Gotham Logo Gotham Logo  
 
About The Gotham Center
Recent Books on NYC History
back to book list
Rats: Observations On The History And Habitat Of The City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants
by Robert Sullivan
Publisher: Bloomsbury 2003
Category: Non-fiction19th century20th centuryManhattanNeighborhoods
Avg Rating: (0 reviews)
Thoreau went to Walden Pond to live simply in the wild and contemplate his own place in the world by observing nature. Robert Sullivan went to a disused, garbage-filled little alley in lower Manhattan to contemplate the city and its lesser-known inhabitants-by observing the rat. Rats live in the world precisely where humans do; they survive on the effluvia of human society; they eat our garbage. While dispensing gruesomely fascinating rat facts and strangely entertaining rat-stories-everyone has one, it turns out-Sullivan gets to know not just the beast but its friends and foes: the exterminators, the sanitation workers, the agitators and activists who have played their part in the centuries-old war between human city dweller and wild city rat. With a notebook and night-vision gear, he sits nightly in the streamlike flow of garbage and searches for fabled rat-kings, sets out to trap a rat, and eventually travels to the Midwest to learn about rats in Chicago, Milwaukee, and other cities of America. With tales of rat fights in the Gangs of New York era and stories of Harlem rent strike leaders who used rats to win tenants basic rights, Sullivan looks deeper and deeper into the largely unrecorded history of the city and its masses-its herd-of-rats-like mob. Funny, wise, sometimes disgusting but always compulsively readable, Rats earns its unlikely place alongside the great classics of nature writing.

Reviews

(none)

Write a Review

On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the best,
How do you rate this book?
Please enter a title for your review:
Type your review in the space below:

Search Books
 

Featured Books

Trying Leviathan: The Nineteenth-Century New York Court Case That Put the Whale on Trial and Challenged the Order of Nature
by D. Graham Burnett
More

740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building
by Michael Gross
More

A House On The Heights
by Truman Capote
More

A Moment in the Sun
by John Sayles
More

Abandoned: Foundlings in Nineteenth-Century New York City
by Julie Miller
More

American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, The Birth of the "It" Girl and The Crime of the Century.
by Paula Uruburu
More

Fat of the Land: The Garbage Behind New York-The Last Two Hundred Years
by Benjamin Miller
More

Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners during the American Revolution
by Edwin G. Burrows
More

Gastropolis: Food and New York City
by Annie Hauck-Lawson and Jonathan Deutsch, eds.
More

Gravesend, Brooklyn: Then and Now
by Joseph Ditta
More

Half Slave Half Free
by David Manning
More

Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s
by Stefan M. Bradley
More

Here is New York
by E. B. White
More

Life on the Lower East Side: Photographs by Rebecca Lepkoff, 1937-1950
by Rebecca Lepkoff, Suzanne Wasserman, Peter Dans
More

Manhattan Projects: The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York
by Samuel Zipp
More

Nearest Thing to Heaven: The Empire State Building and American Dreams
by Mark Kingwell
More

New York City Trees: A Field Guide for the Metropolitan Area
by Edward Sibley Barnard
More

On the Town: One Hundred Years of Spectacle in Times Square
by Marshall Berman
More

On the Wall: Four Decades of Community Murals in NYC
by Janet Braun-Reinitz and Jane Weissman
More

Other People’s Money: Inside the Housing Crisis and the Demise of the Greatest Real Estate Deal Ever Made
by Charles Bagli
More

Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus
by Dean Jensen
More

The City’s End: Two Centuries of Fantasies, Fears, and Premonitions of New York’s Destruction
by Max Page
More

Categories
19th century
20th century
Architecture/Built Environment
Bronx
Brooklyn
Dutch/Colonial
Fiction
Immigration
Journal Articles
Leisure
Manhattan
Neighborhoods
Non-fiction
Papers/Dissertations
Photography/Art/Design
Politics
Queens
Reference
Staten Island
Tours
Transit
Urbanism
Wall Street
Waterfront

Donate Now!
Help support the Gotham Center.


Municipal Art Society's

Urban Center Books
Specializing in architecture and related subjects.



© Gotham Center for New York City History. All Rights Reserved.

The Gotham Center for New York City History
The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, Room 6103
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309
Telephone: 212-817-8460
FAX: 212-817-1541
E-mail: gotham@gc.cuny.edu