Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York's Underground Economy
New York is a city of highs and lows, where wealthy elites share the streets with desperate immigrants and destitute locals. Bridging this economic divide is New York’s underground economy, the invisible network of illici ...more
Also, a nice play on words considering that Manhattan is surrounded by water.
Through Venkatesh, we meet a wide variety of people, most of whom are involved in some aspect of the sex trade. We get to know spoiled rich kids in search of adventure, as well as the desperate and poor who are struggling to survive. Their stories a ...more
The only problem is that the second story, just like the subtitle, overpowers the book: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York's Underground Economy. While the academic side of me appreciates his pains to tell us that it's all f ...more
This irritated me throughout the book, because I kept expecting Sudhir Venkatesh to “go rogue”, and he never did. He perhaps got a bit more emotionally involved with his subjects than sociologists are supposed to, but he was always scrupulous about not affecting the outcomes, about being ...more
Page 168 and he's still saying "what I needed [to make my name in my new tenure-track job] was a new project ...more
I do not recommend this book for ...more
This book was reviewed as part of Amazon's Vine program which included a free advance copy of the book.
Due to the critical praise of the author’s previous work (“Gang Leader for a Day”), I was drawn to read FLOATING CITY and had high expectations. Unfortunately, FLOATING CITY proved to be nothing more than a friendly-toned personal perspective of how a few select criminal profiteers struggle in New York City’s vast underworld.
Rather than revealing anything new or ...more
Furthermore, I'm not sure what this book is supposed to be about. Going into it, ...more
This book rubbed me the wrong way. I almost don't know where to start my review because most of the notes that I took while reading were page citations of points where I felt the need to jot down a snide remark in response to a terrible passage. Probably what irritated me the most, though, is what a waste of a good premise this was. What could have been a book revealing the mechanisms of the black market underworld of drugs and sex in NYC is instead a sniveling, navel-gazing, haughty, self-congr...more
Though this book was written by a sociologist, it is not to be taken as a part of a sociological study. Venkatesh makes this clear in his author's note at the end of the book. Rather, it is a memoir of his experiences as he "floated" through New York City's underground economy. Anyone looking for hard data and facts in this book would be disappointed. Anyone looking for some interesting stories may be quite ...more
Having already completed a study of Chicago gangs, Venkatesh originally set out to explore the lives of the drug gangs in his new city, but quickly found that due to its constant state of flux, the scene in NYC was very different.
Featuring his interaction with drug dealers, sex workers from every social strata and ultimately their 'madam ...more
The book follows a series of individuals engaged in different criminal enterprises in the city, the most important of which is prostitution. He follows Manjun, a porn-shop owner in Hell's Kitchen who re ...more
His most recent book is Gang Leader for a Day (Penguin Press), which received a Best Book award from The Economist, and is currently being translated into Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German, Italian, Polish, French and Portuguese. His previous wo ...more