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Slumming: Sexual and Racial Encounters in American Nightlife, 1885-1940
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Slumming: Sexual and Racial Encounters in American Nightlife, 1885-1940

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  58 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
During Prohibition, “Harlem was the ‘in’ place to go for music and booze,” recalled the African American chanteuse Bricktop. “Every night the limousines pulled up to the corner,” and out spilled affluent whites, looking for a good time, great jazz, and the unmatchable thrill of doing something disreputable.
That is the indelible public image of slumming, but as Chad Heap r
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published May 15th 2009 by University Of Chicago Press (first published July 15th 2008)
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Desiree Koh
May 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
For all of you who read Karen Abbott's "Sin and the Second City" and pretty much had an experience that was pretty, well, anti-climatic, this book is the antidote.

Mind you, it's no walk on the North Side. This is all hardscrabble, South Side grit - there's no sugarcoating, it's pure facts and purient analyses of the slumming life in New York and Chicago from 1885 to 1940. It's an urban history examination of middle- and upper-class whites' forays into the slums through several vogues, from pros
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: school
In an exercise of reading historical evidence "against the grain," Chad Heap builds upon George Chauncey's Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890-1940 as he employs the activity of slumming as a lens of analysis. He explores how the complicated practice of "slumming" among New York City and Chicago's white middle and upper class, as well as well-intentioned sociologists and reformers, facilitated social transitions along the racial divide of white and blac ...more
Kim Adamache
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In the book, Slumming, the author locates leisure activities in New York City and Chicago. He emphasizes three groups of the middle and upper class who voyeuristically peer into and participate in the world of the so-called slums, the neighborhoods of the working class and their amusements. All three groups (reformers, intellectuals, and young, single men and women looking for a good time) were involved with observing ‘how the other half lives’ and is a form of Orientalism. Their amusement essen ...more
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A really interesting look at the vogue of slumming in the turn of the century America. I learned a lot about white middle class constructions of race and sexuality, things that still affect our understanding today. I highly recommend reading this with other books that address similiar race and sexuality issues, like Gay New York.
Nov 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-researched and fascinating, although the sometimes overly academic prose made it tough going. (I don't think I've ever read a book that used the word "reify" so much.)
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
fascinating and meticulously researched but so very dully written and painfully repetitive...
George Neville-Neil
Uses an interesting and engaging viewpoint to look at the racial and sexual history in the late 19th and early 20th century.
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