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Manhattan Phoenix

Nonfiction: History
Unabridged   15 hour(s)
Publication date: 03/08/2022

Manhattan Phoenix

The Great Fire of 1835 and the Emergence of Modern New York

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696605373


This work shows vividly how the Great Fire of 1835, which nearly leveled Manhattan, also created the ashes from which the city was reborn.

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Product Description

In 1835, a merchant named Gabriel Disosway marveled at a great fire enveloping New York, commenting on how it "spread more and more vividly from the fiery arena, rendering every object, far and wide, minutely discernible—the lower bay and its Islands, with the shores of Long Island and New Jersey." The fire Disosway witnessed devastated a large swath of lower Manhattan, clearing roughly the same number of acres as the World Trade Center bombing.

Manhattan Phoenix explores the emergence of modern New York after it emerged from the devastating the fire of 1835—a catastrophe that revealed how truly unprepared and haphazardly organized it was—to become a world-class city merely a quarter of a century later. The one led to other. New York effectively had to start over. Daniel Levy's book charts Manhattan's almost miraculous growth while interweaving the lives of various New Yorkers who took part in the city's transformation. Some are well known, such as the land baron John Jacob Astor and Mayor Fernando Wood. Others less so, as with the African American oysterman Thomas Downing and the Bowery Theatre impresario Thomas Hamblin.

Manhattan Phoenix reveals a city first in flames and then in flux but resolute in its determination to emerge as one of the world's greatest metropolises.


"One of the best books about old New York I've come across...Levy reanimates the New York that rose from the ashes with all its ambitions, corruption, riotous hatreds, contradictions and achievements." -Wall Street Journal

Author Bio

Daniel S. Levy writes for Life, Time, and Time-Life Books—which are part of Meredith Special Interest Media—as well as for National Geographic Books. Levy is also the author of Two-Gun Cohen, a biography of Morris Cohen, an English adventurer who became a general in the Chinese army.