Skyscraper Dreams

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Skyscraper Dreams: The Great Real Estate Dynasties of New York by Tom ShachtmanSKYSCRAPER DREAMS: The Great Real Estate Dynasties of New York

SKYSCRAPER DREAMS is the ground-breaking portrait of the visionary real estate moguls who created New York’s awe-inspiring buildings, and of the money and power that make up the world of New York real estate and its multimillionaires. The book takes us from the Astors and Rockefellers, at the outset of the skyscraper era, to the Kennedys at mid-century, and to three-generation families of the Tishmans, Rudins, and Roses, whose founders came to the United States as penniless Russian Jews fleeing pogroms. Along the way we meet other charismatic developers, such as “Big Bill” Zeckendorf, the model for “The Donald” Trump, and Harry and Leona Helmsley.

SKYSCRAPER DREAMS, which begins with a party at which the developers play “Monopoly” with real money for the benefit of a charity, is also a compelling record of the monied lives and petty feuds, the jealousies and inside tricks – both political and financial – of the players of the big-time real estate game.

“A fascinating history, showing how the city has been molded by the edifice complexes of risk-takers …. Shachtman ably sketches the rise and fall of these family empires …. The feuds of these real estate kingpins are the stuff of grand comedy … wonderful fun.” — Business Week

“Superb reporting on the industry’s wheeling and dealing …. Shachtman has done an enormous amount of research, and the story of how Manhattan was built is a fascinating one.”— New York Times Book Review

“Reads like a novel … about the dreamers and doers who built the skyscrapers of New York City. The book is filled with intrigue, dirt, corruption and everything else involved in the building of our greatest city.” — Cincinnati Enquirer

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Around The Block

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Around The Block: The Business of a Neighborhood by Tom ShachtmanAROUND THE BLOCK: The Business of a Neighborhood

“A ‘near-classic’ … One of the best descriptions of American business in microcosm to come out of the 1990s [and] the sort of business book that is published too rarely …. Its subject goes to the heart of modern American business — and in the process tells you more about social conflicts, immigration, education and, indeed, America itself than countless loftier works …. Most memorable are the characters …. Mr. Shachtman is wonderful at detailing the obstinacy of small businessmen …. One of the book’s best chapters is on the stout defence put up by a gym and a video store against two national chains that move in across the street …. Another fascinating section looks at the economics of three deli-groceries ….” — The Economist

“To answer such questions as whether small businesses create jobs and how they survive the competition with big business, Shachtman spent a year exploring the assorted enterprises in a square block of Manhattan’s Chelsea. The book is crowded with real people speaking candidly about plans and problems as varied as their occupations, which range from dog grooming to wholesale plumbing supplies. A grand idea, splendidly executed.” — The New Yorker

“Fascinating detail, [a] terrific new book … a lively, insightful chronicle of a year in the business life of a Manhattan block …. AROUND THE BLOCK is a wonderful weave of personal stories and big-picture trends. Mr. Shachtman has mastered the art of the disciplined digression: his side trips into architecture, history and macroeconomics are short and sharply illuminating.” — The New York Times, Business Section

“A complex and detailed [study of] the gradual, almost invisible creation of jobs, wealth and economic growth through the establishment and nurturing of small businesses …. A thoughtful, interesting book ….. Tom Shachtman has written a good and useful book that — unlike so much else these days — gives cause to look to the future with hope.” — Washington Post Book World

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Parade!

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Parade! by Tom ShachtmanThe big Thanksgiving Day parades are a traditional kick-off to the holiday season, but not everyone realizes that parade day is preceded by a full year of planning. This book takes readers “backstage” at the Macy’s parade to see the process of preparation. Dozens of full-color photographs detail float and costume design, dance rehearsals, band practice and, of course, construction and maintenance of the famous giant balloons. The text is brief but accurate and suggests mounting excitement as the parade day approaches. At last, the book provides a grandstand seat for the parade itself. This exuberant and informative look at a familiar holiday ritual belongs in every holiday collection. — Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, Ill.

“Exudes excitement. You can hear the brass bands playing.” Horn Book

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