John Strausbaugh (born 1951, in Baltimore, Maryland) is an American author, cultural commentator, and host of The New York Times Weekend Explorer video podcast series on New York City. Among other topics, he is an authority on the history of New York City.
The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
His 2016 book, City of Sedition: The History of New York City During the Civil War, chronicles the localized conflicts between New York constituent groups and how their respective actions helped or hampered President Lincoln's war effort.His latest book, Victory City: A History of New York and New Yorkers during World War II, will be issued by Grand Central Publishing on December 4, 2018.
Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman, politician, and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. He preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy.
Grand Central Publishing is a division of Hachette Book Group. Formerly Warner Books, Grand Central Publishing came into existence in March 2006 after Time Warner sold the Time Warner Book Group to Hachette Livre.
Strausbaugh's 2013 book The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, a History of Greenwich Village (Ecco) explains the tumultuous events that made New York's Greenwich Village the cultural engine of America.The book is described by Kurt Andersen as "the definitive history of America's bohemian wellspring and prototypical modern neighborhood with all the verve and fun and rigor it deserves."
Greenwich Village often referred to by locals as simply "the Village", is a neighborhood on the west side of Manhattan, New York City, within Lower Manhattan. Broadly, Greenwich Village is bounded by 14th Street to the north, Broadway to the east, Houston Street to the south, and the Hudson River to the west. Greenwich Village also contains several subsections, including the West Village west of Seventh Avenue and the Meatpacking District in the northwest corner of Greenwich Village.
Kurt Andersen is an American writer and host of the Peabody-winning public radio program Studio 360, a production of Public Radio International.
Strausbaugh's previous books have examined the history of recreational drug use (The Drug User: Documents 1840-1960, co-edited with Donald Blaise, with an introduction by William S. Burroughs, 1990), the intersection of politics and popular culture in the White House (Alone With the President, 1992), the priesthood that spreads the gospel of Elvisism (E: Reflections on the Birth of the Elvis Faith, 1995) and Rock and Roll's infidelity to the youth culture that created it (Rock 'Til You Drop: The Decline From Rebellion to Nostalgia, 2001,which was declared “the definitive word on the senescent Rolling Stones” by The New York Times ).
Recreational drug use is the use of a psychoactive drug to induce an altered state of consciousness for pleasure, by modifying the perceptions, feelings, and emotions of the user. When a psychoactive drug enters the user's body, it induces an intoxicating effect. Generally, recreational drugs are in three categories: depressants ; stimulants ; and hallucinogens. Many people also use prescribed and illegal opioids along with opiates and benzodiazepines. In popular practice, recreational drug use generally is a tolerated social behaviour, rather than perceived as the serious medical condition of self-medication. However, heavy use of some drugs is socially stigmatized.
William Seward Burroughs II was an American writer and visual artist. Burroughs was a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author whose influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films. He was also briefly known by the pen name William Lee. Burroughs created and exhibited thousands of paintings and other visual art works, including his celebrated 'Gunshot Paintings'.
The White House is the official residence and workplace of the President of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. and has been the residence of every U.S. President since John Adams in 1800. The term "White House" is often used as a metonym for the president and his advisers.
Strausbaugh's controversial 2006 book, Black Like You: Blackface, Whiteface, Insult & Imitation in American Popular Culture, explored race relations in popular culture, including the pervasive and long-lasting impact of blackface performance in rock and roll, hip-hop, advertising, “gangsta-lit” and contemporary Hollywood filmmaking.His book Sissy Nation: How America Became a Culture of Wimps & Stoopits was published by Virgin Books USA in 2008. "Straw: Finding My Way," which Strausbaugh collaboratively wrote with Darryl Strawberry, was published on April 28, 2009, by Ecco, a division of HarperCollins publishing.
Blackface is a form of theatrical make-up used predominantly by non-black performers to represent a caricature of a black person. The practice gained popularity during the 19th century and contributed to the spread of racial stereotypes such as the "happy-go-lucky darky on the plantation" or the "dandified coon". By the middle of the century, blackface minstrel shows had become a distinctive American artform, translating formal works such as opera into popular terms for a general audience. Early in the 20th century, blackface branched off from the minstrel show and became a form in its own right. In the United States, blackface had largely fallen out of favor by the turn of the 21st century, and is now generally considered offensive and disrespectful, though the practice continues in other countries.
Gangsta rap or gangster rap is a style of hip hop characterized by themes and lyrics that generally emphasize the "gangsta" lifestyle. The genre evolved from hardcore rap into a distinct form, pioneered in the mid-1980s by rappers such as Ice-T, and popularized in the later part of the 1980s by groups like N.W.A. After the national attention that Ice-T and N.W.A attracted in the late 1980s and early 1990s, gangsta rap became the most commercially lucrative subgenre of hip hop. Many gangsta rap artists openly boast of their associations with various active street gangs as part of their artistic image, with the Crips and Bloods being the most commonly represented. Gangsta rap parallels other indigenous gang and crime-oriented forms of music, such as the narcocorrido genre of northern Mexico.
Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California, notable as the home of the U.S. film industry, including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the industry and the people associated with it.
Strausbaugh is a contributor to The New York Times , The Washington Post , Forbes Magazine , NPR, The Baltimore Sun , and Cabinet magazine. He served as editor of The New York Press from 1990 until late 2002, when the paper was sold to Avalon Equity Partners. He established the paper as an independent thinking and often irreverent voice, which directly competed with the city's more traditionally liberal downtown paper, The Village Voice .
The Baltimore Sun is the largest general-circulation daily newspaper based in the American state of Maryland and provides coverage of local and regional news, events, issues, people, and industries. Founded in 1837, the newspaper is owned by Tribune Publishing.
Avalon Equity Partners is a New York, New York-based investment group that invested in media, communications and information services industries. In 1999, it formed its first fund from private individuals and the Small Business Administration and in 2006 it formed an exclusive partnership with a leading hedge fund to provide its financial backing.
The Village Voice was an American news and culture paper, known for being the country's first alternative newsweekly. Founded in 1955 by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher, John Wilcock, and Norman Mailer, the Voice began as a platform for the creative community of New York City. It still is kept alive online.
A counterculture is a subculture whose values and norms of behavior differ substantially from those of mainstream society, often in opposition to mainstream cultural mores. A countercultural movement expresses the ethos and aspirations of a specific population during a well-defined era. When oppositional forces reach critical mass, countercultures can trigger dramatic cultural changes. Prominent examples of countercultures in Europe and North America include Romanticism (1790–1840), Bohemianism (1850–1910), the more fragmentary counterculture of the Beat Generation (1944–1964), followed by the globalized counterculture of the 1960s (1964–1974), usually associated with the hippie subculture and the diversified punk subculture of the 1970s and 1980s.
The Beat Generation was a literary movement started by a group of authors whose work explored and influenced American culture and politics in the post-war era. The bulk of their work was published and popularized throughout the 1950s. The central elements of Beat culture are the rejection of standard narrative values, making a spiritual quest, the exploration of American and Eastern religions, the rejection of materialism, explicit portrayals of the human condition, experimentation with psychedelic drugs, and sexual liberation and exploration.
"Jump Jim Crow" or "Jim Crow" is a song and dance from 1828 that was done in blackface by white minstrel performer Thomas Dartmouth "Daddy" Rice. The song is speculated to have been stolen from Jim Crow, a physically disabled African slave, who is variously claimed to have resided in St. Louis, Cincinnati, or Pittsburgh. The song became a great 19th century hit and Rice performed all over the country as "Daddy Pops Jim Crow".
Maxwell Bodenheim was an American poet and novelist. A literary figure in Chicago, he later went to New York where he became known as the King of Greenwich Village Bohemians. His writing brought him international notoriety during the Jazz Age of the 1920s.
The minstrel show, or minstrelsy, was an American form of entertainment developed in the early 19th century. Each show consisted of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music performances that depicted people specifically of African descent. The shows were performed by white people in make-up or blackface for the purpose of playing the role of black people. There were also some African-American performers and all-black minstrel groups that formed and toured under the direction of white people. Minstrel shows lampooned black people as dim-witted, lazy, buffoonish, superstitious, and happy-go-lucky.
Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people and with few permanent ties. It involves musical, artistic, literary or spiritual pursuits. In this context, Bohemians may or may not be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds.
Edward Sanders is an American poet, singer, social activist, environmentalist, author, publisher and longtime member of the band the Fugs. He has been called a bridge between the Beat and hippie generations. Sanders is considered to have been active and "present at the counterculture's creation."
James Wolcott is an American journalist, known for his critique of contemporary media. Wolcott is the cultural critic for Vanity Fair and contributes to The New Yorker. He had his own blog on Vanity Fair magazine's main site which was awarded a Webby Award in 2007.
Ann K. Powers is an American writer and pop music critic. She is a music critic for NPR and a contributor at the Los Angeles Times, where she was previously chief pop critic. She has also served as pop critic at The New York Times and an editor at The Village Voice. Powers is the author of Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America, a memoir; Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black & White, Body and Soul in American Music, on eroticism in American pop music; and Piece by Piece, co-authored with Tori Amos.
Ellen Jane Willis was an American left-wing political essayist, journalist, activist, feminist, and pop music critic. She received the National Book Critics Circle Award (Criticism).
Frances FitzGerald is an American journalist and historian, who is primarily known for Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam (1972), an account of the Vietnam War. It was a bestseller that won the Pulitzer Prize, Bancroft Prize, and National Book Award.
Vince Aletti is a curator, writer, and photography critic.
Benjamin Franklin Keith was an American vaudeville theater owner, highly influential in the evolution of variety theater into vaudeville.
Stacy Horn is an American author, businesswoman and occasional journalist. She grew up on Long Island, New York and received a B.F.A. from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She received a graduate degree from New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program.
John Leland is an author and has been a journalist for The New York Times since 2000. Leland began covering retirement and religion in January, 2004. During a stint in 1994, he was editor in chief of Details magazine. Leland was also a senior editor at Newsweek, an editor and columnist at Spin magazine, and a reviewer for Trouser Press.
The Coward is a 1915 American silent historical war drama film directed by Reginald Barker and produced by Thomas H. Ince. Ince also wrote the film's scenario with C. Gardner Sullivan, from a story Ince had bought from writer Edward Sloman. The film stars Frank Keenan and Charles Ray. John Gilbert also appears in an uncredited bit part. A copy of The Coward is preserved at the Museum of Modern Art.
Whiteface is a form of performance in which a person wears theatrical makeup in order to make themselves look like a white person, usually for comical purposes. The term is a reversal of the more common form of performance known as blackface, in which performers use makeup in order to make themselves look like a black person. Whiteface performances originated in the 19th century and today still occasionally appear in films. Modern usages of whiteface can be contrasted with Blackface in contemporary art.
Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies is a music reference book by American music journalist and essayist Robert Christgau. It was first published in October 1981 by Ticknor & Fields.