I picked up this book with real enthusiasm. Who cannot be entranced by those 20 years after the second world war when New York supplanted Paris as the cultural capital of the world? One thinks of the Beats, of Dylan and Greenwich Village, of Sontag and Trilling. Well think again, for none of the above feature in this book at all.
Indeed the first thing to be said is that to call this offering from Thames & Hudson a book is a real abuse of language. It has covers and inside those covers one finds text and image but the three essays that cover visual art, architecture and design and the performing arts appear to have simply been placed together without either editorial brief or plan. Worse, the book lacks not only a credited editor but also a credited designer.