The 600-page tome can now be previewed online.
We previously reported on the book when it was announced back in 2014, but now full details of Lawrence's latest have emerged. The work does a deep dive into the NYC downtown scene during the early '80s, in which a number of factors—and a lack of genre orthodoxy—spawned art-punk, post-disco and hip-hop. Lawrence, who previously published Love Saves The Day: A History Of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-79 (2004) and Hold On To Your Dreams: Arthur Russell And The Downtown Music Scene, 1973-92 (2009), tells the story of the era through its famous nightclubs, the Mudd Club, Danceteria, Better Days and the Paradise Garage, as well as the DJs who served as their residents.
Read an excerpt from Life And Death On The New York Dance Floor's preface:
This book makes three core arguments. First, New York experienced a community-driven cultural renaissance during the early 1980s that stands as one of the most influential in its, and perhaps in any city’s, history. Second, the renaissance was rooted in opportunities that came to the fore during New York’s shift from industrialism to post-industrialism, and it began to unravel when New York assumed the character of a neoliberal city organized around finance capital, gentrification, real estate inflation, and social regulation. Third, although party culture is routinely denigrated as a source of mindless hedonism and antisocial activity, it revealed its social, cultural, and even economic potential during the period examined here.Check out a 26-page preview here and order it here.