We Used to Own the Bronx by Eve Pell
Memoirs of a Former Debutante (Excelsior Editions)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 6 Critic Reviews



An inside story of privilege, inherited wealth, and the bizarre values and customs of the American upper crust.

We Used to Own the Bronx tells the story of a woman born into the proprieties of an East Coast dynasty who nevertheless leaves her world of privilege for a career as an investigative reporter. Recounting her upbringing, Eve Pell offers an inside look at the bizarre values and customs of the American aristocracy, from debutante balls and the belowstairs hierarchy of the servant class to the fanatical pursuit of blood sports and private men’s clubs whose members were cared for like sultans. In the patriarchal world of the upper crust, girls were expected to flatter and defer to boys and men: her scholar-athlete sister was offered a racehorse if she would refuse to attend college. A parade of eccentrics populates the book, from the cockfighting stepfather who ran away from boarding school with a false beard and a stolen motorcycle to the Brahmin great-uncle who secretly organized the servants in Tuxedo Park to vote for Teddy Roosevelt.

But as she moved beyond the narrow world she was expected to inhabit, Pell encountered people and ideas that brought her into conflict with her past. Equally unconventional are the muckrakers and revolutionaries she met in the 1960s and 1970s, and her subsequent adventures and misadventures while working with radical activists to reform the California prison system. As Pell traces her absorbing journey from debutante to working mother, from the upper crust of the East Coast to the radical activists of the West, from a life of wealth and privilege to one of trying to make ends meet, she provides exceptional insight into the prickly and complex issues of social class in America.

About Eve Pell

See more books from this Author
Romance author Jayne Ann Krentz was born in Borrego Springs, California on March 28, 1948. She received a B.A. in history from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Masters degree in library science from San Jose State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a librarian. Her novels include: Truth or Dare, All Night Long, and Copper Beach. She has written under seven different names: Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Stephanie James, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Castle, Amanda Quick and Jayne Ann Krentz. Her first book, Gentle Pirate, was published in 1980 under the name Jayne Castle. She currently uses only three personas to represent her three specialties. She uses the name Jayne Ann Krentz for her contemporary pieces, Amanda Quick for her historical fiction pieces, and Jayne Castle for her futuristic pieces. She has received numerous awards for her work including the 1995 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Trust Me, the 2004 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Falling Awake, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, the Romantic Times Jane Austen Award, and the Susan Koppelman Award for Feminist Studies for Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance.
Published March 1, 2009 by Excelsior Editions/State University of New Yo. 225 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference.

Unrated Critic Reviews for We Used to Own the Bronx


Six years later, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit group monitoring racist activity in the United States, reported that the CCC had hosted as many as 38 federal, state and local officials at its meetings (all of them Republicans, except one Democrat)—despite a warning from the Republic...

Oct 01 2014 | Read Full Review of We Used to Own the Bronx: Mem...


Editor’s note: In this essay, veteran social activist Tom Hayden, drawing upon his own rude political awakening to the realities of Israeli and Middle East politics during the 1980s, warns that the Israel lobby in the U.S. aims to “roll back the clock” and “change the map” of the region and that ...

Jun 12 2008 | Read Full Review of We Used to Own the Bronx: Mem...


Part 3, “Women in the Limelight: Recent Books on Middle Eastern Women’s History since 1800,” covers a large number of books written on modern Middle Eastern women in the period since 1990, when books on Middle Eastern women’s history and society began to be written in significant numbers.

Nov 30 2006 | Read Full Review of We Used to Own the Bronx: Mem...


It’s the kind of movie that in more moralistic days used to awaken thoughts of the hospitals that could have been constructed instead using its budget.

Jul 08 2013 | Read Full Review of We Used to Own the Bronx: Mem...


You may not be an Internet billionaire, but for $25 (or .00001 percent of what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos just paid for the Washington Post), you can help keep us in business.

Apr 27 2009 | Read Full Review of We Used to Own the Bronx: Mem...


By mizipi, January 31, 2007 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment(Unregistered commenter).

Jan 31 2007 | Read Full Review of We Used to Own the Bronx: Mem...

Reader Rating for We Used to Own the Bronx

An aggregated and normalized score based on 26 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review