The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination

Overview


"Sarah Schulman, as always, hits the nail on the head. I can't imagine a more insightful probe into gentrification and its inhumane consequences. Everyone needs to read this book."—Martin Duberman, author of Stonewall

“Sarah Schulman's The Gentrification of the Mind is a bulwark against the collective loss of memory. AIDS, gentrification, the struggle for gay rights, the class war that has driven entire communities of artists, immigrants, and outsiders from the neighborhoods ...

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The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination

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Overview


"Sarah Schulman, as always, hits the nail on the head. I can't imagine a more insightful probe into gentrification and its inhumane consequences. Everyone needs to read this book."—Martin Duberman, author of Stonewall

“Sarah Schulman's The Gentrification of the Mind is a bulwark against the collective loss of memory. AIDS, gentrification, the struggle for gay rights, the class war that has driven entire communities of artists, immigrants, and outsiders from the neighborhoods they created—all these things have been erased by the official culture. Schulman's book will make you rage and weep, and then—just maybe—organize.”—Luc Sante, author of Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York

"Hard-headed, sensitive, and informed, this book will make the confused world of urban redevelopment and gentrification make notably more sense. Schulman has a mind as clear as a bell in evening. You'll be glad you read it. I was."—Samuel R. Delany, author of Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This bracing, powerful, and well-reasoned work reaffirms the author's stature as a distinctive American woman of letters. . . . Highly recommended."--Library Journal

"The book that's inspired me more than any other this year is Sarah Schulman's Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, a razor-sharp memoir of New York in the heyday of the AIDS crisis."--Slate

"Teeming with ideas, necessary commentary, refreshing connections and examination of the status quo."--Lambda Literary

"A brilliant critique of contemporary culture. . . . This is the most important book of the year."--Cult Mtl

"Schulman's personal recollections... are sharp and vivid."--Gay & Lesbian Review/Worldwide

Slate - Jason King

“The book that’s inspired me more than any other this year is Sarah Schulman’s Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, a razor-sharp memoir of New York in the heyday of the AIDS crisis.”
Lambda Literary

“Teeming with ideas, necessary commentary, refreshing connections and examination of the status quo.”
Cult MTL - Jeff Miller

“A brilliant critique of contemporary culture. . . . This is the most important book of the year.”
Gay & Lesbian Review/Worldwide

“Schulman’s personal recollections... are sharp and vivid.”
Fader Magazine - Alex Frank

“This is a very good, very sad book about the aftershock of the AIDS crisis in New York. Schulman is a truly gifted thinker.”
Bay Area Reporter - Roberto Friedman

“The author, a true woman of letters, makes a persuasive case.”
Velvetpark - Marcie Bianco

“This is why the book is so successful and demands our attention: through a focus on the pulse of the queer community (of the 80s), it touches upon the individual condition (of today).”
New Statesman - Olivia Laing

“A polemic, a passionate, provocative . . . account of disappearance, forgetfulness and untimely death.”
Culturevulture.net - Don Shewey

“No book has rocked my world in recent times more than Sarah Schulman’s ‘The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination’ . . . [it ranks] among the best alternative histories published in the last 50 years.”
Los Angeles Review Of Books - Emily Douglas

“A galvanizing account of the transformation, both external and mental, in New York City life.”
Times Literary Supplement (TLS) - Roz Kaveney

“The essence of what Schulman calls gentrification is to pretend that privilege and difference do not exist and that any attempt to remember that they do is mere ‘political correctness’ rather than facing up to the reality to who does what to whom. To forget these things, is to deceive ourselves—and Schulman’s harsh, bitter prose is a useful way of waking ourselves up.”
Now - Susan G. Cole

“It’s a beautifully written screed (not a bad word in my books). . . . Schulman shines when she taps her deep knowledge of the AIDS movement. . . . She can be brilliant.”
Publishers Weekly
In her latest book, queer activist Schulman (Ties that Bind) argues that the AIDS epidemic that ravaged the gay community in the U.S. from 1981 to 1996 spurred the process of gentrification, "a concrete replacement process," not only in New York City, but in the larger spheres of American theater, literature, and art. She seeks to demonstrate how "the unexplored consequences of AIDS and the literal gentrification of cities created a diminished consciousness about how political and artistic change get made." Schulman, who was a member of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), makes a bold argument, linking the rapid decline of the gay male population in New York City due to AIDS-especially in neighborhoods such as Chelsea, the East Village, Harlem, and the West Village-to the trend of homogenization, corporate takeovers, and rising rents. She warns, "Pretending that AIDS is not happening and never happened, so that we don't have to be accountable, destroys our integrity and therefore our future." Schulman's firsthand experience of the epidemic and the queer community should make for a poignant and stirring story, but the author's argument soon devolves into name dropping and discourses against motherhood and academia, to name a few. These diatribes are brimming with so much vitriol that they ultimately come across as the personal agenda of someone with an ax to grind rather than cogent research.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Bookslut - Jessa Crispin
"It's that time of year, when everyone is compiling their Best Of 2013 lists. . . . Do we even need to say again, that Sarah Schulman wins the year with Gentrification of the Mind?"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520280069
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 9/2/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 535,004
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Sarah Schulman, Distinguished Professor of English at CUNY, Staten Island, is the author of nine novels, five books of nonfiction, plays, and films.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments
Introduction: Making Record from Memory

Part I. Understanding the Past
1. The Dynamics of Death and Replacement
2. The Gentrification of AIDS
3. Realizing That They’re Gone

Part II. The Consequences Of Loss
4. The Gentrification of Creation
5. The Gentrification of Gay Politics
6. The Gentrification of Our Literature

Conclusion: Degentrification—The Pleasure of Being
Uncomfortable

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    Not a new concept

    I was not really impressed. The author focused on the gay and lesbian community when the gentrification of the mind is happening to all who are not concious of the events taking place around them. Starting with the very small things. Examples; cell phones, gps, video games and how the electronics are making everyone non-socialists, non-communicators, and self-satisfication involves self-electronic full-fillment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Many people will dismiss this book is a diatribe by an angry wo

    Many people will dismiss this book is a diatribe by an angry woman because they have been duped by the gentrified values of conformity, consumerism, and personal comfort. This book will make them uncomfortable.
    Schulman is indeed angry because she is an intelligent, passionate, and compassionate woman. She has witnessed so much loss – the loss of her neighborhood community to urban gentrification, the loss of her friends to AIDS, the loss of creative imagination to institutionalized, commercialized art culture, the loss of opportunity to prejudice and injustice. She has resisted as a political activist, a loving friend, a determined writer, and a committed teacher. As she recounts her stories, she urges readers to embrace discomfort in order to liberate their minds and, ultimately, fellow human beings.
    Reading this book with an open mind will reveal to you stories that gentrified Americans want to suppress and will help you to make sense of your own experiences. Read it. But only if you're ready to become an angry, passionate, and compassionate person. And beware: you're going to make someone uncomfortable.

    A Grateful, Inspired Reader

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