Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul

Dey St: HarperCollins. Jul. 2017. 480p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062439697. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062439703. SOC SCI
In his first book, blogger Moss ( explicitly states his bias toward the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan. He says at the outset that he doesn't consider the other parts of New York to be real, setting up his own classism and making readers perceive the inclusion of Harlem (and the South Bronx) to be tokenism at worst. Gentrification cannot easily be covered in its entirety, even within the borders of the five boroughs (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island) and focusing on his favorite neighborhoods could have worked if Moss had better contextualized them. The author effectively distills the histories of neighborhoods he knows well, particularly those of lower Manhattan, and he explains some of the more recent shifting class conflicts. Yet, he does not include people impacted by hypergentrification, who live in "not New York," places such as the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. His research is lightweight and, unfortunately, he quotes from other news stories instead of speaking directly to residents of the neighborhoods covered.
VERDICT Point patrons to WNYC's eight-part radio series about gentrification in Brooklyn instead.
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