The Brazen Age: New York City and the American Empire:

The Brazen Age: New York City and the American Empire: Politics, Art, and Bohemia A brilliant, sweeping, and unparalleled look at the extraordinarily rich culture and turbulent politics of New York City between the yearsand , The Brazen Age opens with Franklin Delano Roosevelt s campaign tour through the city s boroughs inHe would see little of what made New York the capital of modernity though the aristocratic FDR was its paradoxical avatar a city boasting an unprecedented and unique synthesis of genius, ambition, and the avant garde While concentrating on those five years, David Reid also reaches back to the turn of the twentieth century to explore the city s progressive politics, radical artistic experimentation, and burgeoning bohemia Fromto , New York City was a dynamic metropolis on the rise, and it quickly became a cultural nexus of new architecture the home of a thriving movie business the glittering center of theater and radio and a hub of book, magazine, and newspaper publishing In the s, the rise of Hitler and World War II would send some of Europe s most talented men and women to America s shores, vastly enriching the fields of science, architecture, film, and arts and letters the list includes Albert Einstein, Erwin Panofsky, Walter Gropius, George Grosz, Andr Kert sz, Robert Capa, Thomas Mann, Hannah Arendt, Vladimir Nabokov, and John Lukacs Reid draws a portrait of the frenzied, creative energy of a bohemian Greenwich Village, from the taverns to the salons Revolutionaries, socialists, and intelligentsia in the s were drawn to the highly provocative monthly magazine The Masses, which attracted the era s greatest talent, from John Reed to Sherwood Anderson, Djuna Barnes, John Sloan, and Stuart Davis And summoned up is a chorus of witnesses to the ever changing landscape of bohemia, from Malcolm Cowley to Ana s Nin Also present are the pioneering photographers who captured the city in black and white Berenice Abbott s dizzying aerial views, Samuel Gottscho s photographs of the waterfront and the city s architectural splendor, and Weegee s masterful noir lowlife But the political tone would be set by the next president, and Reid looks closely at Thomas Dewey, Henry Wallace, and Harry Truman James Forrestal, secretary of the navy under Roosevelt, would be influential in establishing a new position in the cabinet before ascending to it himself as secretary of defense under Truman, but not before helping to usher in the Cold War With The Brazen Age, David Reid has magnificently captured a complex and powerful moment in the history of New York City in the mid twentieth century, a period of time that would ensure its place on the world stage for many generations From the Hardcover edition

10 thoughts on “The Brazen Age: New York City and the American Empire: Politics, Art, and Bohemia

  1. says:

    This is a very odd book As I understood it, one is meant to learn about how the New York cultural scene between the end of the Second World War and the start of the Korean War represented some kind of false dawn for highbrow American culture one of those turning points of history where history failed to turn Instead, it wa

  2. says:

    The Brazen Age is a well written history, but history of what, I have no idea As other reviewers pointed out, it s all over the place it s sort of a history of post WWII New York, but there is a lot of early 20th century New York here too, along with some material in the Korean War Very odd.

  3. says:

    A shaggy book about a shaggy period But for all that not a bad book.I know I can be a bit of an asshole about book s structural issues it s just what I see And structurally, this book is a bit of a mess in fact, it s a bit of a mess in some of the same ways that Richard Lingeman s Noir Forties was a bit of a mess And that book s i

  4. says:

    very good survey of intellectual and cultural movements in NYC

  5. says:

    David Reid obviously did his research and had a lot of information compiled for this book However, it felt disjointed After reading practically the whole first section I still wasn t quite clear about what time period this book was really covered The prologue seemed to say it was the 1950s but the book really spanned the whole first half

  6. says:

    Covering NYC in that jittery space from the end of WWII and the beginnings of the cold war NYC in the mid and late forties became the world cultural capital by default the US being less damaged by the cataclysmic second world war became the last man standing It covers the politics, the publishing the media and the art scene of what was probab

  7. says:

    This book can best be described as mildly amusing.

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About the Author: David Reid

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