What did New York look like four centuries ago? An extraordinary reconstruction of a wild island from the forests of Times Square to the wetlands downtown.
Named a Best Book of the Year by Library Journal*,* New York Magazine*, and* San Francisco Chronicle
On September 12, 1609, Henry Hudson first set foot on the land that would become Manhattan. Today, it’s difficult to imagine what he saw, but for more than a decade, landscape ecologist Eric Sanderson has been working to do just that.
Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City is the astounding result of those efforts, reconstructing in words and images the wild island that millions now call home. By geographically matching an eighteenth-century map with one of the modern city, examining volumes of historic documents, and collecting and analyzing scientific data, Sanderson re-creates topography, flora, and fauna from a time when actual wolves prowled far beyond Wall Street and the degree of biological diversity rivaled that of our most famous national parks. His lively text guides you through this abundant landscape—while breathtaking illustrations transport you back in time. Mannahatta is a groundbreaking work that provides not only a window into the past, but also inspiration for the future.
“[A] wise and beautiful book, sure to enthrall anyone interested in NYC history.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A cartographical detective tale . . . The fact-intense charts, maps and tables offered in abundance here are fascinating.” —The New York Times
“[An] exuberantly written and beautifully illustrated exploration of pre-European Gotham.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“You don’t have to be a New Yorker to be enthralled.” —Library Journal