Low Life (Vintage Departures) Paperback – 1 Oct 1992
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"A cacophonous poem of democracy and greed, like the streets of New York themselves." --John Vernon, " Los Angeles Times Book Review"
A cacophonous poem of democracy and greed, like the streets of New York themselves. "John Vernon, Los Angeles Times Book Review"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Sante does a fantastic job of recounting the dark underbelly of New York City in the 19th and early 20th century, going into gory details about the horrible poverty along the Bowery and Lower East Side (areas that have seen extensive gentrification since the late 1980s), the filthy streets and disease outbreaks among the city's immigrant masses, the proliferation of street gangs (some of whom were representing NYC police) and other, well, "low lifes." Sante gives an engaging, well-paced description of the oft-overlooked problems a booming industrial-age city like New York was going through and boldly goes where no historian has gone before.
Required reading if you are a NYC (or urban) history fan.
My advice: if you want to truly understand New York, read this book.