Hone and Strong Diaries of Old Manhattan

Louis Auchincloss, Author Abbeville Press $35 (286p) ISBN 978-0-89659-904-8
Novelist-social historian Auchincloss's skillful editing makes available significant excerpts of the diaries kept by two excellent writers during momentous times in America. Philip Hone (1780-1851) and George Templeton Strong (1820-1875) were prominent New Yorkers, active in the affairs of the city they loved. In these journals, one finds a living history of 50 years before and after the Civil War. The diaries contain sharp observations on art exhibits, musical events, society, impressions of such luminaries as Jenny Lind and Charles Dickens, contrasting with notes on the ills affecting the metropolis and the country. There are descriptions of riots, diseases, crimes and political opportunism, the latter viewed as the catalyst to war. Illustrations by artists of the times increase the rewards of this remarkable book. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
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