirs. With this book, travelers will find hidden gems of history even in the already famous parts of this much-traveled city.

Chronicles of Old New York gives today’s travelers a rich glimpse of the NYC of the past.

Reviewed by Melissa Wuske

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Load Next Review