Synopses & Reviews
"Husband and wife team Baker (Double Fold) and Brentano rescued one of the last surviving sets of the New York World from the British Library and, in a labor of love, sorted through a decade's worth of its issues. They present reproductions of comics, advertisements, portraits, political cartoons, caricatures and other illustrations from the turn-of-the-20th-century mass-circulation daily paper. These images, they say, celebrate a 'vaudeville revue of urban urges and preoccupations.' To take a sampling of these fascinating illustrations (all elucidated by Brentano's historically illuminating captions): an 1899 two-page real estate spread features delicate black-and-white drawings of the Astor holdings, 'like bars of music in a hymnal of real estate.' From the same year, a green and red portrait of Mark Twain accompanies his piece, 'My First Lie and How I Got Out of It.' For a 1909 story headlined 'New York Has Seven Levels of Transit,' a cutaway illustration highlight's the city's transportation, from tunnels under the river to the Brooklyn Bridge. This quirky volume brings to life an era and makes an almost lost art form widely available again. 144 four-color illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Nicholson Baker has published seven novels and three works of nonfiction, including Double Fold, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 2001. He regularly contributes to the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books.
Margaret Brentano has worked in publishing and as a reporter. This is her first book. Baker and Brentano are married and live with their two children in Maine. Together they founded the American Newspaper Repository, a collection of 19th- and 20th-century newspapers. In 2004, the collection moved to Duke University.