Author Corey Dolgon, a former Hamptons resident and now associate professor of sociology at Worcester State College in Massachusetts, goes beyond the celebrity headlines to tell the story of this complex and contentious place.
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From polo players to migrant workers, The End of the Hamptons: Scenes from the Class Struggle in America’s Paradise (304 pages/23 photos; $29.95, cloth), to be published in May by NYU Press, offers an inside look at one of America’s most exclusive communities. Author Corey Dolgon, a former Hamptons resident and now associate professor of sociology at Worcester State College in Massachusetts, goes beyond the celebrity headlines to tell the story of this complex and contentious place.
Dolgon argues that Long Island’s East End has a long and tortured past, rife with class struggle between the haves and the have-nots. This turmoil is a direct result of the Hamptons’ unique founding and history. As wave after wave of immigrants have settled on the island, a pattern of anxiety and exclusion has risen to the surface, compelling each new group of land owners to spurn the incoming group of potential residents. From the displacement of Native Americans by the Puritans to the first wave of Manhattan elites who build the Summer Colony, to the current infusion of telecommuting millionaires who now want to live there all year round, the story of the Hamptons is a vicious cycle of supposed paradise lost.
Drawing on this history, the author provides a fascinating portrait of today’s controversies: the Native Americans fighting over land claims and threatening to build a casino; the environmental activists clashing with the McMansion builders; and the Latino day laborers and working-class natives trying to eke out a living in an always increasingly expensive area.