Song of Brooklyn: An Oral History of America's Favorite Borough

Marc Eliot, Author . Broadway $24.95 (296p) ISBN 978-0-7679-2014-8

In this nostalgic love song, Eliot (Walt Disney) blends voices of politicos, actors, musicians, writers and business people—strangely, mostly male—to extol the newly hip New York City borough of Brooklyn. “Mama's boy” Neil Sedaka remembers Coney Island in the 1950s as a cozy place. After a decline, the area is being revitalized, with a battle brewing over new development. Spike Lee says that seeing Jackie Robinson play at Ebbets Field was one of the greatest thrills of his life, while contrarian Woody Allen recalls being a Giants fan in the heart of Dodgers territory. Walt Whitman, Arthur Miller and Norman Mailer often wrote about their home turf of Brooklyn, yet contemporary novelist Amy Sohn, a native of Brooklyn Heights, thinks that while there's “kinmanship” among Brooklyn writers today, they are part of the city's larger literary world. Organizing his material by neighborhoods and themes (e.g., music, food), Eliot's done his homework with many original interviews and lists of famous Brooklynites, and the material is diverting, but the work is unfocused and begs to be published as a coffee-table book with lots of photos. (June 10)

Reviewed on: 04/28/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 220 pages - 978-0-7679-2999-8
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