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Publisher's Summary

Broadway takes us on a mile-by-mile journey that traces the gradual evolution of the 17th century's Brede Wegh, a muddy cow path in a backwater Dutch settlement, to the 20th century's Great White Way. We learn why one side of the street was once considered more fashionable than the other; witness construction of the Ansonia Apartments, Trinity Church, and the Flatiron Building and the burning of P. T. Barnum's American Museum; and discover that Columbia University was built on the site of an insane asylum.

Along the way we meet Alexander Hamilton, Edgar Allan Poe, John James Audubon, Emma Goldman, "Bill the Butcher" Poole, "Texas" Guinan, and the assorted real estate speculators, impresarios, and politicians who helped turn Broadway into a living paradigm of American progress, at its best and worst. Broadway tells the vivid story of what is arguably the world's most famous thoroughfare.

©2018 Fran Leadon (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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Give My Regards To Broadway!

Wow! I grew up in NYC and learned a bit about the history of NYC but this is the mother lode as far as Broadway is concerned. There is so much history that relates to the main street of NYC. The book divides Broadway into approximate miles and each section is chock full of fascinating history and a wealth of anecdotes about the famous and "near" famous. The history of each mile comes right up to the present day. Kevin Pariseau is excellent as narrator. The book will leave you wondering how Fran Leadon found so much information and put it together in such an entertaining way.

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  • Hannah
  • 08-10-18

This may be unfair but....

I expected to love this; maybe that's the problem. I have revelled in brilliant NYC books by Russell Shorto and Luc Sante and I'd read a good review of this Fran Leadon one. So perhaps my expectations were too high. But this begins with a tedious preface and doesn't get much better; spends too long making a simple point, and just doesn't grab me at the start with a sense of place. It could very well be the performance that's at fault. But I gave up after less than 10 minutes.