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

ISBN: 9780226322445 | 0226322440
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Pub. Date: 10/30/2010

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In this fascinating history, Chad Heap reveals that the reality of slumming was far more widespreadand importantthan nostalgia-tinged recollections would lead us to believe. From its appearance as a "fashionable dissipation" centered on the immigrant and working-class districts of 1880s New York through its spread to Chicago and into the 1930s nightspots frequented by lesbians and gay men,Slummingcharts the development of this popular pastime, demonstrating how its moralizing origins were soon outstripped by the artistic, racial, and sexual adventuring that typified Jazz-Age America. And while Heap doesn't ignore the role of exploitation and voyeurism in slummingor the resistance it often provokedhe argues that the relatively uninhibited mingling it promoted across bounds of race and class helped to dramatically recast the racial and sexual landscape of burgeoning U.S. cities. "Exhaustively researched and beautifully written. . . . Vivid and astonishingly detailed."George Chauncey, author ofGay New York "This is a beautiful book that will be a milestone in our understandings of sexuality, race, normalcy, and metropolitan American modernity."American Historical Review


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