Press Release: Manhattan ’45
Travel writer Jan Morris opens her account of New York’s golden age with a dazzling snapshot of the city in a particularly ebullient mood: the Second World War is all but over and the Queen Mary is bringing home thousands of victorious American GIs. Sailing into New York Bay, they are ‘welcomed like a promise of good things’ by a rapturous, flag-waving crowd. After a period of uncertainty the future finally looks bright, and the Manhattan of 1945 is a city at its pinnacle of cultural and economic power, full of people ‘to whom nothing is impossible’.
From there Morris whisks the reader on a street-level tour of a city in a time when it was at its most romantic, go-getting, creative, innovative and sleazy. She invites the reader to ‘live it up for a day in Manhattan’, touring Wall Street, Harlem, Chinatown, the Lower East Side and more, taking in the sights and smells and sounds that are uniquely New York. Along the way Morris reveals the fascinating characters that populated this town of all towns; figures like Fiorello La Guardia, the mayor who read comics over the radio when the newspapers went on strike; eccentrics like Weegee, the photographer who claimed to have psychic premonitions about crimes and fires; and even the infamous New York cab drivers with their worldly wisdom.
Morris first visited the city in 1953 and has continued to visit throughout her life. The author’s affectionate but unsentimental prose reveals the inner life of a remarkable city. This Folio edition features 12 pages of atmospheric black and white plates, including photography from acclaimed American photographers such as Andreas Feininger and the aforementioned Weegee. At the author’s request, this edition is prefaced by the Walt Whitman poem ‘Mannahatta’.
Bound in paper, printed and blocked with a design by Neil Gower. Set in Deepdene. 208 pages. Frontispiece and 12 pages of black & white plates. 9˝ x 5¾˝.
UK £24.95 US $39.95 Can $54.95 Aus $52.95
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