I am completely new to JOSM and I want to generate a map of a small part Manhattan, NY, that displays the streets and street names only (similar to a Google Maps) default image. Can anyone recommend a tutorial or a simple set of instructions for doing this. Would such a map the public domain? In other words could I put it at the beginning of a novel without violating anyone’s copyright?
You map cannot be in public domain, but you can distribute your map under the same license.
Please refer to the license. http://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright/en
There are some map examples here http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Using_OpenStreetMap/Map_examples
The default google map contains much more than road, even if no-one has contributed buildings and businesses in your area.
Unless some third party already has a service for producing such maps, producing them will require a steep learning curve as you will have to install a complex tool chain to render them from the underlying data.
Please remember that the rendered maps provide by OSM itself are tools to help mappers, not part of a general purpose map image production service.