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The Village


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About the Author

John Strausbaugh covered downtown Manhattan history and culture as a writer and editor for the weekly New York Press from 1988 through 2002. For the New York Times he wrote and hosted the "Weekend Explorer" series of articles, videos, and podcasts on New York City history. He has also written for the Washington Post, NPR, and PBS. His previous books include E: Reflections on the Birth of the Elvis Faith, Rock 'Til You Drop, and Black Like You. A former resident of Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, and Hell's Kitchen, he now lives in Brooklyn Heights.


"[A] loving and thoroughly researched look at what [Strausbaugh] calls 'a zone of rogues and outcasts from the start.' ... Fine social history humanized with a sort of paradise-lost wistfulness." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Strausbaugh has produced the definitive history of America's bohemian wellspring and prototypical modern neighborhood with all the verve and fun and rigor it deserves." -- Kurt Andersen, bestselling author of True Believers and Heyday "A great, sprawling saga of genius and vice in New York City's Greenwich Village. John Strausbaugh captures Bohemia at its best and level worst, reminding us why we love this place. His account is breathtaking." -- Teresa Carpenter, bestselling author of New York Diaries "The very best kind of cultural history: Literate, lucid, erudite, and entertaining." -- Michael Lesy, author of Murder City: The Bloody History of Chicago in the Twenties

More than a geographical location, New York City's Greenwich Village represents a state of mind-one generally associated with creativity, rebellion, and bohemianism. In this sweeping study, Strausbaugh (Black Like You) acknowledges these themes as he traces the history of the Village from its early settlement in the 1600s to the present day. He examines its role in the arts within the context of broader issues and periods such as Prohibition, World War II, McCarthyism, organized crime, and gay liberation. Among the writers, artists, and musicians discussed are Amy Lowell, Maxwell Bodenheim, Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, Jackson Pollock, Larry Rivers, Charlie Parker, Bob Dylan, and Edward Albee; portraits from other walks of life include Vincent "Chin" Giganti, Ed Koch, and Jane Jacobs. It is the greater emphasis on political and sociological issues as well as a wider time frame that sets this book apart from earlier works such as Ross Wetzsteon's Republic of Dreams: Greenwich Village; The American Bohemia, 1910-1960. -VERDICT The most comprehensive, up-to-date history of Greenwich Village, this book will appeal to a wide audience, particularly those interested in an interdisciplinary approach to the subject.-William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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