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Kevin Cook: Kitty Genovese

Kevin Cook: Kitty Genovese

The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime That Changed America. USA 2015,242 pp. with b/w photographs, brochure,  15.95
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W. W. Norton
New York City, 1964. A young woman is stabbed to death on her front stoop - a murder the New York Times called »a frozen moment of dramatic, disturbing social change«. The victim, Catherine »Kitty« Genovese, became an urban martyr, butchered by a sociopathic killer in plain sight of 38 neighbors who »didn’t want to get involved«. Her sensational case provoked an anxious outcry and launched a sociological theory known as the »Bystander Effect«. Now, on the 50th anniversary of her murder, Cook presents the real Kitty Genovese. She was a vibrant young woman - unbeknownst to most, a lesbian - a bartender working (and dancing) her way through the colorful, fast-changing New York of the ’60s, a cultural kaleidoscope marred by the Kennedy assassination, the Cold War, and race riots. Downtown, Greenwich Village teemed with beatniks, folkies, and so-called misfits like Kitty and her lover. Kitty Genovese evokes the Village’s gay and lesbian underground with deep feeling and colorful detail.
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