As I often do when trying to find inspiration for assignments and essays, I went through my book collection last night, there is anything there which I might find relevant to Greenwich Village History. I came across my copy of Mario Puzzo’s The Godfather.
Published originally in 1969, The Godfather provides an excellent picture of New York City living in the early 20th century. Mainly taking place between 1945-1955, the book also tells of Don Vito Corleone’s childhood and rise to power. This portion of the novel offers wonderful descriptions of life in New York City’s tenements in the first quarter of the 20th Century.
For anyone trying to write about that time and place, I recommend picking up this novel and reading the chapter on Corleone’s youth. This section can be read on its own as though it were a short story independent of the rest of the novel, and it is both historically informative and entertaining.
As a side note: I often wish that novelists cited sources or included bibliographies at the end of a work, because I am often interested in learning more about the topics which are mentioned, or am otherwise curious about where facts were obtained.