The most famous neighborhood in the world, Greenwich Village has been home to outcasts of diverse persuasions for more than four hundred years, from half-free African slaves to working-class immigrants, artistic bohemians to politicians. Illustrated with thirty-two pages of black-and-white photos, The Village is John Strausbaugh's engaging narrative history of this unique New York neighborhood's life - a tapestry that unrolls across four centuries, from its origins as a rural frontier of New Amsterdam in the 1600s through its long reign as the Left Bank of America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to its current status as an affluent bedroom community and tourist magnet. Strausbaugh traces the way in which Greenwich Village has been a culture engine, a magnet of tolerance, freedom, creativity, and activism. It has long attracted nconformists-artists, radicals, visionaries, misfits, and life-adventurers-who have collided, collaborated, fused and feuded, developing ideas and creating art, drama, poetry, literature, filmmaking, and folk music that transformed the world. Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, Marcel Duchamp, James Baldwin, Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, E. E. Cummings, Emma Goldman, Margaret Sanger, Upton Sinclair, Anais Nin, Eugene O'Neill, Fiorello La Guardia, Gene Tunney, mobster Vincent Chin Gigante, Jackson Pollock, Merce Cunningham, Charlie Parker, Woody Guthrie, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Grace Paley, and Edmund White are among the many remarkable individuals who made the Village the pinnacle of culture, politics, and social movements in America and around the world. From Dutch farmers and Washington Square patricians to slaves and bohemians, Prohibition-era speakeasies to Stonewall, Abstract Expressionism to AIDS, the Triangle Shirt Waist fire to today's upscale condos and four-star restaurants, the connecting narratives of The Village tell a fresh story of America itself.
John Strausbaugh covered downtown Manhattan history and culture as a writer and editor for the weekly New York Press from 1988 through 2002. For the New York Times he wrote and hosted the Weekend Explorer series of articles, videos, and podcasts on New York City history. He has also written for the Washington Post, NPR, and PBS. His previous books include E: Reflections on the Birth of the Elvis Faith, Rock 'Til You Drop, and Black Like You. A former resident of Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, and Hell's Kitchen, he now lives in Brooklyn Heights.