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Getting Up


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The presence of graffiti is a constant reminder that we have lost control of our environment and an intrusion on the privacy of our riders. Given these circumstances, any thorough study into the root causes of this unwelcome element, such as Mr. Castleman's book, should prove helpful. -- Arthur G. Perfall, Assistant Executive Director for Public Affairs This book is the first and only study of a subculture which has spread its mark all over the city. It tells us about a world that sets its stamp upon urban culture, but one about which most of us know little. No one has really penetrated this culture before... Castleman worked on this for years, and has produced a book which, to my mind, deserves to stand with Whyte's Street Corner Society and Liebow's Tally's Corner. The main virtue of the book is describing who these people are, how they get recruited, how they work, what motivates them, how they relate themselves to school, society, policy, what they think they are trying to achieve in Getting Up-- that is, marking the cars. -- Nathan Glazer, Professor of Education, Harvard


A concise descriptive history of subway graffiti...well organized, informative and well illustrated....No matter if one judges subway graffiti to be art or pollution, one comes away from Getting Up admiring the ingenuity of the young writers. -Robert R. Harris, The New York Times Book Review

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