The Great Mistake

by Jonathan Lee is a rich novel based on the real-life and death of Andrew Haswell Green, a forgotten but important figure in the development of modern New York City. In 1903, Green was shot dead in front of his home on Park Avenue at age 83. Lee skillfully traces two storylines in the book: the police investigation into his death and the engaging story of Green’s life, from an ill-suited Massachusetts farm boy to a self-made man. This is a fascinating look at Gilded Age New York and the extraordinary man who shaped much of it.