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The Finest Building in America


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About the Author

Edwin G. Burrows is co-author of Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, which won the Pulitzer Prize for History, and author of Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners during the Revolutionary War, which was named Best Book of the Year on the American Revolution by Fraunces Tavern Museum. He is currently Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at Brooklyn College, and has been a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and served on the boards of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in Manhattan, New York History, and the Society of American Historians, and is a past president of the New York Academy of History.


"With characteristic elegance, Burrows guides readers around the mechanical leeches and statues of naked women on display at America's first World's Fair, a glass-and-steel monument in Manhattan to manufacturing, merchandising and materialism that became the most famous destination in the nation." - Sam Roberts, The New York Times

"New York's magnificent Crystal Palace was a new kind of building in a new kind of city. Destroyed by fire shortly after its creation and largely forgotten in the twenty-first century, Edwin Burrows's The Finest Building in America restores the Crystal Palace to its social and architectural importance in American history. Like the Palace itself, this book shines." - Timothy Gilfoyle, author of City of Eros and A Pickpocket's Tale

"The Crystal Palace, that grand and gaudy--how New York!--showplace of the nation's mid-nineteenth-century can-do adolescent years, finally gets its due. Burrows recounts the birth, life, and flaming demise of the Palace at a jaunty pace, enriching the story with a generous selection of marvelous and rarely seen illustrations." - Michael Miscione, The Manhattan Borough Historian

"Burrows colorfully details the logistical and financial problems caused by the elaborate building and he makes the period come to life." - Publishers Weekly

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