A colorful history of Brooklyn, its monuments, and its residents
An Illustrated History
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Ellen M. Snyder-Grenier
New York Society Library's New York City Book Award for Best Book, 1996
Brooklyn. The word conjures up a host of imagesThe Honeymooners, Ebbets Field, Walt Whitman, Saturday Night Fever and the West Indian Carnival. Guiding us into this historical panorama through five larger-than-life points of entryincluding The Brooklyn Bridge, The Brooklyn Navy Yard, Coney Island, and the Brooklyn DodgersEllen Snyder-Grenier highlights the people, events, and places that have made Brooklyn Brooklyn.
Lavishly illustrated with prints, paintings, memorabilia, and objects from The Brooklyn Historical Society's unparalleled collection, Brooklyn! will bring every reader closer to the Brooklyn of legend and fact.
"More than just a history of Brooklyn, this fascinating and comprehensive portrait of one of the most diverse urban areas in the world is a commentary on the growth of America and the immigrant vision. ...This is a commendable effort, one of those unusual hybrids that works as a history and as a gift book."
"[The book is] valuable not only to those who are interested in pictorial images of Brooklyn but also to those who seek greater information on one of the most important urban centers in the United States."
"It's been famously said that only the dead know Brooklyn, but those seeking a less extreme path to knowledge will find this exemplary book to be just what is needed. Thorough and detailed without being stuffy, it covers the borough by focusing on five of its most significant totems....Knowledgeable Brooklynites will appreciate the book's accurate references to such borough traditions as skelly (a street game) and the spaldeen (a small pink ball used in street games), while even those who have never been east of the Continental Divide will enjoy the enormous number of carefully chosen black-and-white and color illustrations."
"This volume is a wonderful guide explaining Brooklyn's rich and colorful history, its developing neighborhoods and economic cycles. Using prints, paintings and pictures from the collection of the Brooklyn Historical Society, Snyder-Grenier lovingly melds legend and fact."
"From the Puerto Rican diaspora of the early 1900s to the migration of African Americans from the tormented South, to the massive immigration of Eastern Europeans, Brooklyn! An Illustrated History is an intriguing and comprehensive depiction of the patchwork metropolis we affectionately call 'Brooklyn.'"
"To have played a small role in the history of the wonderful borough of Brooklyn makes me very proud. This book increases that pride greatly."
"This book is about the real Brooklyn and all the values that are in that culture where I played baseball and where I raised my kids."
"Ellen Snyder-Grenier deserves our gratitude for bringing to a larger audience so many of the treasures of The Brooklyn Historical Society and for preserving for posterity the imaginative and popular exhibition that adorned its walls in the last years of the twentieth century. But she has done even more, giving us nothing less than an interpretation of all of Brooklyn's long and eventful history. Her readers are in for a treat."
"Snyder-Grenier has accomplished a difficult feat. She has written an excellent book, useful to a general audience as well as both public and academic historians. This book is well researched and accessible.... a good popular social history, exposing both Brooklyn's triumphs and tragedies."
Foreword Charles J. Hamm
1. Brooklynites, Real and Imagined: Portraits of People
2. The Brooklyn Bridge: Growth and the Price of Progress
3. The Brooklyn Navy Yard: A Mirror for Brooklyn's Industrial Rise
4. Coney Island: A City at Play
5. The Brooklyn Dodgers: Dem Wonderful Bums
Epilogue: Wait 'til Next Year
Formerly Chief Curator at the Brooklyn Historical Society, Ellen M. Snyder-Grenier is Director of Special Projects at the New Jersey Historical Society.
In the series
Critical Perspectives on the Past, edited by Susan Porter Benson, Stephen Brier, and Roy Rosenzweig, is concerned with the traditional and nontraditional ways in which historical ideas are formed. In its attentiveness to issues of race, class, and gender and to the role of human agency in shaping events, the series is as critical of traditional historical method as content. Emphasizing that history is itself an interpretation of material events, the series demonstrates that the historian's choices of subject, narrative technique, and documentation are politically as well as intellectually constructed.