These History Books With Westchester Ties Are True Page-Turners

Explore these riveting books for a range of ages that touch upon meaningful moments in history in Westchester and beyond.

Westchester recommendations are objective, unbiased, and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Ready to crush your reading goals for the new year? These books will get you started with history lessons and page-turning details galore.

Street Corner Dreams

Street Corner Dreams: A Novel

By Florence Reiss Kraut
She Writes Press (2023), 320 pages (pbk, kindle)

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This gripping piece of historical fiction by Rye resident Florence Reiss Kraut brings the Great Depression back to vivid life, telling the tale of a family struggling to survive in 1930s Brooklyn. The author of 2020’s How to Make a Life: A Novel, Kraut’s newest book is a suspenseful family saga combining gangsters, page-turning romance, and impossible choices. It tells the tale of Golda, who marries her brother-in-law, Ben, after her sister dies giving birth to a son named Morty. When Morty turns to local gangsters to help his father out of a difficult spot, he is forced to flee and must fight to regain his family and the woman he loves.

Jackie and the Books She Loved

Jackie and the Books She Loved

By Ronni Diamondstein
Illustrated by Bats Langley
Sky Pony (2023), 36 pages (hc, kindle)

Children are invited to explore the literary world of former first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis in this colorfully illustrated book by Chappaqua’s Ronni Diamondstein. A celebration both of reading and the life of Onassis, Jackie and the Books She Loved follows JFK’s wife from her earliest years as a child cozying up to Chekhov stories and drafting poems to her later years as a capable journalist, doting mother, self-possessed first lady, and finally, an accomplished editor. It all amounts to an inviting children’s book that details the impressive contributions of one woman to history, and the ways in which literature guided her throughout her life.

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Westchester County: A History

By Field Horne
2018, 257 pages (hc, pbk)

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An American-history expert, multi-published author, and longtime member of the Westchester County Historical Society, Field Horne crafted this illustrious coffee-table book to detail the county’s story over the last 200 years. It features in-depth information about the region, including its tremendous development, and showcases both archival photography and more than 100 full-color photos — a great resource for any history or Westchester buff.

The Hudson Valley: The First 250 Million Years

By David Levine
Global Pequot Press (2020), 320 pages (hc, pbk, kindle)

Albany-based writer David Levine delivers an engaging read by infusing humor and personal stories into this collection of essays, which chronicle the deep history of the area, beginning with prehistoric times and dinosaurs to the first European settlers, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and up to modern times. Released in 2020, The Hudson Valley is Levine’s seventh published book.

Westchester: History of an Iconic Suburb

By Robert Marchant
McFarland & Company (2018), 255 pages (pbk, kindle)

Croton-on-Hudson resident and reporter Robert Marchant covered Westchester County for many years before he published this debut volume, steeped in research and study. Describing the region’s past, starting with its settlement until the present day, it delineates both the area’s significance and its social history, including slavery, suffragettes, political riots, and assassinations. Contemporary engravings and photographs, some of which haven’t been published before, add exclusivity.

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The Life of Benedict Arnold: His Patriotism and His Treason

The Life of Benedict Arnold: His Patriotism and His Treason

By Isaac N. Arnold
HVA Press (2019), 450 pages (hc, pbk, kindle)

While Benedict Arnold’s name is synonymous with treason, many may not know who the major general was before becoming the Revolutionary War’s most infamous turncoat. Descendant and former congressman Isaac Arnold gives a look into the downfall of the notorious figure, who attempted to betray the Continental Army right in our backyard, at West Point, including who he really was, why he was considered “the bravest of the brave,” and what his motives were. Originally published in 1880, this book was republished in 2019, as it had not been available in bookstores for more than 100 years.

Images of Rail: Rails Around Westchester County

Images of Rail: Rails Around Westchester County

By Kent Patterson
Arcadia Publishing (2019), 128 pages (pbk)

Transportation aficionados will revel in this thorough yet concise book on the history of the railroads surrounding Westchester County (including our modern-day lines: Harlem, Hudson, and New Haven), as told by Dobbs Ferry native and former MTA Metro-North employee Kent Patterson, who also authored Westchester County Airport.

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