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Suzannah B. Troy speaks with Clayton Patterson

about the books "Jews: A People's History Of The Lower East Side"

Conversation on February 13, 2013 |  21:28 min

PLOT: JEWS, A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE is a three volume anthology edited by Clayton Patterson and Dr. Mareleyn Schneider. The first volume addresses the social history of Judaism in the neighborhood. The second and third volumes follow these threads into modern culture, examining contributions to art, business, and community in downtown New York. Compiling more than 150 chapters contributed by an international host of writers, these three volumes investigate individuals, movements, and institutions that have impacted the city, the country, and the entire planet.
Withrespect to the vast history and cultural diversity that makes up the Jewish experience on the Lower East Side, the editors have engaged an equally vast group of essayists. Contributors include historians, neighborhood preservationists, artists, rock stars, activists, poets, filmmakers, and more. Through their words, familiar subjects and individuals are re-examined, historic moments are considered, and unknown agents of change are brought to light. This is perhaps best illustrated by a sample of different chapters:
“Allen Ginsberg’s Ideal Society”
“Architecture of the Jewish Ghetto”
“Barney Rosset: Outsider on the Inside”
 “EarlyCommunitarian Experiments on the Lower East Side:
  Social Reform Practices in New York City During the Gilded Age”
 “Emma Goldman– First Slum Goddess of the Lower East Side”
“Jewish Boxing in the Lower East Side”
“June Leaf, Hands at War”
“Public Baths on the Lower East Side”
“Reflections [on Philip Glass]”
“Tuli Kupferberg: The Meaning of the Jew in the Dictionary of Anarchism”
JEWS,A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE is a one-of-a-kind document, with a depth and understanding that spans more than two hundred years. A true people’s history, the text allows a huge cross section of thinkers to articulate their experience and knowledge, ....  READ MORE