The Works: Anatomy of a City (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This is the perfect book for adults and teenagers who grew up on David Macaulay and the DK Eyewitness books. A look into the workings of New York City, from the sewers, to the street lights, to the post office. It’s the kind of book that makes you wish for a rainy day, or any excuse to stay in and read.


— From The Works: Anatomy of a City


A fascinating guided tour of the ways things work in a modern city

Have you ever wondered how the water in your faucet gets there? Where your garbage goes? What the pipes under city streets do? How bananas from Ecuador get to your local market? Why radiators in apartment buildings clang? Using New York City as its point of reference, The Works takes readers down manholes and behind the scenes to explain exactly how an urban infrastructure operates. Deftly weaving text and graphics, author Kate Ascher explores the systems that manage water, traffic, sewage and garbage, subways, electricity, mail, and much more. Full of fascinating facts and anecdotes, The Works gives readers a unique glimpse at what lies behind and beneath urban life in the twenty-first century.

About the Author

Kate Ascher serves on the faculty of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and manages Happold Consulting’s U.S. practice. Prior to taking up her current positions, she worked at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and Vornado Realty Trust. Her other books include The Heights: Anatomy of a Skyscraper and The Way to Go: Moving by Sea, Land, and Air.

Praise For…

"The Works is both a reference guide and a geeky pleasure." —Time Out New York

"It's a rare person who won't find something of interest in The Works, whether it's an explanation of how a street-sweeper works or the view of what's down a manhole." —New York Post

Product Details
ISBN: 9780143112709
ISBN-10: 0143112708
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: November 27th, 2007
Pages: 240
Language: English