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Books by Lorraine B. Diehl

Over Here! New York City During World War II

Over Here! New York City During World War II

A wonderfully nostalgic and inspiring look at the center of the home front during World War II—New York City

More than any other place, New York was the center of action on the home front during World War II. As Hitler came to power in Germany, American Nazis goose-stepped in Yorkville on the Upper East Side, while recently arrived Jewish émigrés found refuge on the Upper West Side. When America joined the fight, enlisted men heading for battle in Europe or the Pacific streamed through Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station. The Brooklyn Navy Yard refitted ships, and Times Square overflowed with soldiers and sailors enjoying some much-needed R & R. German U-boats attacked convoys leaving New York Harbor. Silhouetted against the gleaming skyline, ships were easy prey—debris and even bodies washed up on Long Island beaches—until the city rallied under a stringently imposed dim-out.

From Rockefeller Center's Victory Gardens and Manhattan's swanky nightclubs to metal-scrap drives and carless streets, Over Here! captures the excitement, trepidation, and bustle of this legendary city during wartime. Filled with the reminiscences of ordinary and famous New Yorkers, including Walter Cronkite, Barbara Walters, and Angela Lansbury, and rich in surprising detail—from Macy's blackout boutique to Mickey Mouse gas masks for kids—this engaging look back is an illuminating tour of New York on the front lines of the home front.

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Cover, Book jacket of "Subways: The Tracks That Built New York City"

Subways: The Tracks That Built New York City

            Manhattan, 1870. As overcrowded horse carts and weary pedestrians push through the clogged city streets, a man named Beach secretly works by candlelight 2,112 feet beneath Devlin’s clothing store on Broadway, carving out New York’s very first subway tunnel.
             In the years following the Civil War, New York City experienced unprecedented growth. Commerce boomed as immigrants and tourists poured onto the tiny island in huge numbers. But at a time when commuting distance was measured by the strength of one’s legs and the soles of one’s shoes, the city was unable to expand alongside its population. All of that would change with a few miles of track and a nickel fare.

            In Subways, her highly anticipated follow-up to The Automat, Lorraine Diehl sets off on another sentimental journey, recounting the true story of a city transformed by underground passageways. Through archival photographs, interviews with New Yorkers who “remember when,” and an assortment of rare memorabilia, Diehl introduces us to the entertaining characters who conceived, built, and rode the city’s subways, then travels to the familiar destinations shaped by their tracks.
             From the last days of the horsecars to the remarkable excavation and construction of the tunnels, from an age of elegant wood-and-brass cars to the streamlined stainless-steel rolling stock of the 1940s, from the once-remote reaches of the boroughs to the bustling metropolis of today, to tell the story of the Subways is to tell the story of New York City.

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The Automat: The History, Recipes, and Allure of Horn & Hardart's Masterpiece

Written by Marianne Hardart and Lorraine Diehl

            A coin-operated glass-and-chrome wonder, Horn & Hardart’s Automats revolutionized the way Americans ate when they opened up in Philadelphia and New York in the early twentieth century. In a country where the industrial revolution had just taken hold, eating at a restaurant with self-serving vending machines rather than waitresses and Art Deco architecture instead of stuffy dining rooms was an unforgettable experience. The Automat served freshly made food for the price of a few coins, and no one made a better cup of coffee. By the peak of its popularity—from the Great Depression to the post-war years—the Automat was more than an inexpensive place to buy a good meal; it was a culinary treasure, a technical marvel, and an emblem of the times.

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            The Automat will take readers back to the days of Charles Lindbergh and Babe Ruth, Walter Winchell and Jack Benny, the Brooklyn Dodgers and shows at Radio City. Through beautiful archival photography, candid interviews, delicious recipes, and wonderfully evocative memorabilia, Lorraine Diehl and Marianne Hardart bring to life a time when a handful of nickels and the twist of a wrist bought a good square meal—Macaroni and Cheese, Boston Baked Beans, Chicken Pot Pie, Rice Pudding, and all the other favorites whose recipes are in these pages.


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"The Late, Great Pennsylvania Station" by Lorraine B. Diehl CLick to go to the site

The Late, Great Pennsylvania Station

            On a drizzly Monday morning in October of 1963, the jackhammers arrived, piercing the pink granite of New York City's Pennsylvania Station, and the monumental act of vandalism began...
Step back now into McKim, Mead & White's lost masterpiece...walk through the cathedral-like arcade into the Main Waiting Room reminiscent of the Baths of Caracalla and into the Concourse, the station's dramatic steel and glass train shed.
             Through rare vintage photographs and evocative text, Lorraine B. Diehl's book, The Late, Great Pennsylvania Station will bring New York City's vanished railroad station to life.

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