Going into the City: Portrait of a Critic as a Young Man

Going into the City: Portrait of a Critic as a Young Man

by Robert Christgau

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Overview

One of our great essayists and journalists—the Dean of American Rock Critics, Robert Christgau—takes us on a heady tour through his life and times in this vividly atmospheric and visceral memoir that is both a love letter to a New York long past and a tribute to the transformative power of art.

Lifelong New Yorker Robert Christgau has been writing about pop culture since he was twelve and getting paid for it since he was twenty-two, covering rock for Esquire in its heyday and personifying the music beat at the Village Voice for over three decades. Christgau listened to Alan Freed howl about rock ‘n’ roll before Elvis, settled east of Manhattan’s Avenue B forty years before it was cool, witnessed Monterey and Woodstock and Chicago ’68, and the first abortion speak-out. He’s caught Coltrane in the East Village, Muddy Waters in Chicago, Otis Redding at the Apollo, the Dead in the Haight, Janis Joplin at the Fillmore, the Rolling Stones at the Garden, the Clash in Leeds, Grandmaster Flash in Times Square, and every punk band you can think of at CBGB.

Christgau chronicled many of the key cultural shifts of the last half century and revolutionized the cultural status of the music critic in the process. Going Into the City is a look back at the upbringing that grounded him, the history that transformed him, and the music, books, and films that showed him the way. Like Alfred Kazin’s A Walker in the City, E. B. White’s Here Is New York, Joseph Mitchell’s Up in the Old Hotel, and Patti Smith’s Just Kids, it is a loving portrait of a lost New York. It’s an homage to the city of Christgau’s youth from Queens to the Lower East Side—a city that exists mostly in memory today. And it’s a love story about the Greenwich Village girl who roamed this realm of possibility with him.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062238818
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/24/2015
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 318,462
File size: 811 KB

About the Author

Robert Christgau has covered popular music for Esquire, Newsday, Creem, Playboy, Rolling Stone, Blender, MSN Music, and The Village Voice, where he was a senior editor and chief music critic for thirty-two years. He is currently a columnist for Noisey.com, a contributing critic at NPR’s All Things Considered, and a Visiting Arts Professor at New York University. The author of three books based on his hundreds of Consumer Guide columns and two essay collections, he has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a National Arts Journalism Program Senior Fellow, and a Ferris Teaching Fellow at Princeton. Born and raised in Queens, he has lived in Manhattan’s East Village since 1965.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 The Eighty-Hour Week 13

2 The Two Sides of Murray Street 28

3 The Wonderful World of Jews 48

4 Nonconformism Can Be Fun 70

5 Vacillations 96

6 American Studies 125

7 The High'60s 149

8 Aftermath 209

9 Like a Horse and Carriage 247

10 Four Owners, Six Editors, One Paper 284

11 Bon Bon Vie 326

Acknowledgments 365

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