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Preface Cruising the River of Dreams In addition to offering travelers extraordinary vistas of natural beauty, the Hudson River has inspired political, economic, and artistic revolutions and holds an unrivaled place in American history. But beyond the forces that made the Hudson “America’s River,” its valley has exerted a magnetic attraction that drew the most ambitious individuals to its shores and towns. The entire region became an arena in which the patroon, the plebe, and the plutocrat could fulfill their grandest dreams, a magical venue that encouraged even the most outlandish visions. The historical images that follow take readers on a unique journey upriver. Many of the places shown no longer exist, while others have greatly changed. From New York Harbor to the Adirondack Mountains, the images create a slow passage through scenic wonders, historical sites, and diverse monuments to individual egos. There are thousands of postcards that show the life of the Hudson River, but our selection emphasizes its multifaceted personality. Allow these vivid images to transport you along the River of Dreams. Preface vii ...

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