First Edition of Luc Sante's Low Life; Lengthily Inscribed by Him

  • Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York.

Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York.


Item Number: 44074

New York: Farrar Strauss Giroux, 1991.

First edition of Sante’s classic work, which tells the story of New York’s Lower East Side, circa 1840-1920. Octavo, original cloth, pictorial endpapers. Lengthily inscribed by Luc Sante on the title page. Fine in a fine price-clipped dust jacket. Jacket design by Barbara de Wilde.

Luc Sante's Low Life is a portrait of America's greatest city, the riotous and anarchic breeding ground of modernity. This is not the familiar saga of mansions, avenues, and robber barons, but the messy, turbulent, often murderous story of the city's slums; the teeming streets--scene of innumerable cons and crimes whose cramped and overcrowded housing is still a prominent feature of the cityscape. It voyages through Manhattan from four different directions. Part One examines the actual topography of Manhattan from 1840 to 1919; Part Two, the era's opportunities for vice and entertainment--theaters and saloons, opium and cocaine dens, gambling and prostitution; Part Three investigates the forces of law and order which did and didn't work to contain the illegalities; Part Four counterposes the city's tides of revolt and idealism against the city as it actually was.

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