Told from the perspective of a cantankerous man named Deidrick Knickerbocker, A Knickerbocker’s History of New York depicts a satirical history spanning from the world’s creation to the end of the Dutch dynasty. Beginning with the start of time itself, Knickerbocker reveals historical anecdotes, both real and imagined featuring social commentary, fresh perspectives on the past, and conversations with powerful historical figures. With humor and intrigue, A Knickerbocker’s History of New York tells the tale of the discovery of New York, and explores the first Dutch settlements. While examining those origins, Knickerbocker muses about the ethics of colonization and the immoral treatment of Native Americans, with biting and brutal honesty. Still under the Dutch “rule”, 1600 New York acted as one of the breeding grounds for many American Christmas traditions, some of which are still alive today. Under a comical microscope, A Knickerbocker’s History of New York explores the effect the early Dutch settlements have on American culture, particularly in New York.
Originally published in 1809, Washington Irving’s A Knickerbocker’s History of New York earned acclaim for its innovative genre as one of the first American comedic works. With the mix of specific, inside jokes and universal humor, Irving’s satire invites laughter from both his original audience and contemporary readers. With prose and wit that has remained fresh and hilarious even two-hundred and eleven years later, Washington Irving’s A Knickerbocker’s History of New York contains a narrative that has earned centuries of influence. While playfully mocking both classic literature and historians, Irving was bold enough to even include a list of people, professions and properties that he intended to make fun of. Though Irving mixes fact with fiction, A Knickerbocker’s History of New York provides useful insight on the history of Dutch Americans, as well as contributing thoughtful social commentary that finds itself still applicable to modern society.
Now featuring a stunning new cover design and a modern font, this edition of Washington Irving’s A Knickerbocker’s History of New York is both accessible and entertaining.