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From the late 19th century to the middle of the 20th century, nearly 100,000 men found shelter each night in places with names like the Dandy, the Niagara, the Palace, and the Grand Windsor Hotel. These lodging houses, located in the infamous skid row known as the Bowery, are almost gone now, but those that remain provide a fascinating view of old New York and a vanishing era. Isay, an award-winning radio documentary producer, and Wang, a professional photographer, have captured this world in Flophouse. To present the story of this neglected population, the authors interviewed a number of residents in each of four remaining "flops." Each short narrative is told in the resident's own words and is accompanied by one or two full-page photographs. These are stories of immigrants, drug addicts, and men who are just down on their luck. There's John, who gets up every night at three in the morning to bleach his floor; Jack, who's been shooting dice for over 50 years; and Ted, the intellectual dishwasher, who set out to be nothing and succeeded. This compelling read is recommended for all libraries.
-DDeborah Bigelow, Leonia P.L., NJ
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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"This book should be required reading in every home across the country. It tells of the lost ones, the forgotten men who have given up on the American dream, and once we enter their crumbling, derelict world, our own world will never look the same to us again. Harvey Wang's photographs are superbly honest and raw. The testimonies gathered by David Isay and Stacy Abramson are little poems of desolation, vast hymns to the paradoxes of the human heart." --Paul Auster
"This book takes you to places you think you don't want to enter, to people you think you don't want to meet, to lives you think you don't want to live. And makes you rethink all your assumptions. It reveals the tremendous strength and humanity of those who are usually ignored. And as you pay attention, your humanity expands."
-- Susan Stamberg, Special Correspondent, National Public Radio
I live in a modern day "flophouse", but it is a palace by comparison to the Bowery beaus. Marginalized by themselves and society, many still find community and purpose in... Read morePublished on Dec 21 2001 by Terri
This book is an intimate look at the inside world of life on the desolate Bowery. It is as much intriguing, as it is mind-blowing. Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2001 by spikebrooklyn
This strikingly beautiful book of photos of the destitute is filled with stories of talented, gifted, intelligent men who through poor fortune, poor choices, poor health, or all of... Read morePublished on Dec 28 2000 by David Kleist
An excellent glimpse inside four of the colorful flophouse hotels along the Bowery. You'll be touched by the pictures and the stories behind the men whose lives have bottomed out... Read morePublished on Dec 15 2000 by SidewalkPhotographer
I bought my 1st copy of this numbing book immediately after seeing Isay & Abramson interviewed on C-Span Booknotes. Since then, I've ordered 6 more copies for others. Read morePublished on Nov. 2 2000 by Yasha's Mom
... through the heart of hopelessness and retreat. The stories read like Tom Waits songs - vivid, emotional, and full of reflections that only the tragic can truely voice. Read morePublished on Sept. 1 2000 by Brian Franklin
I just bought a copy of this book last night after attending a reading with the authors and photographer, along with some of the men who are profiled in the book. Read morePublished on Aug. 23 2000 by Michelle Blankenship
This is a fantastic, ground breaking book. Both beautiful to look at with stunning black and white and color pictures next to smart, compelling text. Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2000