Gotham

A History of New York City to 1898
Narrated by: Victor Bevine
Series: Gotham, Book 1
Length: 67 hrs and 25 mins
Categories: History, American
4.5 out of 5 stars (134 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

To European explorers, it was Eden, a paradise of waist-high grasses, towering stands of walnut, maple, chestnut, and oak, and forests that teemed with bears, wolves, raccoons, beavers, otters, and foxes. Today, it is the site of Broadway and Wall Street, the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, and the home of millions of people, who have come from every corner of the nation and the globe. 

In Gotham, Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace have produced a monumental work of history, one that ranges from the Indian tribes that settled in and around the island of Manna-hata, to the consolidation of the five boroughs into Greater New York in 1898. It is an epic narrative, a story as vast and as varied as the city it chronicles, and it underscores that the history of New York is the story of our nation. Listeners will relive the tumultuous early years of New Amsterdam under the Dutch West India Company, Peter Stuyvesant's despotic regime, Indian wars, slave resistance and revolt, the Revolutionary War and the defeat of Washington's army on Brooklyn Heights, the destructive seven years of British occupation, New York as the nation's first capital, the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, the Erie Canal and the coming of the railroads, the growth of the city as a port and financial center, the infamous draft riots of the Civil War, the great flood of immigrants, the rise of mass entertainment such as vaudeville and Coney Island, the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and the birth of the skyscraper. Here too is a cast of thousands - the rebel Jacob Leisler and the reformer Joanna Bethune; Clement Moore, who saved Greenwich Village from the city's street-grid plan; Herman Melville, who painted disillusioned portraits of city life; and Walt Whitman, who happily celebrated that same life. We meet the rebel Jacob Leisler and the reformer Joanna Bethune; Boss Tweed and his nemesis, cartoonist Thomas Nast; Emma Goldman and Nellie Bly; Jacob Riis and Horace Greeley; police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt; Colonel Waring and his "white angels" (who revolutionized the sanitation department); millionaires John Jacob Astor, Cornelius Vanderbilt, August Belmont, and William Randolph Hearst; and hundreds more who left their mark on this great city. 

The events and people who crowd this audiobook guarantee that this is no mere local history. It is in fact a portrait of the heart and soul of America, and a book that will mesmerize everyone interested in the peaks and valleys of American life as found in the greatest city on earth. Gotham is dazzling, a fast-paced, brilliant narrative that carries the listener along as it threads hundreds of stories into one great blockbuster of a book.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©1999 Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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THANK YOU!!!!!

THANK YOU; THANK YOU; THANK YOU...
for finally making an audible recording of this outstanding book. I know this is a niche market book given its extreme length and 19th century limit in scope, but this is one of the best books ever written and your readers/listeners deserve a chance to enjoy it. This book won the Pulitzer Prize. Enough said. That alone should qualify any book to be recorded for audible.

Thank you for finally committing to finish this project the right way, with a splendid audio recording for the ages.

I look forward to the recording for Book 2...
GREATER GOTHAM.

23 people found this helpful

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Re-thinking Gotham

At the top of my many time-travel fantasies is the pre-settlement island that became Manhattan. Jacob Steendam's description, "Oh this is Eden!" barely begins to describe the clear rivers and seemingly boundless forests brought to life in "Gotham."

This book, reexamines everything you thought you knew about New York City, from original inhabitants living a cyclical, symbiotic, and partially nomadic life on the islands, to the origin myth of a trade of land for a string of beads, to how and why it became the "greatest city in the world."

Family by family, ship by ship, the story of early Gotham is built in a thoroughly enjoyable narration that made me long to witness it all.

17 people found this helpful

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I found it factually interesting how NY evolved

I wasn't sure what to expect and devoting 67 hours is considerable. I was fascinated by how the authors took us from almost of the very beginning of lower Manhattan by the Dutch to the tremendous growth northward. Every aspect of the growth is detailed from politics, living conditions, transportation, class structure, financial, the constant struggle between 'capital' and the 'working man', women's roles, healthcare, poverty, disease living in close, putrid surroundings, media (newspapers, cable, telegraphs, telephone, electric lighting -- how these all evolved over time).

4 people found this helpful

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Must read for anyone interested in New York

This book is fantastic. Edwin Burrows and Mike Wallace paint New York in unbelievable detail, and Victor Bevine does an amazing job narrating. This book is honestly a must read/listen for anyone interested in New York in general or in what daily life was like in America before 1900.

2 people found this helpful

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A very exhaustive history of New York

The book is phenomenal. It gathers together a massive amount of information about New York's history, meticulously referred to original sources and critically reviewing them, and ties it together with the events of the surrounding world. I've learned enormously from this book and am convinced that it has much new to teach to everybody.

It may not be recommendable to everybody, however. Aside from its subject matter and resources, it may also exhaust the reader or listener. It is a whole pack of mammoths as a book, and the audio recording is full 6 books, each more than 10 hours long, 67 hours and 25 minutes in whole. This includes a wealth of maps, photos and other documentation that are also added to the audiobook in an accompanying pdf. Making documentation extensively available to the reader makes simultaneously the research more transparent and convincing and the book's content easier to understand.

Aside from good illustration, the reader makes the exhaustive length of the audiobook more supportable. He articulates clearly without sounding either boring or irritating. He does ok job with foreign and foreign based vocabulary as well, of which there is a plenty, although sometimes his pronunciation could be ameliorated. There is nothing really special or spectacular about his reading, but that during 67 hours of reading of academic research the reader neither bores nor irritates me, is impressive in itself.

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Everything you wanted to know about NYC history

Wow. This book has so many details that some may find it trivial. The book has been well researched and some will find it uninteresting at times but stay with it if you are a fan of the Big Apple. Be ready for lots of history from 1626 to 1840. LEarn what Peter Stuyvesant had for breakfast.

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A Huge History of The Big Apple

This is a huge audiobook that encompasses the first part of the story of New York City. It is a huge book that took me months to listen to. I learned a great deal. The history of New York City is completely entwined with the rest of American History and to a great extent World History and this book reflects that. It is excellent, but entails a significant effort. If I complete the next volume, it will probably be a year from now. It is excellent. Thank You...

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New York a BIG part of our nation

The book is long but well written and very well read. Worth the effort to listen to it all the way through.

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the most comprehensive and inspiring history.

loved this book. read it first, then listened to it. unparalleled. should be the starting point for any amateur historians entry into the world of nyc history.

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Thorough and interesting.

A very in-depth look into the history of NYC. I wish there was a way to download just one file rather than 6 though.

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Profile Image for Brian T Summers
  • Brian T Summers
  • 01-25-20

Loved it

I loved almost every part of this book! It is so compelling and well written. It's one of the first history books I have ever read in full. It's a great listen! I would highly recommend it.