City on a Grid by Gerard Koeppel

Awards – Recognition

New York Society Library Winner 2015 NYC Books Award

Planetizen Top 10 Books of 2015

The Bowery Boys Ten Favorite NYC History Books of 2015

“The foundation of the city is its spatial organization, the way its streets meet and the way its citizens travel on them. Gerard Koeppel’s “City on a Grid” (Da Capo) tells the too little-known tale of how and why Manhattan came to be the waffle-board city we know. He shows us that the grid, far from being a long-range plan imposed by a class of managers, was the result more of a shrug, an inconclusive meeting, and a big “Why not?” — Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

Rarely does one come across a book that makes you rethink the city you thought you knew … . Koeppel’s masterful story-telling does that and more.” — Kate Ascher, author of The Works: Anatomy of a City

“I’ve spent most of my life walking the straight lines of the world’s greatest city, and have never thought to ask: Is this a different shape from other cities, and if so, why, and who did it? Koeppel’s book answers these questions, in an easygoing, good-humored manner, with interesting facts unearthed on nearly every page. This is one of those books you always wished would be written, and here it is. Indispensable for anyone interested in the history of New York and cities generally, and bound to fuel cocktail conversations up, down, and across the city for years to come.” — David Duchovny, actor, author, native New Yorker

The true story of the most notorious crime in American nautical history — a uniquely grotesque triple murder — and the long journey to truth.

The Herbert Fuller, a three-masted sailing ship loaded with New England lumber, left Boston bound for Buenos Aires on July 8, 1896 with twelve people on board: captain and owner Charles Nash, his wife and childhood sweetheart Laura, two mates, the “mulatto” steward, six crewmen, and one passenger. Just before 2 A.M. on the sixth day at sea, the captain, his wife, and the second mate were slaughtered in their individual bunkrooms with the ship’s axe, seven or eight blows apiece. Laura Nash was found with her thin nightgown pushed above her hips, her head and upper body smashed and deformed. Incredibly, no one saw or heard the killings . . . except the killer.

After a harrowing voyage back to port for the survivors, the killer among them, it didn’t take long for Boston’s legal system to convict the first mate, a naturalized American of mixed blood from St. Kitts. But another man on board, a twenty-year-old Harvard passenger from a proper family, had his own dark secrets. Who was the real killer, and what became of these two men? Not a Gentleman’s Work is the story of the fates of two vastly different men whose lives intersected briefly on one horrific voyage at sea — a story that reverberates with universal themes: inescapable terror, coerced confession, capital punishment, justice obscured by privilege, perseverance, redemption, and death by tortured soul.

Recent articles & appearances

Artist First Radio Network – Crime Beat  LISTEN

Leonard Lopate Show LISTEN

View Points Radio LISTEN

Talk Radio Europe LISTEN

WGTD’s The Morning Show with Greg Ber LISTEN

Gotham blog READ

The Huffington Post READ

New York Genealogical & Biographical Record READ

New York Times READ

The Real Deal LINK

Phi Beta Kappa The Key Reporter LINK


Talk at Martayan Lan, NYC WATCH

PBS Thirteen – Metrofocus WATCH

The Leonard Lopate Show – Jan 21, 2015

Roth on Wesleyan READ

The New York Times Sunday Book Review READ

The Wall Street Journal READ
Review by David Freeland
(not inside the wsj pay wall? google: koeppel grid wsj — the first result will be the article; click on it and you should get in)

The New York Times – Bookshelf READ
Review by Sam Roberts

The New Yorker READ
“Naked Cities: The Death and Life of Urban America.” by Adam Gopnik