The Women Who Made New York (Hardcover)

By Julie Scelfo, Hallie Heald (Illustrator)

Seal Press, 9781580056533, 352pp.

Publication Date: October 25, 2016

List Price: 24.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Read any history of New York City and you will read about men. You will read about men who were political leaders and men who were activists and cultural tastemakers. These men have been lauded for generations for creating the most exciting and influential city in the world.

But that's not the whole story.

The Women Who Made New York reveals the untold stories of the phenomenal women who made New York City the cultural epicenter of the world. Many were revolutionaries and activists, like Zora Neale Hurston and Audre Lorde. Others were icons and iconoclasts, like Fran Lebowitz and Grace Jones. There were also women who led quieter private lives but were just as influential, such as Emily Warren Roebling, who completed the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge when her engineer husband became too ill to work.

Paired with striking, contemporary illustrations by artist Hallie Heald, The Women Who Made New York offers a visual sensation--one that reinvigorates not just New York City's history but its very identity.

About the Author

Julie Scelfo is a frequent contributor to "The New York Times," where her stories about how we live routinely top the "Times " most e-mailed list. Prior to joining the "Times" in 2007, Scelfo was a correspondent at "Newsweek," where she covered breaking news and wrote about society and human behavior. She covered the events of September 11, 2001, live from lower Manhattan, and then reported extensively on the attack s emotional and environmental aftermath.

Scelfo lives with her family in Brooklyn, where she rides a push-scooter to ease travel back and forth between neighborhoods. She is a member of PEN America, a supporter of Narrative 4, and believes radical empathy is where it's at. More information about her work can be found at

Hallie Heald is a freelance illustrator and stylist living and working in New York City. She's worked as an intern for NY designer Nanette Lepore, was an assistant designer and stylist making faux leather handbags, and has been a face painter for fancy birthday parties in Santa Barbara. You can follow her at


Praise For The Women Who Made New York

"Forgetting-and belatedly remembering-women is a historiographical tradition as old as history itself. The Women Who Made New York positions itself as an antidote to that process...With its romantic illustrations and requisite three pages dedicated to Joan Didion, it would be easy to dismiss The Women Who Made New York as mere gifting bait for anyone with a niece at Barnard College. (And to be clear, your niece probably will love this.) But for every tale that makes you pump your fist in triumph, there is one that makes you clench your jaw in anger."

New York Times Book Review

"From artists to activists, an homage to the unheralded hands and hearts who built one of humanity's most iconic cities... Rigorously researched and elegantly written."


"A beautifully packaged volume full of heart, moxie, and wonder."—BUST Magazine

"This book on New York City history is more than a pretty cover. It is a testament to the lives of impressive women in the Big Apple."

"Paired with striking illustrations by artist Hallie Heald, The Women Who Made New York offers a visual look at some of the most vibrant women in the history of one of the world's most vibrant cities."