The Downtown Pop Underground: New York City and the Literary Punks, Renegade Artists, DIY Filmmakers, Mad Playwrights, and Rock 'n' Roll Glitter Queens Who Revolutionized Culture

Abrams. Oct. 2018. 368p. photos. notes. ISBN 9781419732522. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781683353454. BIOG
Countless stories of singers, actors, and writers moving to New York City to find success are interwoven into the fabric of America. The creativity bursting from the city's out-of-the-way places, however, is even more fascinating than Broadway or the Guggenheim. These are the places that would become the growing medium for whole new artistic forms. The scope of this book from McLeod (communications studies, Univ. of Iowa; Pranksters) is, at first, broad, examining varied but intertwining artistic movements from the mid-20th century, primarily in Manhattan neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village, SoHo, and the East Village. It then takes readers from the mid-1950s to well into the 1970s, covering developments in art, folk, rock and classical music, poetry and writing, journalism, theater, performance art, and more, along with icons such as Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, and David Johansen. The author covers plenty of ground smoothly and organically, immersing readers in this exciting period.
VERDICT For those interested in 20th-century American art, music, and literary history.

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