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Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York

by

Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Luc Sante's Low Life is a portrait of America's greatest city, the riotous and anarchic breeding ground of modernity. This is not the familiar saga of mansions, avenues, and robber barons, but the messy, turbulent, often murderous story of the city's slums; the teeming streets--scene of innumerable cons and crimes whose cramped and overcrowded housing is still a prominent feature of the cityscape.

Low Life voyages through Manhattan from four different directions. Part One examines the actual topography of Manhattan from 1840 to 1919; Part Two, the era's opportunities for vice and entertainment--theaters and saloons, opium and cocaine dens, gambling and prostitution; Part Three investigates the forces of law and order which did and didn't work to contain the illegalities; Part Four counterposes the city's tides of revolt and idealism against the city as it actually was.

Low Life provides an arresting and entertaining view of what New York was actually like in its salad days. But it's more than simpy a book about New York. It's one of the most provocative books about urban life ever written--an evocation of the mythology of the quintessential modern metropplois, which has much to say not only about New York's past but about the present and future of all cities.

Review:

"A cacophonous poem of democracy and greed, like the streets of New York themselves." John Vernon, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Review:

"A rich delight. And for hapless New Yorkers who find themselves worn down by the present-day chaos of their city, Sante provides a strangely heartening reminder that nothing much has changed." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Low Life captures the rollicking atmosphere of city life during the period. In his first book, Mr. Sante...moves along swiftly, rarely bogging down in numbers, chronologies or social history." Hanna Rubin, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"[The author's] mastery of detail makes the opening chapters on Manhattan's landscape his strongest. Sante is a gifted writer about architecture and urban space." Christine Stansell, The New Republic

Review:

"A systematic, well-researched historical account of...corruption, vice, and miscellaneous mayhem...well-crafted and tightly written." The Boston Globe

Review:

"[F]ascinating and thought-provoking....This book is as lively and vivid as its subject matter. Highly recommended." Library Journal

Synopsis:

From opium dens to the Bowery's suicide saloons, this lively, learned work of outlaw urban history ushers readers through the dark heart of New York City in the years between 1840 and 1919.

About the Author

Luc Sante was born in Verviers, Belgium, and now lives in New York City. He is the author of Evidence, The Factory of Facts, and Walker Evans, and his work has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, and Harper's, among other publications. He teaches writing and the history of photography at Bard College.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Landscape
I The Body 3
II Home 23
III Streets 46
Part 2. Sporting Life
I The Lights 71
II Saloon Culture 104
III Hop 141
IV Chance 152
V The Lost Sisterhood 177
Part 3. The Arm
I Gangland 197
II Coppers 236
III The Tiger 251
IV Sainthood 278
V Rubberneckers 289
Part 4. The Invisible City
I Orphans 305
II The Drift 313
III Bohemia 320
IV Carnival 339
V Night 357
Afterword 363
A Note on Sources 381
Notes 391
Index 403

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374528997
Author:
Sante, Luc
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
Marginality, Social
Subject:
New York
Subject:
Manhattan
Subject:
General Travel
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
United States - State & Local - Middle Atlantic
Subject:
World History-General
Subject:
United States/State & Local/Middle Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA)
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1st Farrar, Straus Giroux pbk. ed.
Series Volume:
0509
Publication Date:
November 24, 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes black-and-white illustrations t
Pages:
460
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.51 x 1.32 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » New England and Mid Atlantic
History and Social Science » Americana » New York
History and Social Science » Americana » Northeast
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Travel » General

Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.00 In Stock
Product details 460 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374528997 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A cacophonous poem of democracy and greed, like the streets of New York themselves."
"Review" by , "A rich delight. And for hapless New Yorkers who find themselves worn down by the present-day chaos of their city, Sante provides a strangely heartening reminder that nothing much has changed."
"Review" by , "Low Life captures the rollicking atmosphere of city life during the period. In his first book, Mr. Sante...moves along swiftly, rarely bogging down in numbers, chronologies or social history."
"Review" by , "[The author's] mastery of detail makes the opening chapters on Manhattan's landscape his strongest. Sante is a gifted writer about architecture and urban space."
"Review" by , "A systematic, well-researched historical account of...corruption, vice, and miscellaneous mayhem...well-crafted and tightly written."
"Review" by , "[F]ascinating and thought-provoking....This book is as lively and vivid as its subject matter. Highly recommended."
"Synopsis" by , From opium dens to the Bowery's suicide saloons, this lively, learned work of outlaw urban history ushers readers through the dark heart of New York City in the years between 1840 and 1919.
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