New Yorkers: A City and Its People in Our Time by Craig Taylor (John Murray Press), £25.

New Yorkers tells the city’s storied present in the words of its citizens. Seventy-five doughty varieties. Craig Taylor, the author, is silent. Taylor’s bravest act in writing this book – subtitled, A City and Its People In Our Time – is to keep out of the way; preface and Coda apart there is no Taylor here. In an age of author’s “Me! Me! Me!” complexes his schtick is “Them! Them! Them!” Let the people speak.