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Residents of New York City's South Bronx neighborhood live amidst what is frequently described as the most severe and widespread poverty in any U.S. metropolitan area. In the South Bronx of America is a work which, through documentary photographs, counterpointed with statements by residents and by newspaper reports and statistical information, offers both an intimate view of life in this neighborhood and a context for understanding the last two decades of accelerated social decay. In the words of Penny Coleman, New York Times photographer, In the South Bronx of America, "is important because it is not cynical, because it is a sincere attempt to provide the awareness necessary for change."
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The most turgid and ideological commentator on Rosenthal's 1970s photographs of the South Bronx at least puts her finger on why this is such an invigorating, even joyous book. "For Rosenthal the main thing was the resiliency of the people," she says, and not "the grotesquely devastated cityscape." The montage of quotations that Rosenthal selected to accompany the pictures argues the "committed" essayist's case--that the South Bronx became an urban wasteland according to a policy of intentional neglect, not because its poor residents destroyed it--much more cogently. Rosenthal had grown up in the South Bronx, and he strove to capture the vitality, beauty, and self-possession of those who couldn't get out, or wouldn't until fear of arson forced them out (the city answered an epidemic of arson with huge cuts in fire and police service). He ingratiated himself in his direly changed old neighborhood by giving prints of their pictures to the people in them, and they responded with a good humor that defies the squalor that surrounds them. Ray Olson
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These publications are poignant visual reminders of shameful times in our nation's past and of the remarkable endurance of human beings. In 1975, after a 20-year absence from his birthplace, Rosenthal returned to the South Bronx to become director of the photography program at Empire State College, a branch of SUNY. He found buildings abandoned or burned down, garbage piled everywhere, disease and crime rampant all the result of "planned shrinkage," in which city services to an unsuspecting neighborhood are deliberately cut and the poor forced out to make way for industrial development and new highways. He photographed the rubble and the residents of this urban devastation, the majority being African Americans or Latinos. The approximately 80 black-and-white images of the South Bronx, taken between 1975 and 1983, show one of this country's most poverty-stricken areas, victimized by corporate greed.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Curbstone Press, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB0915306964
Book Description Curbstone Press, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110915306964
Book Description Curbstone Press, 2001. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0915306964
Book Description Curbstone Press, 2001. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # MB00Z8DVSZA