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Edward White: The Tastemaker

Edward White: The Tastemaker

Carl van Vechten and the Birth of Modern America. USA 2014, 380 pp., brochure,  29.95
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Embodying many of the contradictions of modern America, Van Vechten was a devoted husband with a coterie of boys by his side, a constant visitor of the Greenwich Village underground gay scene, a supporter of difficult art who also loved lowbrow entertainment, and a promoter of the Harlem Renaissance who believed in racial difference. He brought Gertrude Stein to the nation's attention and was a confidant of Langston Hughes and F. Scott Fitzgerald. »The Tastemaker« encompasses its subject's private fears and longings as well as raucous parties fueled by booze and lust. It is a remarkable portrait of a man whose brave journeys across boundaries of race, sexuality, and taste helped make America fully modern.
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