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John Strausbaugh (born in Baltimore in 1951) is an American author, cultural commentator, and host of the New York Times "Weekend Explorer" video podcast series on New York City.
Strausbaugh's new book The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, a History of Greenwich Village (Ecco 2013) (ISBN 978-0062078193), April 9, 2013, explains the tumultuous events that made New York's Greenwich Village the cultural engine of America. The book is described by Kurt Anderson as "the definitive history of America's bohemian wellspring and prototypical modern neighborhood with all the verve and fun and rigor it deserves."
Strausbaugh's books have examined the history of recreational drug use (The Drug User: Documents 1840-1960, co-edited with Donald Blaise, with an introduction by William S. Burroughs, 1990), the intersection of politics and popular culture in the White House (Alone With the President, 1992), the priesthood that spreads the gospel of Elvisism (E: Reflections on the Birth of the Elvis Faith, 1995) and Rock and Roll's infidelity to the youth culture that created it (Rock 'Til You Drop: The Decline From Rebellion to Nostalgia, 2001), which was declared “the definitive word on the senescent Rolling Stones” by The New York Times.
Strausbaugh's controversial book, Black Like You: Blackface, Whiteface, Insult & Imitation in American Popular Culture, 2006, explored race relations in popular culture, including the pervasive and long-lasting impact of blackface performance in rock and roll, hip-hop, advertising, “gangsta-lit” and contemporary Hollywood film-making. His new book, Sissy Nation: How America Became a Culture of Wimps & Stoopits, was released on February 5, 2008 by Virgin Books USA. "Straw: Finding My Way," which Strausbaugh collaboratively wrote with Darryl Strawberry, was published on April 28, 2009, by Ecco, a division of HarperCollins publishing.
Strausbaugh is a regular contributor to the New York Times, The Washington Post, and Cabinet magazine. He also worked as a contributor and editor of The New York Press from 1990 until late 2002, when the paper was sold to Avalon Equity Partners. He established the paper as an independent thinking and often irreverent voice, which directly competed with the city's more traditionally liberal downtown paper, The Village Voice.
- Alone with the President (Blast Books) (ISBN 978-0922233090)
- E: Reflections on the Birth of the Elvis Faith (Blast Books, 1995) (ISBN 978-0922233151)
- Rock 'Til You Drop: The Decline from Rebellion to Nostalgia (Versso 2003) (ISBN 978-1859844861)
- Black Like You: Blackface, Whiteface, Insult & Imitation in American Popular Culture (Tarcher 2007) (ISBN 1585425931)
- The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, a History of Greenwich Village (Ecco 2013) (ISBN 978-0062078193)