SOCIAL SCIENCES

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

Ecco: HarperCollins. Apr. 2013. 640p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062078193. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062078209. HIST
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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.

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