DAVID ROSEN is a frequent contributor to the Brooklyn Rail. To see more of his work visit DavidRosenWrites.com.
FEB 2013 | Express
Nancy Cohens book Delirium is a carefully researched and rigorously argued account of the role of sex-related issues in shaping modern American politics.
JUNE 2013 | Books
John Strausbaugh has assembled a treasure trove of personality profiles and gossipy tidbits covering the nearly 400-year history of what is broadly identified as Greenwich Village.
SEPT 2013 | Books
Robert Kolkers Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery is a moving account of the lives and deaths of five prostitutes who represent the sad reality of sex work. The book is an act of resurrection, of turning women who are often dismissed as things back into human beings, people with real lives.
FEB 2012 | Express
On August 23, 1956, agents of the Federal Drug Administration (F.D.A.) seized six tons of scholarly literature from a Greenwich Village warehouse, transported it to the New York Sanitation Departments Gansevoort Street incinerator, and burned it.
APR 2012 | Express
The popularity of HBOs Boardwalk Empire and PBSs Prohibition, one a multi-season drama series, the other a multi-hour documentary series, has ignited popular interest in the legendary Prohibition era of the Roaring 20s.
JUNE 2012 | Express
Finally: a collection of Gayle Rubins writings. It is long overdue and sorely needed.
SEPT 2012 | Express
In Jules Dassins 1948 black-and-white noir classic, The Naked City, the narrator ends the film with the famous lines: There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them. Steven Jaffes well-written and very informative work, New York at War, is also one of those stories.
FEB 2011 | Express
Thaddeus Russells new book, A Renegade History of the United States, is a collection of great stories about some of the countrys grand down-and-outersand many others neither down nor outwho normally are either not mentioned or only marginally referred to in more conventional histories.
APR 2011 | Express
If you are reading this review from the Rail’s website, you should pick up a copy of Evgeny Morozov’s The Net Delusion. Once you get past the author’s straw-man bashing of those he dubs “cyber-utopians” and the foreign-policy establishment’s Manichean antinomies of “democracy” and “authoritarian” countries, you can learn much about how the “dark side” of the Internet works.
JUL-AUG 2011 | Express
We live in the shadow of the 1970s. If at all, most Americans remember the long decade, the period from 1968 to 1981, by a scattering of historical occurances and a handful of iconic images. A careful reconsideration reveals a lot more.
OCT 2011 | Express
In the decade spanning the mid-1930s to mid-40s, a new male fashion emerged and gained popularity thoughout the country. It also provoked much controversy. It was the new style of the youthful sharpie, the jitterbuger, the zoot suiter.
NOV 2010 | Express
In the decades following the nations third sexual revolution of the 1960s-1970s (following those of the 1830s-1840s and 1910s-1920s), sexual practices once ignored or derided by many Americans, such as the female orgasm and homosexuality, became part of mainstream culture.
APR 2013 | Books
Today, we take the concept of academic freedom for granted.
SEPT 2013 | Books
You are constantly being tracked, monitored, and surveilled. Increasingly, aspects of what Americans long took as personal privacy, especially with regard to their communications, are being eroded at an alarming pace. Heidi Boghosians new book, Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance, will only deepen your sense of paranoia.
DEC 13-JAN 14 | Books
Beau Riffenburgh loves to dig into dusty archives and uncover the lost stories of fascinating historical characters. He shifts course a bit in his latest book, Pinkertons Great Detective, about James McParland, one of the nations earliest private agents.
MAR 2012 | Express
One of the most celebrated houses of ill repute in London during the 1820s 1830s was the flagellation parlor owned and operated by Mrs. Theresa Berkley at 28 Charlotte Street. According to Mary Wilson, a fellow brothel owner and author of a memoir, Venus School Mistress, Mrs. Berkley possessed the first grand requisite of a courtesan, viz., lewdness.
MAY 2012 | Express
Not unlike today, late 19th century America was an age of robber barons, of white, Christian moral absolutists, of foreign immigration and domestic migration, and of a progressive movement contesting capitalisms excesses.
JUL-AUG 2012 | Express
If you caught Clint Eastwoods less-than-compelling biopic, J. Edgar, you would have never learned about J. Edgar Hoovers (and the F.B.I.s) war against pornography. This missing story is the subject of Douglas Charless well-intentioned, if too narrowly drawn study, The FBIs Obscene File.
NOV 2012 | Express
Thai Jones’s More Powerful Than Dynamite is written in the spirit of a-year-in-the-life of Gotham, tracking events, both minimal and momentous, that took place in 1914 (give or take a few years). A century can seem a very long time ago, yet, in Jones’s book, 1914 seems almost like yesterday.
MAR 2011 | Express
In a famous editorial in Life magazine of February 17, 1941, Henry R. Luce, founder of Time Inc., called upon Americans to abandon their deep-seated fear of international entanglements and support Britain through lend-lease during the early days of World War II. The son of Christian missionaries spreading the gospel in China, Luce was infused by an abiding belief in the white mans burden.
MAY 2011 | Express
The Great Recession officially started in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. It was the gravest financial crisis the nation has faced since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It fostered what many call the New Normal, the unspoken sense that America is stuck, if not in decline.
OCT 2011 | Express
The 1920s are back, bigger and better than ever.
JUL-AUG 2010 | Express
Speakeasies were social venues of transgression during Prohibition and are once again the in-places for New York hipsters; hipsters were those who carried an alcohol-filled hipflask during the Roaring Twenties.