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Blackout (book)

3 Ratings: 2.0
2003 non fiction book

"Riveting . . . An engrossing, street-level recounting and ambivalent ode to a great city."--Jamie Berger, San Francisco Chronicle      On July 13, 1977, there was a blackout in New York City. With the dark came excitement, … see full wiki

Author: James Goodman
Genre: History
Publisher: North Point Press
Date Published: December 12, 2003
1 review about Blackout (book)

A compelling look back at the tragic events of July 13, 1977.

  • Dec 29, 2008
  • by
It has been more than three decades since that fateful night.  Most folks have long since forgotten all about it.  But the New York City blackout of 1977 is an event worth remembering.  Who or what was the real cause of the blackout?  And what prompted some people in a number of neighborhoods around the city to engage in looting, vandalism and arson that would in the end destroy over 2000 stores citywide?

As author James Goodman points out in "Blackout"  these were not the best of times in the City of New York.  Crime was out of control, unemployment was high, and confidence in the political leadership of the city was extremely low.  And to make matters much worse the city was suffering the effects of debilitating heat wave.  The blackout it seems came at just the wrong time.
Using an interesting and at times dizzying writing style, Goodman has a dozen or more storylines going at any one time.  He presents the story from all sides. What was the Mayor saying and doing about this crisis?  And the suits at Con Edison....how were they responding?  What motivated those doing the looting?  And how did store owners try to protect their property?  How did the police respond and were the measures they took correct and appropriate?  And when it was all over what was reaction of community leaders, the media and the politicians?  So many questions.

In "Blackout" James Goodman has given us a remarklably thought provoking book.  I certainly enjoyed it and if you are a student of history I suspect you will as well.  Highly recommended!

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