Five Points Paperback – Sep 24 2002
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Tyler Anbinder has so thoroughly re-created Five Points that the stench of life there all but rises from its pages. -- New York Daily News
About the Author
Tyler Anbinder is an Associate Professor of History at The George Washington University. His first book, Nativisim and Slavery, was also a New York Times Notable Book and the winner of the Avery Craven Prize of the Organization of American Historians.
Top Customer Reviews
The books greatest strength was in the research Anbinder did on the Irish immigrants who made up the bulk of the population of that area in the mid 19th century. It was very interesting to learn that such a large proportion of them came from a small number of Estates in the Old Country. That was not something I'd picked up from any other sources. Even there, however, Anbinder left me frustrated.Read more ›
Sometimes I wish more of these things were preserved and still viewable today; but I guess the Five Points was an area the city simply wanted to rid itself of...And they did a good job. The five-pointed intersection has been reduced to two 'points', and the site contains no plaques or historical landmark signs whatsoever (Unless you want to count the plaques at nearby Foley Square).
Hundreds of people casually stroll through the area every week, without a clue about the historical significance of the ground they walk on...However; if they were to go back in time 150 years, I'm quite sure that wouldn't be the case. The corner of Baxter and Worth will always be a special place for me...One of the few ghostly remains of a bygone era of poverty and corruption in the city, and a silent reminder to anyone who cares, of just how far the city has progressed and evolved since then.
This book is definately worth your time.
Some may take issue with the way the material is arranged. Trying to write about a whole neighborhood with so many layers of diverse history is no easy task. I personally enjoyed the format once I got used to it. Anbinder starts each chapter with a prologue vignette of a few pages describing an event or person who well exemplifies the topic following in the main chapter. I found myself going back at the end of each chapter and re-reading the prologue with the new information just gleaned in mind.Read more ›
A good text for a serious history student. Scorcese fans who want a companion book to his recent movie should get Herb Asbury's instead, which has proven to be part history, part mythology, and more in step with the film.
Sure, it was a rough neighborhood, but it can't possibly be any worse than any New York neighborhoods of the 20th century. Anbinder merely gives us the evidence that New York, for all its changes, is a timeless City.
Most recent customer reviews
I like to read about history which can get boring at times, but not with Five Points. The book read like a movie. Read morePublished on July 13 2004
This book is facinating. "Gangs of New York" should of surely won over the escapest "Chicago". Especially in a time of war. Read morePublished on May 15 2003 by James E Hanlon
Five Points, lower Manhattan's most corrupt and dangerous neighborhood during the mid 1800's comes alive in this work. Read morePublished on Jan. 10 2003