Strike Up the Band

Helen Crisp, Jules Stewart

Strike Up the Band
Reaktion Books
United Kingdom
1 July 2024

Strike Up the Band

Helen Crisp, Jules Stewart

A spirited chronicle of New York's economic and cultural boom during the outstanding decade of the Roaring Twenties.

This is the story of the zest for life that gripped New York in the postwar years of the 1920s. The decade ushered in an era of almost unprecedented prosperity and economic expansion that made New York the powerhouse of America and fueled a wave of creativity in music, fashion, literature, and architecture. Strike Up the Band explores how the city became a magnet for a host of outstanding personalities, from literary figures to sports stars, musicians, composers, and journalists, and pays a visit to the places they frequented, such as the Cotton Club and Broadway theaters. From the skyline to the sidewalk, the city itself also transformed as it was redeveloped in the 1920s building boom, with Art Deco becoming the style that dominated the new era.

'The great Art Deco monuments of New York still define the city's look, even as they reach their hundredth anniversaries. But they didn't just happen to show up in the aftermath of World War I - they are products of the Roaring Twenties, one of the most colorful, if somewhat mythical, decades of the city's history. Strike up the Band is a fast-paced romp through that remarkable period, from speakeasies, literary hang-outs, flappers, and skyscrapers to the Harlem Renaissance, the Yiddish Rialto, and Tammany Hall politics. Hang on to your hats...' Anthony W. Robins, author of New York Art Deco: A Guide to Gotham's Jazz Age Architecture

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