The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, a History of Greenwich Village
BookCourt (163 Court St., Brooklyn)
A lively anecdotal history of Greenwich Village, the prodigiously influential and infamous New York City neighborhood, from the 1600s to the present.
The most famous neighborhood in the world, Greenwich Village has been home to outcasts of diverse persuasions—from “half-free” Africans to working-class immigrants, from artists to politicians—for almost four hundred years. In his magisterial new book, cultural commentator John Strausbaugh weaves an absorbing narrative history of the Village, a tapestry that unrolls 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, from its seat as the epicenter of the gay rights movement to its current status as an affluent bedroom community and tourist magnet.