What are the best books about the history of Philadelphia?

asked by Anonymous
102 contributors
11 solutions
  1. 16

    #1Philadelphia

    Philadelphia

    Philadelphia: A 300-Year History is a comprehensive history book written by the Barra Foundation. It was originally published on October 17, 1982. It is about the history of one of America's founding cities.

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    Rakesh Malik
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "This was a really interesting history of a city that I don't know much about. I found myself going back to it time and time again to glean some more knowledge from it. "
  2. 13

    #2Embodied History

    Embodied History

    Embodied History: The Lives of the Poor in Early Philadelphia is a history book written by historian Simon P. Newman. It was released on May 16, 2003. It is centered on the lives of the less fortunate in Philadelphia's early era.

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  3. 12

    #3Jewish Quarter of Philadelphia

    Jewish Quarter of Philadelphia

    Jewish Quarter of Philadelphia: A History & Guide 1881-1930 is a comprehensive photo and history book written by Harry D. Boonin. It was originally published in April 1999 and details the history of the Jew district in Philadelphia.

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    Isabel Hurtado
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "A great book that focuses on the Jewish Quarter. It is full of history and interesting tidbits. I love that it is so specific because it can dive in a little deeper to each piece of information. Too often with history of books, they just skim the top of each story and move quickly on to the next one. Not so with this gem. "
  1. 10

    #4The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

    The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

    The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is a book by Benjamin Franklin that tells the story of his life. He shared his life lessons and how he got passed through all the struggles he had as an individual.

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    Olivia Thomas
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "It's a little presumptuous to write a "review" of a book as historically important as this, so I'll just give a few reasons why you should read it. It's well-written and engaging, even 200+ (nearing 300+; Franklin was born in 1706) years later. It stops in 1760, well before his involvement with the Revolution, but it covers in detail his youth, apprenticeships, the formation of his philosophy and ideals, and his path from poor roots to business and social success -- the first telling of the American Dream, the idea that a poor young man could Find His Fortune in the New World through enterprise, wisdom, and work. There is a high degree of self-hagiography here, and it would be amusing to tally up (for example) how many times Franklin praises himself vs. how many times he advises on the virtue of humility. He smooths over controversial topics like his illegitimate son, he doesn't mention his membership in the Freemasons, etc. The construction is also a bit rambling ("Then I did this thing. Next, I did another thing. Then I did a third thing"), but Franklin simply did so many interesting things -- even in this short slice of his life -- that the book is interesting despite that. There's a great deal of discussion on his scientific and inventive accomplishments, and he talks at length about his development of his own personal moral code and how he achieved business success (along with Franklin's Personal Method You Can Use for Self-Improvement -- in some ways, this is the first self-help book!)"
  2. 9

    #5The Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry

    The Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry

    The Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry: A History of Misery and Medicine is a history book written by historian J.P. Webster. It was published in May 2013 and is about the controversial hospital built in 1906.

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    Eric Black
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "I was born near Philly, and was given this book a while ago. Great history, great story-telling. I never knew about this hospital."
  3. 9

    #6Literary Philadelphia

    Literary Philadelphia

    Literary Philadelphia:: A History of Poetry and Prose in the City of Brotherly Love is a comprehensive study book written by Thom Nickels. It was released in November 2015. It is about the great literary icons of Philadelphia.

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    Rogelio Saucedo
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "There are books that discuss history and there are books that has you locked in on a certain even in history that you may or may not have known about . Well this is one is about Philadelphia, one of the best known city in the US also called city of brotherly love. Great story line that you should at least read once in your life. "
  4. 7

    #7Bring Out Your Dead

    Bring Out Your Dead

    Bring Out Your Dead: The Great Plague of Yellow Fever in Philadelphia in 1793 is a comprehensive study book written by J.H. Powell about the 1793 plague that hit Philadelphia. It has contributions from Kenneth Foster and Mary Jenkins.

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    Harini Trivedi
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "I think this is a good book, the cover looks pretty basic but the story inside is whats important to me. Love the author past books and i think people will enjoy reading this one. Recommend this one for everyone. "
  5. 5

    #8The Philadelphia Negro

    The Philadelphia Negro

    The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study is a comprehensive study book written by Edward Burghardt Du Bois. It was originally released in the 1890s and is now released with contribution and introduction from Elijah Anderson.

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    Megan Arnold
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "For the history (or sociology) buff, this is a very important book. At a time when journalism about conditions for black Americans was virtually nonexistent, Du Bois' work was groundbreaking. It's really an ethnographic study, and that makes it easy to relate to - even for a modern reader. I first encountered this in college, and I've recommended it to others. It's one of those books that you really should read, as an American. "
  6. 4

    #9City Of Sisterly And Brotherly Loves

    City Of Sisterly And Brotherly Loves
    City Of Sisterly And Brotherly Loves: Lesbian And Gay Philadelphia, 1945-1972 is a comprehensive history book written by Marc Stein. It was released in 2008. It is about the rights movement of homosexuals in Philadelphia.
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    Jeffrey Parker
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "I found this book interesting. It was full of facts and details that I was never aware of it. It gave a good view of Philadelphia in the 40s-70s and how homosexuals were treated. "
  7. 4

    #10The Peoples of Philadelphia

    The Peoples of Philadelphia

    The Peoples of Philadelphia: A History of Ethnic Groups and Lower-Class Life, 1790-1940 is a comprehensive study book written by Allen Davis and Mark Haller. It was originally published in October 1998. It is about the minorities in Philadelphia.

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    Sara Medina
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "While "The Peoples of Philadelphia" does a good job of writing about minorities and their struggles growing up in the city of Pennsylvania, it fails in terms of explaining the bigger picture. Minorities' struggles were prevalent during the book's time period of 1790 to 1940, but one can certainly find a history book that focuses instead on ALL of the important historical events of the time, especially for a city so influential in the founding of its country. "
  8. 2

    #11A Movement Without Marches

    A Movement Without Marches
    A Movement Without Marches: African American Women and the Politics of Poverty in Postwar Philadelphia is a comprehensive history book written by feminist Lisa Levenstein. It was originally released in April 2009.
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    Diana Welch
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "I need to learn more about Philadelphia before going there this summer, and I love history so I thought a book about the city's history would be great. This book would not work for me. It looks like an interesting read, but it is just about African American Women during a specific (postwar) period of Philadelphia's history. I am looking for something more broad, covering the whole city, over a much larger period of time."

Summary

Best What are the best books about the history of Philadelphia
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1PhiladelphiaBooks 16 Paid
2Embodied HistoryBooks 13 Paid
3Jewish Quarter of PhiladelphiaBooks 12 Paid
4The Autobiography of Benjamin FranklinBooks 10 Paid
5The Philadelphia State Hospital at ByberryBooks 9 Paid
6Literary PhiladelphiaBooks 9 Paid
7Bring Out Your DeadBooks 7 Paid
8The Philadelphia NegroBooks 5 Paid
9City Of Sisterly And Brotherly LovesBooks 4 Paid
10The Peoples of PhiladelphiaBooks 4 Paid
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