Bill's Books

Sex, Suffrage, & Scandal
in Gilded Age New York


A nonfiction narrative of 1872 New York, a city convulsing with social upheaval and sexual revolution and beset with all the excitement and challenges a moment of transformation brings.
From Chicago Review Press, April 2020
And from New York's Dutch Era

A Novel of New Amsterdam

The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan


"[A] romp through the history of New Netherland that would surely have Petrus Stuyvesant complaining about the riot transpiring between its pages."

- de Halve Maen, Journal of the Holland Society of New York

News & Views

Book Talk

Join me in Conversation with New York State Archivist Tom Ruller about A Dirty Year


Now On YouTube

On New York

"The most fascinating, the most comic, the most tragic living, breathing movie in the world."

 - Description of Times Square by Kitty Marion, c. 1918

"I lost my fear of the city the day I flew over it . . .Two miles below you, Manhattan seemed but a lizard lazing in the sunlight of a September noon.

- Journalist Gene Fowler, who moved to NYC from Denver, c. 1915

On Writing

“Writing is very convenient, has a low expense and is a great way to pass the time. I highly recommend it to any old rocker who is out of cash and doesn’t know what to do next.”

 - Neil Young, on writing his autobiography after breaking his toe.

“You think out what actually happened, you tell friends long stories about it, you mull it over in your mind, you connect it together at leisure, then when the time comes to pay the rent again you force yourself to sit at the typewriter, or at the writing notebook, and get it over with as fast as you can.”

- Jack Kerouac

On LIfe

"There are many in this old world of ours who hold that things break about even for all of us.  I have observed for example that we all get the same amount of ice.  The rich get it in the summertime and the poor get it in the winter."

- Bat Masterson, found on his typewriter when he died, 1931.

"The cure for a horrible day is to go to bed early and start over in the morning."

- Garrison Keillor, 2021