Paradise Alley by Kevin Baker
A Novel

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They came by boat from a starving land—and by the Underground Railroad from Southern chains—seeking refuge in a crowded, filthy corner of hell at the bottom of a great metropolis. But in the terrible July of 1863, the poor and desperate of Paradise Alley would face a new catastrophe—as flames from the war that was tearing America in two reached out to set their city on fire.


About Kevin Baker

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Kevin Baker was born in August 1958, in Englewood, New Jersey and grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts. He graduated from Columbia University in New York City in 1980. He began his writing career directly after graduation. His first novel, Sometimes You See It Coming, based loosely on the life of Ty Cobb, was published in hardcover in 1993 and in paperback by HarperPaperbacks in the spring of 2003. Dreamland, part of Bakers New York City of Fire trilogy, was published by HarperCollins in 1999, and in paperback the following year. Paradise Alley was published by HarperCollins in 2002. Kevin was the chief historical researcher on Harold Evans' best-selling history, The American Century, published in 1999. He currently writes the monthly "In the News" column for American Heritage magazine, and has also been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Frankfurter Rundschau, Harpers magazine, Talk, and The Industry Standard.
Published January 1, 2002 by Perennial. 704 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Foremost is Ruth Dove, a rag-picker who has survived Ireland’s Potato Famine and the attentions of Dangerous Johnny Dolan, an embittered thief and murderer recently out of prison, and a ticking time bomb aimed in the direction of Ruth (with whom he fled Ireland, and who possesses a “treasure” Joh...

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Publishers Weekly

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In his second New York novel (after Dreamland), Baker takes a grisly event—the 1863 Civil War draft riots—and crafts a terrifying, human story bursting with all the calamity, brutality and power of the riots themselves, which may have been the worst civic disturbance in U.S. history.

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Entertainment Weekly

Unlike the film, Baker's sprawling saga (which follows 1999's turn-of-the-century-set Dreamland in a planned trilogy on bygone New York) centers on three Irish women: Deirdre, a lace-curtain housewife whose husband is fighting in the Civil War;

Nov 08 2002 | Read Full Review of Paradise Alley: A Novel

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