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There are countless books to read if you want to learn more about this area’s history, culture, and architecture. Some good ones to start with include “Building the City Beautiful,” by David Bruce Brownlee; “Rebels and Gentlemen,” by Carl Bridenbaugh; “Civil War Issues in Philadelphia,” by William Dusinberre; “Philadelphia: Portrait of an American City,” by Edwin Wolf II; “Miracle at Philadelphia,” by Catherine Drinker Bowen; “The Philadelphia Negro,” by W. E. B. Du Bois; and “Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia,” and “Philadelphia Gentlemen: The Making of a National Upper Class,” both by E. Digby Baltzell.
For first-hand accounts of historical natives, three biographies—John Lukac’s “Philadelphia: Patricians & Philistines,” John McCallum’s “That Kelly Family,” and “Joseph Daughen’s “The Cop Who Would Be King,”—are all worth a read.
For current information on the happenings in Philadelphia, check out Philadelphia magazine , The Philadelphia Inquirer , and the Philadelphia Daily News . There are also two alternative weeklies: the City Paper and Philadelphia Weekly .
Always browse any or all Travel Pictorial books about a country, region or a natural wonder of the world . You will find excellent photography to view at leisure. Check out any bookstore or library ( lending or reference ).
Always glance through any Travel Guide for the region you are planning to visit. You will always find some nuggat of useful information. The layout and content will always vary with the publisher. Every traveller should make it a priority to browse one or all of the guides listed below. It will be a great education to browse the layout and view the excellent photography. You decide which of the travel guide(s) you like the best.
Browse the children's or junior section of your local library for travel and geography guides. You will find a variety of guides to countries, regions or natural wonders of the world. The majority of these guides will be less than fifty pages in length. They will contain an excellent overview of a country etc. They are an excellent introduction to travel for a novice traveller.