Coney Island is more than a national
institution: it was probably the most celebrated amusement resort in
the world. This book, by a man whose family helped to build the
Island's fantastic reputation, presents its lively and nostalgic
history. Touched with sentiment, occasionally with acid, it is
frank, outspoken, sometimes biting, but always imbued with humour.
After its original settlement,
Coney Island passed through three well-defined periods that can best
be described as notorious, elegant, and garish. The first was the
time of Civil War deserters and bounty-jumpers, outlaws and
prostitutes. Next, the 1880s were the time of elegance, of the
finest hotels and restaurants, a time when the sporting world, the
theatrical world, and the world of fashion made Coney Island a truly
glittering watering place. The third period was that of the nickel
empire when the subways reached the Island, the great hordes
arrived, and Coney grew cheap and garish. In its fourth period,
Coney Island became a beautiful seaside park.
This new edition of McCullough's
book includes an introduction by Brian J. Cudahy, who has written
extensively about New York's waterways and subways, and an epilogue
by Michael P. Onorato, a retired history professor whose father
managed Coney Island's famed Steeplechase Park from 1928 until its
closing in 1964. Thus, McCullough's story, which ended in 1957, is
brought up to date for a new generation of readers.
Fine, in unread condition, with fine dust jacket. Click on image to
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