Fascinating New Yorkers: Power Freaks, Mobsters, Liberated Women, Creators, Queers and Crazies
by Clifford Browder
Black Rose Writing

"To know these people is to know New York..."

New York City is known for its rich history and iconic status as one of the greatest cities in the world, and part of that reputation comes from its inhabitants. From power-hungry politicians to avant-garde artists, socialites, activists, union workers, and all those in-between, New York either makes or breaks those who call her home. Some New Yorkers are, of course, more famous than others, and it is the lives of these history-makers that are explored in this book. From more modern figures like Anais Nin to turn-of-the-century folks like Stanford White, the book provides snapshots of these people’s lives against the culture of their time to show their impact on New York society. Not all of them were good people or did good things, but in some way, they made their mark.

Originally a series of blog posts on the author’s website, this collection approaches each mini-biography with wit and a little cheekiness. Well-researched and sometimes drawing on the author’s personal experiences and encounters with his fellow citizens, the author does a great job of staying neutral in each biography, presenting facts when possible and rarely inserting his opinion. Unlike many biographies, however, the writing is fresh and engaging. Categorized into five sections—such as Remarkable Women, Men of Power, and Bohemia—each biography essentially chronicles the rise and fall of its subject matter and divulges a juicy secret or two. There’s something for everyone here in this collection of profiles, and it serves as a source of inspiration for readers who love NYC.

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