Floating City

  • by Sudhir Venkatesh
  • Narrated by Sudhir Venkatesh
  • 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"[A] fascinating X-ray of the city…Venkatesh's engrossing narrative dissects the intricacies of illegal commerce." (Publishers Weekly)
New York is a city of highs and lows, where wealthy elites share the streets with desperate immigrants and destitute locals. Bridging this economic divide is New York's underground economy, the invisible network of illicit transactions between rich and poor that secretly weaves together the whole city.
Sudhir Venkatesh, acclaimed sociologist at Columbia University and author of Gang Leader for a Day, returns to the streets to connect the dots of New York's divergent economic worlds - and crack the code of the city's underground economy. Based on Venkatesh's interviews with prostitutes and socialites, immigrants and academics, high end drug bosses and street-level dealers, Floating City exposes the underground as the city's true engine of social transformation and economic prosperity - revealing a wholly unprecedented vision of New York.
A memoir of sociological investigation, Floating City draws from Venkatesh's decade of research within the affluent communities of Upper East Side socialites and Midtown businessmen; the drug gangs of Harlem and the sex workers of Brooklyn; the artists of Tribeca and the escort services of Hell's Kitchen. Venkatesh arrived in the city after his groundbreaking research in Chicago, where crime remained stubbornly local: gangs stuck to their housing projects and criminals stayed on their corners. But in Floating City, Venkatesh discovers that New York's underground economy unites instead of divides inhabitants: a vast network of "off the books" transactions linking the high and low worlds of the city.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Rich, poor, drugs, and escorts

Great read. Love the part when Shine tells Sudhir to use change in place of the word fail. Blue bloods have many options.
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- Javier

Floating storyteller

Fascinating depiction of how the under economies are tied top and supported by white collar business. Venkatesh is a great storyteller. Perhaps the most compelling story he tells in floating city is his own. The central theme and idea of floating really captures each story he tells.
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- Kati Cadenhead

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-12-2013
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio