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by Luc Sante
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 story of the city’s slums and teeming streets, scenes of innumerable cons and crimes, whose cramped and overcrowded housing is still a prominent feature of the cityscape.
Low Life is more than simply 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 metropolis that has much to say, not only about New York’s past, but also about the present and future of all cities.
“Low Life captures the rollicking atmosphere of city life during the period. In his first book, Mr. Sante, a freelance journalist, moves along swiftly, rarely bogging down in numbers, chronologies or social history.”
–Hanna Rubin, The New York Times Book Review
“A guided tour through Manhattan’s demimonde of the last century, conducted with exquisite relish by East Village journalist Sante, who speaks with all the authority of an eyewitness….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
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