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Nights Out: Life in Cosmopolitan London
London’s Soho district underwent a spectacular transformation between the late Victorian era and the end of the Second World War: its old buildings and dark streets infamous for sex, crime, political disloyalty, and ethnic diversity became a center of culinary and cultural tourism servicing patrons of nearby shops and theaters. Indulgences for the privileged and the upward ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Yale University Press
(first published February 7th 2012)
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*There seem to be at least three entries in the database for this book -- maybe some librarian could combine them?*
Academic conversation tends to bifurcate into two areas of concern. The first case relates to cosmopolitanism as an intellectual program, the second to cosmopolitanism as a social and cultural experience. In the first instance, literary critics, and philosophers debate the merits of cosmopolitanism as a privileged, ethical, or aesthetic form of thinking and textual practice....more
Actually, sort of three-and-an-half. Some good stuff, but also covering areas that other historians have recently also published on e.g. the Windmill Theatre (plus, I can see that the 1918 'Cult of the Clitoris' libel case has its historical interest, but perhaps it is time to declare a moratorium on any further analysis for a bit? - though Walkowitz does explore more generally the context for Maud Allan and issues around dance). I did wonder if some of those white women dancing with black men i ...more
In Nights Out, Walkowitz offers a fascinating account of cosmopolitan Soho and its early inhabitants, highlighting the lives of those often absent from other histories of London’s West End. Hers is a Soho populated by vivid characters, from Jewish stall keepers to Italian restaurateurs to the female nightclub owners overseeing the provision of ‘adult’ entertainment. Not only is this book a must-read for those interested in the history of urban space, but also anyone who enjoys lively histories f ...more