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A SUBWAY FOR NEW YORK by David Weitzman


by David Weitzman & illustrated by David Weitzman

Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 2005
ISBN: 0-374-37284-5
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Offering a treat for budding students of engineering, urban studies, construction projects or massive wheeled machines in general, Weitzman focuses on the initial stages in the building of what remains the world’s largest and busiest subway system. Pairing matter-of-fact explanatory texts to intricate, precisely drawn side views and cutaways, with human figures in period dress standing about for scale, he begins with the signing of Contract #1 in 1900. Then he goes on to show step by step how, during the ensuing four and a half years, workers cut through muck and solid rock, built bridges and braces, rerouted sewage and electric lines, laid down track and erected power stations. He also explains how early trains were controlled, and closes with notes on some of the system’s distinctive architectural details. As he is vague on the endeavor’s human cost, and nearly silent on its turbulent political and historical background, this doesn’t tell the whole story—but it does make engrossing viewing, and a good intro to the likes of Lesley A. DuTemple’s New York Subways (2003). (brief annotated source list) (Nonfiction. 9-11)