Hacker, who teaches at Queens College, and intoned The End of the American Era (1970) somewhat morosely, encourages you about New York in the first chapter by corroborating that it is fine for younger, single, and more ""adventuresome"" people; the last line of the book will drop you right down a manhole: ""Those who enjoy its life should make the most of it, for it can't last."" This study of its people and problems is primarily based on an extrapolation of statistics and Hacker is well aware that they can be muzzier and trickier than they seem (particularly anent crime); especially since many of them are derived from the Census (1970 versus 1950) and the deterioration of life here has only too evidently gone up or rather clown considerably since 1970. However in 122 pages of analysis (plus apparatus) he gives you a lot to think about before you talk back. (E.g., the fourfold increase in the welfare population cannot be oversimplified by the fact that ""fathers have fewer compunctions about walking out on families"" without developing the etiology of poverty.) Hacker discusses communities (the blacks must save themselves via local organization -- but what of the streets of abandoned, boarded-up houses landlords cannot afford to maintain at present rent-controlled figures?); urban poverty (Hacker claims it's not as acute as rural and less than in other cities); the neglected elderly; ethnicity (not as important as ""variations in wealth, outlook and living styles""); employment and income levels; this and much more in a metropolis only favoring or favored by diehard cosmopolitans. Only half of the New Yorkers actually prefer to stay there. A thoughtful and frightening precis of where they're at in Fun City which may no longer even be a good place to visit.