A History of New York (Penguin Classics) by Washington Irving

By Washington Irving

For the bicentennial of its unique publication-the first full-length e-book from the daddy of the yank brief story

In 1809, New Yorkers have been humming a couple of sequence of advertisements about the whereabouts of Dutch historian Diedrich Knickerbocker. They have been unaware that Washington Irving had invented the fellow solely and put the advertisements himself. Knickerbocker's purported manuscript, A background of latest York, used to be Irving's personal. informed from Knickerbocker's perspective, A background of latest York is a chronicle of recent York's fifty years less than Dutch rule within the 1600s that performs speedy and free with the evidence, to uproarious impact. Irving's good-humored spoofing had endurance, and his satire supplied town with its first self-portrait. A background of recent York propelled Irving to the heights of literary stardom or even made a bit historical past of its personal: New Yorkers are referred to as Knickerbockers to this present day.

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Sample text

He was talkative, but all the time he sat with his head high, turning it swiftly this way and that, for all the world like a scared partridge on a tree branch. The jeeps bounced and almost threw people out, but not quite. Shots were fired at them and bullets whined overhead; they hit it up to sixty or seventy miles an hour, and it was most exhilarating. They stopped in front of the town hall, which was the CP, busy as a beehive. The passengers got out and announced themselves. The commander here was Lieutenant Colonel Cherry, who came from Georgia and was courteous, like all Southerners; he was a much worried officer and looked as if he hadn’t slept or eaten since the day before yesterday.

These and other things you had to learn, and your first mistake might be your last. They heard the sound of engines and backed away into a thicket and lay flat. They carried automatic guns and about their waists a string of grenades, objects like gourds with long necks. Behind them came Panzerfaust teams and officers, then medical-aid men, all precisely spaced. But it wasn’t; it was just one Panzer Grenadier Battalion, and the Germans were sending in four whole divisions of them, about sixty thousand men; also four Wehrmacht Panzer Divisions, that is, of the regular Army, and four SS Panzer Divisions, who were Hitler’s own chosen troops, his private army, as you might say, trained from childhood to be cruel and deadly killers.

On the other hand, what were Lanny Budd’s personal chances if he surrendered? He had destroyed all his papers and could give a false name and might get by with it. But he had traveled all over Germany, ever since boyhood, and had known literally thousands of Germans, especially of the officer class and among the Nazis of the ruling group. Wasn’t it certain that they would apply all the fancy kinds of scientific torture they had devised to make him reveal the names of his accomplices? So why not die quickly and take a few highly trained enemy troops along with him?

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