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The Downtown Pop Underground
— —
Kembrew McLeod
The Downtown Pop Underground by Kembrew McLeod at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Downtown Pop Underground

Kembrew McLeod



Art & design styles: from c 1960;
History of the Americas;
Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000;
Social & cultural history


352 pages

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A vibrant history of the artists and performers of downtown New York in the 1960s and 70s draws on interviews with notables ranging from Debbie Harry and Yoko Ono and is complemented by several previously unpublished photographs. 15,000 first printing.

By:   Kembrew McLeod
Imprint:   Abrams
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 236mm,  Width: 160mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   630g
ISBN:   9781419732522
ISBN 10:   1419732528
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   November 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Kembrew McLeod is an award-winning author of several books whose writing has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Slate, and Salon. A professor of communication studies at the University of Iowa, he is the recipient of a recent NEH Public Scholar fellowship to support this project.

Kembrew McLeod has created a vivid history of the art underground--the epics staged in tiny storefronts, the glittering drag queens, the outr films, experimental music, and rabid poetry--that filtered up into the mainstream and cracked it open in the 1960s and '70s. I've read many books on this era, and this is the first to show the interconnections between all the arts and artists that created what now seems an almost mythic bohemia. --Cynthia Carr author of Fire in the Belly McLeod's deft and generous book tells of a constellation of avant-garde squatters, divas, and dissidents who reinvented the world--a story which comes to seem more improbable the more meticulously he records it. Through a panoply of witnessing voices, he channels a recent past so familiar we risk taking it for granted. --Jonathan Lethem author of The Fortress of Solitude I love this book. It's filled with insight about a very important group of artists making blueprints for the avant-garde. They were so far ahead of the mainstream curve that they created new shapes out of the curve, revealing cracks in the yoke of custom and convention. McLeod has done us all a favor by focusing on the lives of these fabulous futurists and oddball observers who looked at life and showed us that reality is absurdity dressed in a three-piece suit. --Jane Wagner author of The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe Kembrew McLeod manages a Herculean task: mapping the vast spider web of intersecting trajectories in pre-careerist downtown New York. He makes it plain how much of the action occurred in theater, and how much of the culture we owe to gay men and women. --Luc Sante author of Low Life and The Other Paris The Downtown Pop Underground tells the story of underground artists of the 1960s and '70s, an amalgam of bustling radical creativity and fearless groundbreaking work in art, music, and theater . . . Having walked these streets as a child, I can attest to the visceral accuracy of the book's portrayal of a time when artists affected a true change in the way that we view our culture and ourselves. --Tim Robbins The Downtown Pop Underground honors those who were at the forefront of a movement that transformed our understandings of sexuality and artistic freedom. --Lily Tomlin Downtown New York in the latter half of twentieth century was so much more than a Warhol print and a CBGB-OMFUG T-shirt. McLeod tracked down more than 100 denizens of that freaky bohemian milieu to tell the stories most people don't know. The Downtown Pop Underground breathes new fire into a familiar history and is a must-read for anyone who wants to know how American bohemia really happened. --Ann Powers critic, NPR Music

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