Humans of New York Book Summary - Humans of New York Book explained in key points

Humans of New York summary

Brandon Stanton

Brief summary

Humans of New York is a captivating collection of photographs and personal stories that provides a glimpse into the lives of diverse individuals in New York City. It highlights the beauty of human connection and the power of storytelling.

Give Feedback
Table of Contents

    Humans of New York
    Summary of key ideas

    Exploring the Lives of New Yorkers

    In Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton, we are taken on a journey through the streets of New York City, exploring the lives of its diverse inhabitants. Stanton, a photographer, began his project in 2010 with the simple goal of photographing 10,000 New Yorkers and plotting their portraits on a map. However, as he started to engage with his subjects, he realized that their stories were just as important as their pictures.

    Stanton's approach to his subjects is unique. He stops random people on the streets, takes their picture, and then asks them a simple question: “What’s your greatest struggle right now?” The answers he receives are often raw, honest, and deeply personal. These responses form the heart of Humans of New York, providing a window into the lives of people we might otherwise pass by without a second thought.

    Stories of Struggle and Triumph

    As we delve deeper into Humans of New York, we encounter a myriad of stories. We meet a young woman who is struggling with depression, a man who is trying to rebuild his life after being released from prison, and a couple who are dealing with the challenges of raising a child with special needs. These stories are not always easy to read, but they are always deeply human, filled with resilience, hope, and the will to survive.

    Stanton's photographs are equally powerful. They capture the essence of his subjects, revealing their emotions, struggles, and triumphs. Each picture is accompanied by a brief caption, often a direct quote from the person in the photograph. These captions provide context and depth, allowing us to connect with the individuals on a more personal level.

    Empathy and Understanding

    One of the most significant achievements of Humans of New York is its ability to foster empathy and understanding. By sharing these intimate stories, Stanton breaks down the barriers that often separate us from one another. He shows us that, despite our differences, we all share the same fundamental human experiences: love, loss, joy, and pain.

    Stanton's project has also led to tangible change. In one instance, he shared the story of a young boy from a rough neighborhood who dreamed of becoming a chef. The response from the Humans of New York community was overwhelming, leading to a fundraising campaign that raised over a million dollars to send the boy and his classmates on a trip to Harvard University.

    A Celebration of Humanity

    In the end, Humans of New York is a celebration of humanity in all its forms. It reminds us that every person we encounter has a story, a struggle, and a unique perspective on the world. It encourages us to look beyond the surface and to approach others with compassion and understanding.

    As we close the book, we are left with a profound sense of connection. We may never meet the individuals featured in Humans of New York, but their stories have touched us, reminding us of our shared humanity and the power of empathy. In a city often characterized by its hustle and bustle, Stanton has managed to capture the quiet, human moments that make New York City, and indeed the world, a place of endless fascination.

    Give Feedback
    How do we create content on this page?
    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Humans of New York about?

    Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton is a captivating collection of photographs and personal stories that offer a glimpse into the lives of everyday people in New York City. Through intimate interviews and stunning portraits, the book celebrates the diversity and resilience of individuals, reminding us of the universal human experience that connects us all.

    Humans of New York Review

    Humans of New York (2013) captures the diverse stories of individuals in New York City, portraying their experiences and emotions through captivating photographs and snippets of their lives. Here's why this book is a compelling read:

    • Featuring a myriad of real people's raw emotions and life stories, it offers a unique and intimate glimpse into the human experience.
    • Each portrait is accompanied by heartfelt and authentic narratives, creating a powerful connection between the subjects and the readers.
    • The book's visual storytelling approach brings the bustling city to life through the lens of its residents, ensuring every page is filled with genuine emotion and relatability.

    Who should read Humans of New York?

    • Adults who are curious about the stories and experiences of diverse individuals
    • People who enjoy photography and visually captivating storytelling
    • Those looking for a thought-provoking and empathetic exploration of human connections

    About the Author

    Brandon Stanton is a photographer and author best known for his work on the blog Humans of New York. His project began in 2010 with the goal of capturing the diverse stories of people living in New York City. Stanton's intimate portraits and accompanying captions have resonated with millions of readers around the world. He has since published several books, including Humans of New York and Humans of New York: Stories, which further showcase the depth and humanity of his subjects.

    Categories with Humans of New York

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    32 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Humans of New York FAQs 

    What is the main message of Humans of New York?

    The main message of Humans of New York is to celebrate the diverse stories and humanity of individuals.

    How long does it take to read Humans of New York?

    Reading Humans of New York takes several hours, but the Blinkist summary can be read in just a few minutes.

    Is Humans of New York a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Humans of New York is worth reading for its moving and insightful portrayal of real people's lives.

    Who is the author of Humans of New York?

    Brandon Stanton is the author of Humans of New York.

    What to read after Humans of New York?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Humans of New York, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
    • The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis by Jose Saramago
    • Life and Times of Michael K by J. M. Coetzee
    • The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
    • One of Ours by Willa Cather
    • Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
    • A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
    • Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener
    • The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
    • Alanna by Tamora Pierce