cover of book

Slumming in New York: From the Waterfront to Mythic Harlem
by Robert Dowling
University of Illinois Press, 2006
Cloth: 978-0-252-03194-6 | Paper: 978-0-252-07632-9
Library of Congress Classification PS374.N43D69 2007
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.009327471

This remarkable exploration of the underbelly of New York City life from 1880 to 1930 takes readers through the city's inexhaustible variety of distinctive neighborhood cultures. Slumming in New York samples a number of New York "slumming" narratives--including Stephen Crane's Bowery tales, Paul Laurence Dunbar's The Sport of the Gods, Hutchins Hapgood's The Spirit of the Ghetto, Jacob Riis's How the Other Half Lives, and Carl Van Vechten's Nigger Heaven--to characterize and examine the relationship between New York writing and the city's cultural environment.

Using the methods of ethnicity theory, black studies, regional studies, literary studies, and popular culture, Robert M. Dowling reveals the way in which "outsider" authors helped alleviate New York's mounting social anxieties by popularizing "insider" voices from neighborhoods as distinctive as the East Side waterfront, the Bowery, the Tenderloin's ""black Bohemia,"" the Jewish Lower East Side, and mythic Harlem.

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