The Village

The Village : 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, a History of Greenwich Village

4.15 (282 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The most famous neighborhood in the world, Greenwich Village has been home to outcasts of diverse persuasions for more than four hundred years, from half-free African slaves to working-class immigrants, artistic bohemians to politicians. Illustrated with thirty-two pages of black-and-white photos, "The Village" is John Strausbaugh's engaging narrative history of this unique New York neighborhood's life - a tapestry that unrolls across four centuries, from its origins as a rural frontier of New Amsterdam in the 1600s through its long reign as the Left Bank of America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to its current status as an affluent bedroom community and tourist magnet. Strausbaugh traces the way in which Greenwich Village has been a culture engine, a magnet of tolerance, freedom, creativity, and activism. It has long attracted nonconformists-artists, radicals, visionaries, misfits, and life-adventurers-who have collided, collaborated, fused and feuded, developing ideas and creating art, drama, poetry, literature, filmmaking, and folk music that transformed the world. Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, Marcel Duchamp, James Baldwin, Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, E. E.
Cummings, Emma Goldman, Margaret Sanger, Upton Sinclair, Anais Nin, Eugene O'Neill, Fiorello La Guardia, Gene Tunney, mobster Vincent Chin Gigante, Jackson Pollock, Merce Cunningham, Charlie Parker, Woody Guthrie, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Grace Paley, and Edmund White are among the many remarkable individuals who made the Village the pinnacle of culture, politics, and social movements in America and around the world. From Dutch farmers and Washington Square patricians to slaves and bohemians, Prohibition-era speakeasies to Stonewall, Abstract Expressionism to AIDS, the Triangle Shirt Waist fire to today's upscale condos and four-star restaurants, the connecting narratives of "The Village" tell a fresh story of America itself.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 640 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 771.1g
  • Ecco Press
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Two 16-Page Black and White Photo Inserts
  • 0062078194
  • 9780062078193
  • 712,937

Back cover copy

A lively anecdotal history of Greenwich Village, the prodigiously influential and infamous New York City neighborhood, from the 1600s to the presentThe most famous neighborhood in the world, Greenwich Village has been home to outcasts of diverse persuasions from "half-free" Africans to working-class immigrants, from artists to politicians for almost four hundred years. In his magisterial new book, cultural commentator John Strausbaugh weaves an absorbing narrative history of the Village, a tapestry that unrolls from its origins as a rural frontier of New Amsterdam in the 1600s through its long reign as the Left Bank of America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from its seat as the epicenter of the gay rights movement to its current status as an affluent bedroom community and tourist magnet.Strausbaugh "a particularly gifted chronicler of New Yorkiana" (Atlantic Monthly) traces the Village's role as a culture engine, a bastion of tolerance, freedom, creativity, and activism that has spurred cultural change on a national, and sometimes even international, scale. He brings to life the long line of famous nonconformists who have collided there, collaborating, fusing and feuding, developing the ideas and creating the art that forever altered societal norms. In these pages, geniuses are made and destroyed, careers are launched, and revolutions are born. Poe, Whitman, Cather, Baldwin, Kerouac, Mailer, Ginsberg, O'Neill, Pollock, La Guardia, Koch, Hendrix, and Dylan all come together across the ages, at a cultural crossroads the likes of which we may never see again.From Dutch farmers and Washington Square patricians to slaves and bohemians, from Prohibition-era speakeasies to Stonewall, from Abstract Expressionism to AIDS, and from the Triangle Shirtwaist fire to today's upscale condos and four-star restaurants, the connecting narratives of The Village tell the fresh and unforgettable story of America itself."
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Review quote

"[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
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About John Strausbaugh

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.
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Rating details

282 ratings
4.15 out of 5 stars
5 35% (100)
4 49% (138)
3 12% (35)
2 2% (6)
1 1% (3)
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