Fascinating New Yorkers: Power Freaks, Mobsters, Liberated Women, Creators, Queers and Crazies (Black Rose Writing, 2018) is a selection of posts from this blog. Biographical sketches of people, some remembered and some forgotten, who lived or died in New York. Included are a prostitute's daughter who got to know two ex-kings and a future emperor; a cardinal archbishop known in certain circles as "Franny"; a serial killer who terrorized the city; Andy Warhol and his sex life; J.P. Morgan and his nose; Polly Adler, Queen of Tarts; and a pioneer in female erotica who had two husbands and kept a "lie box" with lists of lies so she could keep her two lives straight. Readers may be shocked by these people, or angered or puzzled, but never bored.
Release date July 26, 2018. Available here from Black Rose Writing, the publisher, with a discounted price (plus postage), but it won't be shipped before that date. Also available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, minus the discount but with the delay. Signed copies available from the author for $20.00 (plus postage), though in limited numbers.
No Place for Normal: New York / Stories from the Most Exciting City in the World (Mill City Press, 2015) is also a selection of posts from this blog. Subjects include alcoholics, abortionists, grave robbers, Occupy Wall Street, the Gay Pride Parade, a bloody corner, peyote visions, an early feminist whose enemies called her "Mrs. Satan," spooks and ghouls, near-death experiences, and an artist who made art out of a blood-filled squirt gun and a blackened human toe. It is a celebration of the wild, unpredictable, sometimes maddening, but always fascinating city of New York. Available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
"I thoroughly enjoyed 'No Place for Normal: New York' by Clifford Browder and highly recommend it to all fans of entertaining short stories and lovers of New York City. It would also make an interesting travel guide for people who just want to learn more about the city that never sleeps!" Reader Views review by Sheri Hoyte.
"If you want wonderful inside tales about New York, this is the book for you. Cliff Browder has a way with his writing that makes the city I lived in for 40 plus years come alive in a new and delightful way. A refreshing view on NYC that will not disappoint." Five-star Amazon customer review by Bill L.
My lifelong interest in history led me to write biographies of two once renowned but now almost forgotten figures in nineteenth-century New York.
The Money Game in Old New York: Daniel Drew and His Times (University Press of Kentucky, 1986) is an account of Daniel Drew, a farmer turned cattle drover turned steamboat operator who went on to become the wiliest operator on Wall Street, where his homespun ways won him the name Uncle Daniel. Allied with Jim Fisk and Jay Gould, he fought Commodore Vanderbilt, a titan of finance, for control of the Erie Railway and clipped the redoubtable Commodore for some two million dollars.
The Wickedest Woman in New York: Madame Restell, the Abortionist (Archon Books, 1988) tells the story of Ann Lohman, an English immigrant who under the assumed name Madame Restell became the city’s most notorious abortionist, shocking respectable citizens by parading about in sumptuous finery – evidence of her ill-gotten gains – and then building a palatial mansion on the Fifth Avenue, in the city’s most fashionable and exclusive residential district. When finally arrested by Anthony Comstock, the founder of the New York Society for the Prevention of Vice, she went out with a bang.
I am also the author of André Breton: Arbiter of Surrealism (Librairie Droz, 1967), a critical study of the French poet who dominated the Surrealist movement in France between the two World Wars. It was perhaps the first full-length study of Breton in English.
The two biographies are now out of print but available used at varying prices online. They can also be found in reference libraries. The Breton book is also available online.