Dexter Gordon and the 1970s Fiscal Crisis in New York City
The ecstatic reception that greeted Dexter Gordon upon his return to New York in 1976 stood in contrast to the air of pessimism that befell the city as it confronted the decade’s fiscal crisis. Many of the city’s problems derived from a systemic disinvestment in those communities made most vulnerable by the specter of municipal default. Nevertheless, during this period, New Yorkers viewed their city’s failings largely through the lens of cultural crisis. In this context, chapter 2 situates Gordon’s return in relation to more negative discourses about punk, disco, and contemporary popular music. The period provides us with a useful case study for understanding how arguments waged on the terrain of culture provide cover for strategies of fiscal austerity.
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