Originally titled Men, Mains and Alligators, this book is an absolutely fascinating account of the history and topography of the vast regions under the streets of New York. Those who know New York cannot fail to be interested, often moved, by the histories of the first sewage system, founded by Aaron Burr as an instrument to attain nefarious ends, and out of which eventually grew the Chase Manhattan Bank; of the building of the Croton aqueduct; of the first subways, and how and why they were so long blocked by Tammany Hall. Even those who don't know New York may come to feel that they do after reading The World Beneath The City. Much of this material first appeared in the New Yorker, and, as usual with that magazine, the research is impeccable and the erudition handled with the lightest of touches. There is plenty here both to amuse and bemuse anybody.