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1st Edition, 1st Printing. In 1959 Davidson read about the teenage gangs of New York City. Connectinga social worker to make initial contacta gang called the Jokers, Davidson became a daily observer and photographer of this alienated youth culture. The Fifties are often considered passive and pale by our standards of urban reality, but Davidson’s photographs prove otherwise. In a recent New York Times article discussing this work, Davidson admitted he feared the erratic and often violent rules and routines of the Jokers. It is tempting to consider what this book might have been like had more of the detail of Brooklyn’s 1950s white gang culture, as revealed in that Times article, been used to reinforce this spare volume. But this book gets to the point quickly, on its own terms. Nearly 70 sheet-fed gravure plates images of tough people, tough lives, tough lovers, all trying to be cool are followed by just two pages of recollections by the photographer and a lengthier interviewBenjie, a surviving gang member, now a drug counselor. Recommended. David Bryant, New Canaan P.L., CT. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc
Signed by Bruce Davidson