With more than 10 years of experience writing about history at Hudson Valley magazine, it’s no surprise that David Levine’s new book, The Hudson Valley: The First 250 Million Years, is so in-depth. His book is a one-stop shop for Hudson Valley history; readers will be able to venture into topics including dinosaurs, Alexander Hamilton, and the opening of the Tappan Zee Bridge (now Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge), all within 208 pages.
Along with showcasing the Valley history you may have heard of, the book peppers in surprising stories teachers did not tell us in the high school classroom. Such highlights include Putnam County being the result of a secession from Dutchess County in 1812, which featured Levine’s pithy zinger, “Taxation without canine representation was the last straw.”
While Levine’s writing is authoritative, he exhibits a refreshing awareness of biases throughout history, one that history writers often fail to acknowledge. He is unafraid to point out when historical memory favors white, land-owning men.
Whether you are a history hound or a mere dabbler, this book provides ample opportunity to learn about an area that has been integral to the United States’ history. Plus, you cannot help but love Levine’s kooky anecdotes.
208 pgs, Globe Pequot, $26.95 (hc)