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St. Louis Then and Now [Hardcover]

Elizabeth McNulty
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2011 Now and Then
Pairing historical black-and-white images of notable locations with specially commissioned photographs of the same scenes as they are today, Thunder Bay Press's Then and Now series reveals the fascinating developments and cultural changes that took place. Available in standard and compact editions, this best-selling series makes an ideal souvenir or gift for travelers and locals alike.

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About the Author

Elizabeth McNulty was born and raised in St. Louis and attended the University of Missouri. She attended graduate school in New England and is the author of Boston Then and Now, Chicago Then and Now, and St. Louis Then and Now, among others. She is a member of the Missouri Historical Society and the Bostonian Historical Society and currently lives in San Diego, where she works in the publishing industry.

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First Sentence
There is something in having passed one's childhood beside the big river, which is incommunicable to those who have not," wrote famed modernist poet T.S. Eliot, born and raised in St. Louis. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent compilation Aug. 13 2003
Growing up in Saint Louis and having recently moved back, this has made me appreciate my city for what it once was and what it may become. This book is well put together and the research is obviously impeccable. It has no social agenda or views as many historical books do, but it just shows exactly what it says, "then and now". It was very enjoyable. The best gift I can give fellow St. Louisan's for any occasion.
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I am a fan of "then and now" books, having read excellent ones for Boston, Washington, DC, Chicago, and Philadelphia. When well done, they can provide the reader with a good sense of how a city has changed over time, what has been lost, what has been gained. St. Louis Then and Now does not do this. It focuses on a relatively small area of downtown St. Louis, with tight shots that preclude the reader from seeing the decay that has plagued my old home town for the past half century. Even worse, the author has a picture of the original Sportsmens Park, home of the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns baseball teams, but instead of showing a picture of the site were it used to be for the "now" portion, she instead presents a picture of Busch Stadium, located in a far different neighborhood. This is the only instance in the entire book where she does not follow her basic guidelines of taking a shot from the same spot. Had she done so, the reader would have seen the ravaged neighborhood of North St. Louis. If she and her publisher wish to present an idealized, artificially upbeat set of images for St. Louis, then it should not be titled "then and now," and promise the reader a no-holds-barred look at the real city.
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As a lifelong resident of St. Louis who was wary of being downtown except for Cardinals baseball games, I and many others like me are just now discovering what a historic gem our downtown are truly is.
After picking up the "walking tour of downtown" book published by Charles Brennan a year or so ago, I began to appreciate the beautiful buildings that are being renovated for lofts and condos. Hungry to learn more, I found a brilliant web site called builtstlouis.net with synopses of many downtown structures. I highly recommend that site to anyone interested in the history of downtown St. Louis.
Finding that site simply made me more curious about downtown, so I turned to Amazon.com, and found this spectacular book that helps put things into perspective when comparing the way St. Louis was at the turn of the 20th century compared to how it appears today. Much of the grand history of St. Louis still exists, and I urge anyone wanting to know more to buy this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing look into history April 8 2002
Having been born and raised around St. Louis, it was fascinating seeing sights I was accustomed to, as they were originally. The city has quite a rich, and diverse history, and it is well displayed in these photographs. The photos tell the story well, and there is not alot of text to hamper your viewing enjoyment. Not that reading is bad, but that is not what the book is about. The layout of the book seems to work very well. The pictures are a nice size, and suprisingly clear. I would have loved to see more pics of the Worlds Fair, but then it would lose the city flavour, so all in all I think it is a good balance. I would recommend the book to anyone that enjoys getting a feeling of what it was like to actually be there in those days, every history buffs dream!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book; but nothing great March 13 2004
This is a good book. It has pictures of about 70 locations in St.Louis then and now. Old pictures are from mid-19th century to mid-20th century. It would have been more interesting if a smaller period (may be a decade) in the past was selected and the pictures during that period were compared with now. Also, many of the new pictures are not taken at the same angle as the old ones, so some pictures don't give a good comparison. You can't adjust the old pictures, but the new ones could have been definitely adjusted. Historical narrations of some of the pictures are interesting, but more of that could have been added. All in all, a good book to be placed on the coffee table.
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