Blackout

James Goodman

North Point Press

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"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, adventure, and fright in subway tunnels, office towers, busy intersections, high-rise stairwells, hotel lobbies, elevators, and hospitals. There was revelry in bars and restaurants, music and dancing in the streets. On block after block, men and women proved themselves heroes by helping neighbors and strangers make it through the night.

Unfortunately, there was also widespread looting, vandalism, and arson. Even before police restored order, people began to ask and argue about why. Why did people do what they did when the lights went out? The argument raged for weeks but it was just like the night: lots of heat, little light-a shouting match between those who held fast to one explanation and those who held fast to another.

James Goodman cuts between accidents, encounters, conversations, exchanges, and arguments to re-create that night and its aftermath in a dizzying accumulation of detail. Rejecting simple dichotomies and one-dimensional explanations for why people act as they do in moments of conflict and crisis, Goodman illuminates attitudes, ideas, and experiences that have been lost in facile generalizations and analyses. Journalistic re-creation at its most exciting, Blackout provides a whirlwind tour of 1970s New York and a challenge to conventional thinking.

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Reviews

Praise for Blackout

Praise for James Goodman's Stories of Scottsboro:

"Extraordinary . . . To do justice to the Scottsboro story a book would have to combine edge-of-the-seat reportage and epic narrative sweep. And it is just such a book that James Goodman has given us, a beautifully realized history . . . written with complete authority, tight emotional control, and brilliant use of archival material." -- Chicago Tribune

"Superb . . . Mr. Goodman breaks fresh ground . . . One cannot read [this] remarkable book without being moved." -- The New York Times Book Review

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About the Author

James Goodman

James Goodman is a professor of history at Rutgers University and the author of Stories of Scottsboro, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Manhattan.

Dr. James Goodman

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Buy the Book

Available Formats and Book Details

Blackout
James Goodman

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
North Point Press
July 2005
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780865477155
ISBN10: 0865477159
4 3/4 x 7 15/16 inches, 272 pages
$21.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
North Point Press
July 2005
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429928069
ISBN10: 1429928069
272 pages
$7.99
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From The Publisher

North Point Press

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