New York Magazine: “If you live in the New York of Shake Shack burgers and business meetings at the W Hotel, you should read Sudhir Venkatesh’s Floating City…. If it’s criminal or iniquitous and happens here, it’s probably to be found in this book.”
The Guardian: “Compelling…. Like the acclaimed writer Katherine Boo, Venkatesh is interested in deep research, in spending years with subjects and piecing together a detailed portrait. Unlike Boo, Venkatesh is present in his books. He has crossed the line and entered the scene.”
New York Daily News: “Entire human ecosystems exist undocumented and hidden from view. That Venkatesh can bring them to the surface—if only for brief flashes of their existence—illuminates the worldview of future sociologists, policy-makers, students and citizens.”
Publishers Weekly (starred): “[A] fascinating X-ray of the city…Venkatesh’s engrossing narrative dissects the intricacies of illegal commerce and the subtle ways it both divides and entwines different classes and races, while painting rich, novelistic portraits of its participants and their dreams of self-reinvention.”
Kirkus Reviews: “Venkatesh displays a piercing sense of empathy and ability to translate dry sociological principles into an understanding of the difficult lives of the urban poor….[He] has established a singular voice in urban sociology, and his immersive research and insights remain penetrating and unique.”
Library Journal: “Venkatesh has a talent for transforming ethnographic observations into character-driven accounts. [Floating City] is an exciting and compelling work….Readers interested in the daily workings of the illicit economy will be fascinated by the complexities and contradictions of the underground economy that Venkatesh details.”
Booklist: “Venkatesh brings to life the underground economy of New York, where rich and poor and various ethnicities and backgrounds meet and function while they ‘float.’ An enlightening read.”
Elvis Presley is born in 1935 and, a little over 20 years later, he would have his first #1 single on the US charts, forever changing the landscape of popular culture and ushering in a new age of celebrity superstardom.