Faculty Book: William Kornblum
At Sea in the City
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2002; 232 pp.)
For Kornblum, New York City is shaped by the water and the people who have sailed it for goods, money, pirate's loot, and freedom—from a time long before Broadway was "a muddy cart track," to today. Kornblum takes readers along as he sails through and around his hometown—as he has been doing his whole life—and paints a vivid portrait of the city's history in relation to its waterfront and maritime culture. As much a work of urban sociology—including tales of shipwrecks and the city's financial beginnings—as a memoir of his adventures on his restored ancient catboat named Tradition, At Sea in the City is an evocative personal narrative that "grapples afresh with the history and complexity of the metropolis" (Philip Lopate). William Kornblum is a professor of sociology at The Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: MAY 3, 2002