John Taylor Williams at Harvard Book Store
The Shores of Bohemia:
A Cape Cod Story, 1910-1960
June 7, 2022
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes lawyer and author JOHN TAYLOR WILLIAMS—founder of the Boston literary agency Kneerim & Williams—for a discussion of his book The Shores of Bohemia: A Cape Cod Story, 1910-1960.
A Return to In-Person Events
Harvard Book Store is excited to re-introduce in-person programming this season. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Harvard Book Store events until further notice:
- Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the store. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.
About The Shores of Bohemia
Their names are iconic: Eugene O’Neill, Willem de Kooning, Josef and Annie Albers, Emma Goldman, Mary McCarthy, Edward Hopper, Walter Gropius―and the list goes on and on. Scorning the devastation that industrialization had wrought on the nation’s economy and culture in the early decades of the twentieth century, they gathered in the streets of Greenwich Village and on the beachfronts of Cape Cod. They began as progressives but soon turned to socialism, then communism. They founded theaters, periodicals, and art schools. They formed editorial boards that met in beach shacks and performed radical new plays in a shanty on the docks where they could see the ocean through cracks in the floor. They welcomed the tremendous wave of talent fleeing Europe in the 1930s. At the end of their era, as the postwar economy boomed, they took shelter in liberalism as the anti-capitalist movement fragmented into other causes in the 1960's.
John Taylor "Ike" Williams, who married into the Cape’s artistic world and has spent fifty years talking and walking its shores with these cultural and political revolutionaries, gives us the twisting lives and careers of a staggering generation of American thinkers and creators. The Shores of Bohemia records a great set of shifts in American culture, of ideas and arguments fueled by drink, infidelity, and competition that made for a fifty-year conversation among intellectual leaders and creative revolutionaries, who found a community as they created some of the great works of the American century. This is their story. Welcome to the party!
Praise for The Shores of Bohemia
"The Shores of Bohemia, not only explores the unreliable boundaries between the local and the global, it marks, as well, the various intersections of historical event, human mysteries, and pure magic." ―Michael Cunningham, author of The Snow Queen
"This wonderful book utterly beguiled me. On the surface, it is about a small portion of Cape Cod, the three final towns: Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown. Yet it is about much more than that, and tells a beautiful story about friendship and creativity at the height of the American Century." ―Ted Widmer, author of Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington
"Surely no place has had so many brilliant American painters, playwrights, novelists, architects, and intellectuals as the three towns at the end of Cape Cod did from 1910 to 1960. Ike Williams has found them all and given us an astonishing portrait of their lives together. Who could put this book down?" ―Frances FitzGerald, author of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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