Welcome to my author’s pages...
Read my latest book,
We Weren't Angels: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs and Crime in Boston's Combat Zone
tour-de-force of memoir and research, Geoff Alexander offers a unique view of
Boston's famed Combat Zone at its raucous height in the late 1970s into the 80s.
He incorporates little-explored perspectives: not only those of the female
dancers and male customers at the Zone's many strip clubs, but also those of the
district's cab drivers (of whom he was one, while married to a dancer),
transgender performers, club owners, talent agents, costume designers,
bartenders, police detectives, mobsters, musicians, photographers, drug dealers,
petty thieves, pimps, urban planners, and politicians.
researched, this book offers a panoramic and often disturbing view of the
history of commercialized sex work in one of the most storied Red Light
districts in the U.S. Some of us made it out with tales to tell (perhaps not to
the grandchildren). Others fared much worse. We all come to life in this
riveting, unforgettable telling of a quintessentially American tale.”
―Lauri Umansky (as Lauri Lewin), author, Naked is the Best Disguise: My Life As
What's in the book? A
hub of sex, crime, and drugs, Boston's Combat Zone, the nation's largest adult
entertainment district during the last half of the 20th century, lured white-
and blue-collar workers, lawyers, professors, judges and cops to watch and chat
up its adult performers, many of whom earned more than white-collar
professionals. By 1985, its multi-decade run was over. Why did it last so long,
despite constant attempts to destroy it? What drew thousands of women to perform
there, despite the potential for danger? And what became of them, after the
lights dimmed and the music stopped? This first comprehensive history of the
Combat Zone authored by an active participant, is told through the gritty
perspective of a Boston cab driver married to a star dancer. It introduces the
district's strippers, club owners, transgender performers, prostitutes and cops,
depicting them as neither saints nor sinners as they fought for survival and
success in a time of sexual revolution and political upheaval. This is their
story, much of it told in their own words.
Here are my other
books and writing on world cultures. Have fun, enjoy reading, and
let me know what you think.
Hawaiian: The Influence of Pacific Island Culture on the Mainland
(2019). How did Hawaiian and Polynesian culture come to dramatically alter
American music, fashion and decor, as well as ideas about race, in less than
a century? It began with mainland hula and musical performances in the late
19th century, rose dramatically as millions shipped to Hawaii during the
Pacific War, then made big leap with the advent of low-cost air travel. By
the end of the 1950s, mainlanders were hosting tiki parties, listening to
exotic music, lazing on rattan furniture in Hawaiian shirts and, of course,
surfing. Increasingly, they were marrying people outside of their own racial
groups as well. Read how this cultural conquest came about and the people
and events that led to it. “At last, someone takes Hawai’i seriously, combining a scholar’s eye and a fanatic’s
devotion to showing how small islands in the middle of nowhere changed our
world, making it a richer and better place.”―Jerry Hopkins, author, The Hula,
Romancing the East and No One Here Gets Out Alive (the biography of the
Doors' Jim Morrison).
The Nonprofit Survival Guide: A Strategy for
Sustainability (2015). If
you’re thinking of starting a nonprofit, or are one of the estimated 975,000
of them in existence, this book will show you how to do it sustainably,
inexpensively, and successfully, with numerous real-world examples of how
others have done it successfully.
Film Books: I've written two books on the
16mm classroom films that were distributed to schools, Academic Films
for the Classroom: A History, and Films You Saw in School: A Critical Review
of 1,153 Classroom Educational Films (1958-1985) in 74 Subject Areas.
Click on the paragraph header for descriptions and ordering information.
Fiction Words: A book of short stories is in
the works. Read a few of those stories here.
Music Words: Essays on Flamenco, the History of the Jazz Organ,
Morlam music from the Isaan area of Thailand, the legendary 1970s
California art/avant-garde band The Roots of Madness, and a
description of the electronic compositions Geoff has written for and
performed on the Farfisa VIP-500 organ.
Radio Words: KTAO-FM in the town of Los
Gatos, California was an avant-garde alternative radio station started by
Lorenzo Milam in the 1970s that influenced many dozens of others. Read more
Culture Words: What do you know about Black
Preaching Styles? This art of oration may be one of the most
under-appreciated art forms in the United States today. This paper is
concerned with call-and-response driven by the hemistichal rhythmic cadence
of the preacher.