The Cat Men of Gotham received a stellar review in the April 1, 2019 issue of Booklist!
The Cat Men of Gotham: Tales of Feline Friendships in Old New York.
By Peggy GavanMay 2019. 254p. Rutgers, $19.95 (9781978800229). 636.8
Cats, they say, have nine lives. If so, then the 42 felines featured in Gavan’s notable niche history of nineteenth-century New York exhausted their allotment and then some. From death-defying felines that survived explosions at sea to life-affirming cats whose presence brought luck to their caregivers, these plucky, scrappy, feisty, and gentle cats witnessed some of the city’s and the country’s most pivotal events and cavorted with humans notorious and obscure alike. Take Tom, the tabby who miraculously survived the explosion of the USS Maine, or Bambino, the little black kitten who wiggled his way into Mark Twain’s heart. Charming as they are, such feline escapades do double-duty, providing the pretext for Gavan’s epically researched history of New York’s architectural, cultural, and social history. Each cat’s tale is the catalyst for riveting backstories of the police stations, theaters, speakeasies, and hotels that have always made Manhattan a mecca for the rich and powerful, the quiet and quirky. A fun and factual adventure that appeals to cat lovers and history buffs alike.
— Carol Haggas