Keith Miller

Reds in Bed

Dissident Gardens

By

Jonathan Cape 384pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

The New York borough of Queens is home to one of the 20th century’s more distinctive ruins, the site of the 1939–40 and 1964–5 World’s Fairs at Flushing Meadow. Not much of either event remains – some wide, optimistic boulevards, a skeletal globe (the ‘Unisphere’), a science pavilion, now a museum. A geodesic dome by Buckminster Fuller is today the aviary of the Queens Zoo. The site has had a fairly rich cultural afterlife on film, its impeccable retro-futurism serving as a perfect backdrop to alien incursions and jostling superheroes. But in truth it is more eloquent in its present state, patched, peeled and CGI-free: this was tomorrow, it says, and look where it got us.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,
    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,
    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying polemic...book… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,
    • The author 'seethes with contemptuous indignation at the shiny junk that an unregulated construction industry dumps… ,
    • 'The physical courage he demonstrated as a young man [...] gave way to intellectual power; radical thought, gifted… ,
    • 'While Jane Austen didn’t perhaps achieve the full recognition that she deserved in her lifetime, even then she out… ,