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    By: Sudhir Venkatesh

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    After his insider's study of Chicago crack gangs electrified the academy, Columbia University sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh spent a decade immersed in New York's underbelly, observing the call girls, drug dealers, prostitutes and other strivers that make up this booming underground economy. Amidst the trust-funder cocktail parties, midtown strip clubs, and immigrant-run sex shops, he discovers a surprisingly fluid and dynamic social world - one that can be found in global cities everywhere - as traditional boundaries between class, race and neighbourhood dissolve. In Floating City, Venkatesh explores New York from high to low, tracing the invisible threads that bind a handful of ambitious urban hustlers, from a Harvard-educated socialite running a high-end escort service to a Harlem crack dealer adapting to changing demands by selling cocaine to hedge fund managers and downtown artists. In the process, and as he questions his own reasons for going deeper into this subterranean world, Venkatesh finds something truly unexpected - community. Floating City is Venkatesh's journey through the 'vast invisible continent' of New York's underground economy - a thriving yet largely unseen world that exists in parallel to our own, at the heart of every city.

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