It was 1964 when "New York: A Mod Portrait of the City" was created in all of its colorful glory, but it wasn't until 1968 that it was actually published. And it was that year that the Czechoslovakian secret police destroyed the entire print run of Zdenek Mahler and Vladimir Fuka's book... all but one copy, that is. That one copy was discovered by Mahler's grandson Simon in 2008, and yesterday it finally made it to American bookshelves (in 2008, a Czech publisher also put it out).
Mahler—who lives in New York City now and unearthed the lone copy with his grandfather—told the Daily Beast, "When I saw it I thought it was absolutely incredible and a huge shame it never published. I thought it was ridiculous something like this was going to be lying in some stack of paper, so I told him he should try to have someone publish it."
According to the (updated) book's summary, this "half century old, timeless illustrated classic artfully captures the Mad Men era... New York City is poetically celebrated in Vladimir Fuka's brilliant, colorful illustrations and collages and Zdenek Mahler's playful accompanying narrative. The book takes readers on a charming journey of discovery through the magnificent metropolis's architectural landmarks, cultural hot spots, and neighborhoods, from uptown to downtown, from Wall Street to Coney Island, and the Guggenheim Museum to Yankee Stadium. Interesting historical fun facts about the city and its inhabitants are combined with descriptions of the reality of everyday New York."
And so a pretty, 1960s era guidebook to New York is now the perfect coffee table book.