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Short Synopsis
From journalist Ada Calhoun comes a vibrant narrative history of three hallowed Manhattan blocks—the epicenter of American cool.

Full Synopsis
St. Marks Place in New York City has spawned countless artistic and political movements. Here Frank O'Hara caroused, Emma Goldman plotted, and the Velvet Underground wailed. But every generation of miscreant denizens believes that their era, and no other, marked the street's apex. This idiosyncratic work of reportage tells the many layered history of the street—from its beginnings as Colonial Dutch Director-General Peter Stuyvesant's pear orchard to today's hipster playground—organized around those pivotal moments when critics declared "St. Marks is dead."

In a narrative enriched by hundreds of interviews, St. Marks native Ada Calhoun profiles iconic characters, from W. H. Auden to Abbie Hoffman, from Keith Haring to the Beastie Boys, among many others. She argues that St. Marks has variously been an elite address, an immigrants' haven, a mafia war zone, and a hippie paradise, but it has always been a place that outsiders call home.

"Rather than a nostalgic lament, this revelatory book celebrates an indelible cultural imprint." ---Kirkus Starred Review

"As Calhoun traces the neighborhood's evolution from wealthy and respectable to gritty and poverty-stricken and back again, she shows how one street can become a microcosm of America's political and cultural history." ---Publishers Weekly

"Calhoun does a careful and effective job of drawing out the various kinds of utopia, personal and political, that thrived on St. Marks Place." ---The New York Times Sunday Book Review
Kirkus Review

Bestseller

St. Marks Is Dead

The Many Lives of America's Hippest Street

Author Ada Calhoun

Narrated by Carla Mercer-Meyer

Publication date Nov 2, 2015

Running time 10 hrs 19 min

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