SOCIAL SCIENCES

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
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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.]

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