The Brownsville/East New York neighborhood of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s is now but an almost faded memory, a “time warp” as it were. Today it is a neighborhood that has been eviscerated and exists only as a geographic locale.
Through the collective memories of the famous and the not-so-famous, Jerry Chatanow and Bernie Schwartz have elicited and chronicled a treasure trove of anecdotes and remembrances that bring back to life a once vibrant and exhilarating neighborhood.
The authors vividly transport the reader back to a bygone era of street games, egg creams, mello rolls and knishes, patriotism at the home front, plush movie palaces, the Dodgers, the Knicks, boxing venues, old time radio and the neighborhood settlement houses with its open doors waiting to welcome the teeming masses.
Anyone from small town or big city who was ever enriched by the nurturing warmth, the loyalties and camaraderie of a “neighborhood” will enjoy this major contribution to the oral history of America.
This is a story told within the context of this country’s transformation from “The Great Depression” to World War Two to “Baby Boomer” prosperity. The authors were both observers of and participants in what in retrospect proved to be a triumphant generation.
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