Cover image for On the bowery : confronting homelessness in American society
On the bowery : confronting homelessness in American society
Giamo, Benedict.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Iowa City : University of Iowa Press, 1989.
Physical Description:
xix, 267 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV4505 .G48 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



As both theme and place, the Bowery has been rich in meaning, evocative in association, long in development, and representative of the inherent conflict between culture and subculture. This award-winning interdisciplinary study puts in perspective the social meaning and cultural significance of the Bowery from both historical and contemporary outlooks, spanning the fields of American literature and social history, culture studies, symbolic anthropology, ethnography, and social psychology. "On the Bowery" has special relevance in providing continuity for the systems of thought and methods of intervention that influence responses to the modern condition of homelessness in American cities today.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Unmistakably an altered dissertation, Giamo's study of homeless men on the Bowery (a one-mile stretch in New York City) distills fresh insights about how society treats its dispossessed. The engrossing opening chapter shows how a flourishing commercial avenue, once home to the Lord & Taylor department store, yielded to burlesque houses and beer gardens, then to skid row. Next follow two dense chapters in which Giamo argues that ``mystifiers'' Jacob Riis and William Dean Howells repressed awareness of the broad social meaning of urban destitution, while ``critical realists'' Stephen Crane and Theodore Dreiser painted a more open, searching portrayal of the poor. The closing chapter explores the ``affiliative ties'' between homeless men and their attachments to the community. Photos. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved