St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America's Hippest Street

Norton. Nov. 2015. 432p. photos. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780393240382. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393249798. HIST
In her debut work, journalist Calhoun (New York Post, New York Times Magazine, The New Republic) focuses on immense societal and historical change, looking at the history of one particular place that experienced, what seems like, every revolution possible. St. Marks Place, located in New York City's East Village, hosted a wide variety of people and businesses as well as artistic and political movements. Calhoun covers the area from ancient times to the present, peeling into the lives of major players such as poet W.H. Auden, artist Andy Warhol, and musicians such as the Beastie Boys, while also showcasing interviews and images from everyday visitors, including shop owners and terrified residents.
VERDICT Keeping track of this book's wide cast of characters can be challenging, but it is riveting to get an up-close and personal look at the broad range of changes in such a small area. Observing the city evolve through the narratives of people that were actually there makes for an absorbing read. Those interested in NYC history and its many revolutions will enjoy. [See Prepub Alert, 5/11/15.]

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month

Like this premium article? Subscribe to LJ and get all of our premium content at your fingertips for 12 months.