On Stereotyping Provincetown

A Goldblog reader wrote to ask me if I thought I might be stereotyping Provincetown by calling it rambunctious and high-spirited and lively. I think if I had used the word "flamboyant" -- which is to gays what "articulate" is to blacks and "aggressive bagel-aficionado" is to Jews -- I might have been caricaturing the place, but high-spirited? That's a good thing. In any case, the presence of gay people, just like the presence of blacks and Jews, makes a place cosmopolitan and enlightened and interesting. I have a friend who argues that cities, in order to reach greatness, must be at least 10 percent gay, 10 percent black and 10 percent Jewish. Someone has to organize poetry slams and start galleries and dance companies and fund the ballet and argue for libraries and generally make a disproportionate amount of noise. You know what they call a city without enough gays, blacks and Jews? Boise.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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