New York at War
Four Centuries of Combat, Fear, and Intrigue in Gotham
By Steven H. Jaffe
(Basic Books, Hardcover, 9780465036424, 424pp.)
Publication Date: April 2012
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The complete history of New York as a military target, from the Indian attacks on Henry Hudson in 1609 through 9/11 and beyond, showing how the Empire City and its inhabitants have been fundamentally shaped by war.
Steven H. Jaffe is a writer and historian specializing in the history of New York City. Jaffe has worked at the Center for Jewish History in New York City, the New-York Historical Society (where he served as Senior Project Historian), and the South Street Seaport Museum. Jaffe graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and obtained his doctoral degree in history from Harvard University. His work has been published in The New-York Journal of American History, Seaport: New York’s History Magazine, and in Kenneth T. Jackson’s (ed.) Encyclopedia of New York City. Jaffe lives in Maplewood, NJ with his wife and two sons.
Kenneth T. Jackson, editor-in-chief of The Encyclopedia of New York City
From the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776 to the Battle of the Atlantic in 1943, the great Hudson River metropolis and its huge harbor have been central to the American military experience. New York at War is a page-turner, and it tells an important and fascinating story with authority and distinction.”
While most Americans probably see New York as America’s capital of finance and fashion, Steven Jaffe shows how the city has also been the nation’s epicenter during times of war. While New York may have profited from America’s many wars, it also proved the nation’s most vulnerable city, subject to attack both from without and from within. With an impressive span greater than that of the Brooklyn Bridge, New York at War reminds readers of Gotham’s centrality in America’s wartime experience from colonial times to 9/11. A great idea for a book, masterfully done.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Well-researched, with a flair for the dramatic, and full of unexpected tidbits. Military buffs and New Yorkers will especially love it.” Publishers Weekly
[A] well-presented, fast-paced narrative of the ways a polyglot, protean community has reacted, and continues to react, to the periodic challenge of ensuing domestic security while maintaining commitments to openness and inclusion.”
Library Journal, starred reviewEncyclopedic in scope, diligently researched, and well written, this magisterial book synthesizes the history of our greatest city in a way not fully done before. It will have strong appeal to general readers, New York history buffs, and specialists with an interest in American military history. Highly recommended.”
New York Times
In New York at War historian Steven H. Jaffe skillfully reminds readers that the city had been a tempting target before, that it suffered casualties in earlier conflicts and that other generations of officials worried about immigrants with dual loyalties and about balancing New Yorkers’ security and their civil liberties.
Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review
[A] fascinating glimpse into an aspect of New York history that is often ignored or underplayed. Jaffe offers exacting details giving valuable context to the spectacle and bombast of more commonplace historical reporting. New York at War sheds new light on a city we all know well.”
Very informative . New York at War will likely become the definitive work on this critical subject. It is a well-written, well-researched work, offering a compelling portrait of a defining aspect of the city’s history. It draws on both scholarly and first-person accounts and, amidst a revealing, straight-forward narrative, introduces many almost forgotten New Yorkers. Readers will learn just how significant a role war has played in the life of Gotham.”
[A] fascinating new study . Jaffe’s account is eminently readable and lively, filled with colorful stories (all precisely documented)some well known, and others refreshingly novel. This is a must read as no one has previously written a comprehensive study on this subject . Essential.”
Michigan War Studies Review
Steven Jaffe’s New York at War is a boon to anyone concerned with war in the context of urban areas or urban areas in the context of politics and war. It captures the diversity of the wars New York has weathered New York at War is an excellent addition to the literature of military history.”