The Devils' Playground

The Devil's Playground
A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square
by James Traub
Random House, $24.95, 313 pp.

I wish I’d been around when New Yorkers went to Harlem in ermine and pearls, Fred and Ginger skated in Central Park, Ellington and Armstrong jammed on 52nd Street, and the Broadway theater had Eugene O’Neill, George S. Kaufman, and the Gershwins all at the same time. Back when New York ruled American popular culture, it was all pretty fabulous and urbane. New York’s dominance was undermined first, says James Traub, by the Depression,...

The remainder of this article is only available to paid subscribers.

Print subscribers to Commonweal are entitled to free access to all premium online content. Click here to purchase a print subscription, or if you’re already a print subscriber, register now for premium access.

Online-only subscriptions provide access to all premium online articles for just $34/year or $2.95/month. Click here to subscribe.

Registered users, please log in below:

Or log in with...


About the Author

Julia Vitullo-Martin edited Breaking Away: The Future of Cities (Twentieth Century Fund Press). She was a Vista Volunteer, a civil rights worker, and an antiwar protester during the sixties.