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Download Downtown: My Manhattan Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Downtown: My Manhattan, by Pete Hamill Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (555 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Pete Hamill Narrator: Pete Hamill Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In Downtown, Hamill leads us on an unforgettable journey through the city he loves, from the island’s southern tip to 42nd Street, combining a moving memoir of his days and nights in New York with a passionate history of its most enduring places and people. From the Battery’s traces of the early port to Washington Square’s ghosts of executed convicts and well-heeled Knickerbockers; from the Five Points, once the most dangerous and squalid slum in America, to the mansions of the robber barons on “the Fifth Avenue;” from the Bowery of the 1860s, the vibrant heart of the city’s theater world, to the Village of the 1960s, with its festival-like street life, this is downtown as we’ve never seen it before.

Hamill weaves his own memories of Manhattan with the liveliest moments from its past and points out the hints of that past living on in the city of today, fueling the ever-present nostalgia of its inhabitants. Hamill introduces us to the New Yorkers who have left indelible marks: Peter Stuyvesant and John Jacob Astor, Stanford White and George Templeton Strong, Edith Wharton and Henry James, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, W. H. Auden and Allen Ginsberg, Boss Tweed and Fiorello La Guardia, Jimi Hendrix and Thelonious Monk, and scores of others. He also takes us to the eateries, saloons, theaters, movie houses, bookstores, and street corners they, and he, once frequented, whether still standing or existing only in memory.

Through the city’s transformations, the pulse of Pete Hamill’s brilliant voice melds with the pulse that drives New York, that mixture of daring, greed, anger, rebellion, hope, entrepreneurialism, and longing that never fades. Written by native son who has lived through some of New York City’s most historic moments, Downtown is an extraordinary celebration of the magnificent, haunted place that Hamill continues to call home and that people from all over the country and the world have come to call their own as well.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Written with insight, humor and, most of all, a deep love of the Big Apple.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Hamill misses little in his wry accounting of a city he calls home.” 


  • “A finely etched and hand-colored portrait from one of those rare reporters who has lived long and hard in his beat.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A marvelous read for anyone who has a hometown.” 


  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Beth | 2/16/2014

    " Nostalgic fiction of the history of Manhattan. Well done!. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Linda | 2/6/2014

    " Absolutely fantastic. Equal parts travel guide, history book, and memoir. Hamill takes his readers along on a walk uptown from the battery to Times Square, recounting historical notes on places he passes and sharing personal attachments to each place, spinning off into memories of a writer's life in New York. A New Yorker to the bone, Hamill never loses his sense of wonder at the beat and pulse of the city. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Nancy | 1/23/2014

    " I enjoyed this history of downtown Manhattan but felt like he could have omitted 50 pages. I really enjoyed reading about the early history of the island and how the city grew but felt like in the last third of the book, Hamill told the same story over and over. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jenna | 1/22/2014

    " Aside from his disappointingly sweeping dismissal of New York's current young population, this was a total gem. I loved the rest of the book so much that I'm willing to let it go. "

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