New York In The Fifties

Overview

The book is a memoir of Dan Wakefield's move to New York City in the 1950s.

Wakefield explores a decade in which the "taste, politics, and culture of our society underwent a profound transformation, one that shaped the way we live now." Enriched by the recollections of friends and colleagues who bring their own insights to this book: Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, Calvin Trillin, Allen Ginsberg, and others. Photographs.

...
See more details below
Paperback
$16.88
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$20.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $3.82   
  • New (6) from $13.08   
  • Used (5) from $3.82   
Sending request ...

Overview

The book is a memoir of Dan Wakefield's move to New York City in the 1950s.

Wakefield explores a decade in which the "taste, politics, and culture of our society underwent a profound transformation, one that shaped the way we live now." Enriched by the recollections of friends and colleagues who bring their own insights to this book: Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, Calvin Trillin, Allen Ginsberg, and others. Photographs.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While Allen Ginsberg howled that the best minds of his generation were being destroyed by madness, Wakefield, who lived in the same town, was high on just being there, on making it as a freelance writer if not yet as a novelist, on the camaraderie he found in Greenwich Village, on hanging around with James Baldwin, Vance Bourjaily, Norman Mailer, Seymour Krim, John Gregory Dunne, Gay Talese, William Buckley and other ``writer writers'' who would later become our eminences grises of letters. Wakefield had fled Indianapolis in 1952 to study at Columbia; yet eight years later, ``all scratched out,'' he would flee New York City--and end up in Boston, permanently. This is his memoir of '50s Manhattan, a charmed, gentle, evocative re-creation of a time when sex was more talked about than done (and when done, was done in secret), a time when psychoanalysis was hailed as the new religion, booze was the soporific, Esquire and the Village Voice the journalistic pacesetters, jazz the music. Then the atmosphere changed: McCarthyism hovered, Timothy Leary came around with the ``cure-all elixir'' psilocybin, the Beatles landed. Wakefield, whose novels include Home Free , has written his generation's kinder-spirited Moveable Feast , marking his era as a cultural divide.Litterateurs will treasure the book. So will aspirants. Photos not seen by PW . (May)
Library Journal
When Wakefield came to New York in 1952 to attend Columbia, the city more than fulfilled his dreams. Over the next 11 years, he finished his degree, began a promising career as a freelance journalist, and made friends with such interesting and diverse people as C. Wright Mills, William F. Buckley Jr., Allen Ginsberg, Norman Podhoretz, James Baldwin, and Norman Mailer. He heard the Clancy Brothers at the White Horse Tavern, Thelonious Monk at the Five Spot, and Jack Kerouac at the Vanguard. He comments here on some of the era's most vital issues, including McCarthyism, civil rights, and psychoanalysis, corroborating his own experience with recollections by Meg Greenfield, Joan Didion, Gay Talese, and others who were on the scene. Wakefield's celebratory memoir, tinged with nostalgia, is highly recommended.-- William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY
Kirkus Reviews
Nostalgia package for the "silent generation" of Eisenhower, a generation that today evidently thinks it was in no way silent. Novelist/journalist Wakefield (Returning, 1988, etc.) arrived in Manhattan as a Columbia student from Indianapolis and was, he tells us, unprepared for the astounding freedom of anonymity that the Upper West Side granted him and for the family feelings he later met with among Greenwich Village bohemians. Younger readers may find these and other memories distant from their own putative needs and, at times, even Wakefield is distant from himself, placing facts from the Sixties back into the Fifties or twice attributing Gordon Jenkins's ghastly musical m‚lange "Manhattan Towers" to Stan Kenton or misquoting Allen Ginsberg's "America." Even so, Wakefield talks with his many friends still alive from the Fifties and gets their take on the era. His interviewees include Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Murray Kempton, Helen Weaver, Joyce Glassman Johnson, Joan Didion, John Gregory Dunne, Calvin Trillin, Gay and Nan Talese, and many others. For himself, he defines the era nicely with, "Maybe the Village of my generation went from the time Dylan Thomas came to the White Horse [the famed Village tavern where Thomas drank his last drink] to the time Bob Dylan showed up [at the White Horse] that night in 1961 wearing his floppy hat." The liveliest passages here survey jazz joints and players; the explosion of On the Road in 1957 and Wakefield's buttoned-down antipathy to it; changes in sexual mores as the pessary showed up; Esquire's creative breakthrough with New Journalism; and the slime- crawl of McCarthyism over Manhattan liberals. Batches of local color refresh those wholived through a lost age, or what Kempton calls "an age of lead," now become "an age of gold." (Photos—24 pages of b&w—not seen.)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780983237006
  • Publisher: Greenpoint Press
  • Publication date: 3/14/2011
  • Pages: 354
  • Product dimensions: 0.74 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The "Silent Generation" Speaks Out
1. To Grand Central Station
2. Lions and Cubs on Morningside Heights
3. Getting Started
4. Miracle in the Bowery
5. In Spanish Harlem
6. Home to the Village
7. What Rough Beats?
8. Roses, Dreams, and Diaphragms
9. From Joe McCarthy to Jean-Paul Sartre
10. The New World, the Old Dream
11. Graduating to the Five Spot
12. In Exile Till We Come Again
Index
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)