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In the South Bronx of America Hardcover – 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Curbstone Press; 1st edition (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915306964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915306961
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,459,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A provocative and disturbing photographic document, Mel Rosenthal's In the South Bronx of America captures the willful destruction primarily by fire of the South Bronx during the years 1975 to 1983. In some photos, false fronts are pasted on the windows of burned-out buildings to camouflage the blight as the area was being readied for real-estate developers and business owners. Grace Paley, Martha Rosler and Barry Phillips join Bronx native Rosenthal in contributing probing and piercing essays.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Curbstone Press, Jantje Tielken, Editorial Assistant, October 11, 2001 on July 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"Not since Eudora Welty photographed rural Mississippi in the 1930s has anyone caught so memorably a people and a place as Mel Rosenthal has done in this unforgettable record of the South Bronx." --Willimam Jay Smith, former Poet Laureate of the United States and author of The Cherokee Lottery
"Rosenthal's disturbing stories and portraits of life in this neighborhood during the 1970s and 1980s are the work of an activist's committed lens, revealing how public money does not always result in public progress." --Doubletake
"Rosenthal's protraits convey the still vibrant life of a community hurtling toward ruin." --Erin Christman, Ruminator Review
"The photographer doesn't just give readers the clichés of burned buildings and homeless people. We see the richness and complexity of life that the South Bronx supported, even during its darkest day, and that may be the book's most significant accomplishment." --Damaso Reyes, The New York Amsterdam News
"Whatever historians may conclude about factors involved in the deterioration of the South Bronx, the juxtaposition of photographs of burned out buildings with vibrant portraits of South Bronx residents makes Rosenthal's book a provocative historical and sociological document." --Leslie Cohen, The Jerusalem Post
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Suds Terkel on February 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'd strongly recommend Mr. Rosenthal's work to anyone who is interested in the devastation suffered by those in the South Bronx during the 1970's and 1980's as well as those who have an interest in "urbicide."
Based on what was available, I felt for a long time that there was a great gap in books available on the Bronx; either they spoke of the grand old days or focused solely on the destructive elements of the Bronx experience. Or, in other words, there was little on the lives of those who were trying to make a "go" of the place, despite the inexorable forces arrayed against them.
Mr. Rosenthal's work fills that gap in a diligent and eloquent manner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In The South Bronx Of America is photographer Mel Rosenthal's intimate documentary of severe and widespread poverty in New York's South Bronx, a neighborhood of ethnic diversity united chronic conditions of urban distress. Enhanced with informative essays by Grace Paley, Martha Rosler, and Barry Phillips, Rosenthal's photos also provide evidence of human joy, strength, and pride to be found in even the most abject circumstances. In The South Bronx Of America is an impressive contribution to contemporary American studies and will prove to be of intense interest to students of photography, ethnic studies, and urban culture as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Donnelly on January 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Rosenthal has produced an excellent book about one of New York's most troubled neighborhoods.Working in the South Bronx for many years I've witnessed firsthand the struggles of area residents against the tide of arson and crime.Rosenthal's photographs tell the story of the survival of the human spirit in one of the most devastated areas in the country and the efforts to rebuild it.
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Format: Hardcover
I strongly recommend this book to any one who would like to see what the South Bronx was during the 70's and 80's and how life was around when growing in these areas. I look back and see what I experience and how much different is today than those days when growing up.
Going to bed and thinking if you will wake up alive or if the Fire Department will be rescuing you. It's was hard growing up in the South Bronx in those days, but now that it has been in the redevelopment stage, the South Bronx has been recovering from those years of neglect ion to the people of this area.
Mr. Rosenthal's has done an amazing job in capturing those moments during that time.
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