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The New York Society Library: Professor Paul Collins wins a New York City Book Award
Author: The New York Society Library
Posted: May 14, 2014

New York, NY—The New York Society Library is proud to announce the winners of the 2013 New York City Book Awards.

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Award for History: Paul Collins, Duel with the Devil: The True Story of How Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Teamed Up to Take on America’s First Sensational Murder Mystery (Crown)

Award for Architecture: Phyllis Lambert, Building Seagram (Yale University Press)

Award for Photography: Benjamin Swett, New York City of Trees (The Quantuck Lane Press)

The Hornblower Award for a First Book: Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, Enemies Within: The NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America (Touchstone)

The winning authors and publishers will be honored at a ceremony and reception on May 6, 2014 at 6:00 PM at the Library, 53 East 79th Street (at Madison). Awards will be presented by awards jury members Andrew Scott Dolkart (award winner for The Row House Reborn, 2009), Peter Salwen (author of Upper West Side Story, 1989), Ella Foshay (author of John James Audubon, 1997), and Barnet Schecter (author of George Washington’s America, 2010). The ceremony is by invitation and for members of the New York Society Library.

About the Awards
The New York City Book Awards, established in 1996, honor books of literary quality or historical importance that, in the opinion of the selection committee, evoke the spirit or enhance appreciation of New York City. It is not necessary that the city be the major subject of the book, but it must play an essential, invigorating role beyond that of the setting. The annual Hornblower Award, made possible by the George Marshall Hornblower Trust, is given to an excellent New York City-related book by a first-time author. More information and a complete list of past winners is available here. http://www.nysoclib.org/events/new-york-city-book-awards

The jury for 2013-2014 is chaired by Lucienne Bloch and includes James Atlas, Andrew Scott Dolkart, Ellen Feldman, Ella Foshay, Bobbie Leigh, Jean Parker Phifer, Peter Salwen, and Barnet Schecter. The 2013-2014 New York City Book Awards are generously underwritten by Ellen M. Iseman.

About the Winners

Duel with the Devil is acclaimed historian Paul Collins’ remarkable true account of a stunning turn-of-the-19th century murder and the trial that ensued – a showdown in which iconic political rivals Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr joined forces to make sure justice was done. Still our nation’s longest running “cold case,” the mystery of Elma Sands finally comes to a close with this book, which delivers the first substantial break in the case in over 200 years. At once an absorbing legal thriller and an expertly crafted portrait of the United States in the time of the Founding Fathers, Duel with the Devil is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction.

Phyllis Lambert’s Building Seagram is also the winner of the 2013 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE), in the Architecture & Urban Planning category. Considered one of the greatest icons of twentieth-century architecture, the Seagram building was commissioned by Samuel Bronfman, founder of the Canadian distillery dynasty Seagram. Bronfman’s daughter Phyllis Lambert was twenty-seven years old when she took over the search for an architect and chose Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969), a pioneering modern master of what he termed “skin and bones” architecture. Through her choice, Lambert established her role as a leading architectural patron and singlehandedly changed the face of American urban architecture. Building Seagram is a comprehensive personal and scholarly history of a major building and its architectural, cultural, and urban legacies.

About Benjamin Swett’s New York City of Trees: We know that trees improve living conditions in cities by filtering and cooling the air, absorbing excess rainwater, and making neighborhoods more attractive. But little has been said about their role as keepers of a city’s past. In this collection of personal narratives, historical observations, and color photographs, Benjamin Swett focuses on trees with stories to tell, adding a warm and welcome narrative that is unique to the city and its cosmopolitan character. The stories of these trees from all five boroughs—some dating back to the Revolutionary era and before—link the living with the past in an unusual, engaging way.

For Americans who wonder, “How safe are we?” Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman  pull back the curtain to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of our counterterrorism measures. Chillingly, their real-life domestic spy story—based on hundreds of previously unpublished New York Police Department internal memos and exclusive interviews with intelligence sources—indicates that many of those strategies aren’t even close to being useful, functional, or successful. Enemies Within answers the tough questions about the effectiveness of the measures we take to protect ourselves from real and false threats. Its shocking details about the tactics and activities of the NYPD will be headline news and reveal what it really takes to hunt down terrorists in America. Apuzzo and Goldman received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

About the Library
: Founded in 1754, the Library is open to all for reading, reference, and many events. Circulation and other services are available to members. Our landmark building houses over 300,000 volumes, reading rooms, study spaces, a children’s library, and an exhibition gallery. The Library is a not-for-profit organization supported in part by tax-deductible contributions. As New York City’s oldest cultural institution, The New York Society Library is uniquely qualified to give the New York City Book Awards.