Books At-a-Glance

October 3, 2012 | Salute to Scholars, The University

Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ’n’ Roll

John Jay College associate professor of English and Film and Graduate Center professor of English and Liberal Studies Marc Dolan

W.W. Norton & Company

Marc Dolan takes us through Bruce Springsteen’s life by tracing the cultural, political and personal forces that shaped his music. Springsteen moved over the decades from voicing the concerns of a working-class New Jersey guy to writing and singing about the larger issues facing the country, including war, class disparity and prejudice. Dolan draws on a range of new and little-known sources, including hundreds of unreleased studio recordings and bootlegs of live performances, and combines political analysis, music history, and colorful storytelling to reveal how a gifted, ambitious community college dropout achieved superstardom — and spent decades refining what he wanted his music to say.


The Crisis of Zionism

CUNY Graduate School of Journalism associate professor of Political Science Peter Beinart

Times Books, Henry Holt and Company

In The Crisis of Zionism, Peter Beinart lays out in chilling detail the looming danger to Israeli democracy and the American Jewish establishment’s refusal to confront it. And he offers a fascinating, groundbreaking portrait of the two leaders at the center of the crisis: Barack Obama, America’s first “Jewish president,” a man steeped in the liberalism he learned from his many Jewish friends and mentors in Chicago; and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister who considers liberalism the Jewish people’s special curse. These two men embody fundamentally different visions not just of American and Israeli national interests but of the mission of the Jewish people, as well.


The Anatomy of Harpo Marx

Graduate Center Distinguished Professor of English Wayne Koestenbaum

University of California Press

Koestenbaum guides the reader through the 13 Marx Brothers films, from “The Cocoanuts” in 1929 to “Love Happy” in 1950, to focus on Harpo’s chief and yet heretofore unexplored attribute — his profound and contradictory corporeality. Koestenbaum celebrates the astonishing range of Harpo’s body — its kinks, sexual multiplicities, somnolence, Jewishness, “cute” pathos and more. Moving from insightful analysis to cultural critique to autobiographical musing, Koestenbaum provides Harpo with a host of odd bedfellows, including Walter Benjamin and Barbra Streisand.


Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution

Graduate Center Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, History and Earth and Environmental Sciences David Harvey

Verso

Rebel Cities places the city at the heart of both capital and class struggles, looking at locations ranging from Johannesburg to Mumbai and from New York City to São Paulo. Drawing on the Paris Commune as well as Occupy Wall Street and the London Riots, Harvey asks how cities might be reorganized in more socially just and ecologically sane ways — and how they can become the focus for anticapitalist resistance.

 


Charter Schools and the Corporate Makeover

of Public Education

Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work professor and doctoral program chair Michael Fabricant and Graduate Center Distinguished Professor of Social Psychology, Women’s Studies and Urban Education Michelle Fine

Teachers College Press

This book aims to reset the discourse on charter schooling by systematically exploring the gap between the promise and the performance of charter schools. Michael Fabricant and Michelle Fine do not defend the public school system, which for decades has failed primarily poor children of color. Instead, they use empirical evidence to determine whether charter schooling offers an authentic alternative for these children. This essential introduction includes a detailed history of the charter movement, an analysis of the politics and economics driving the movement, documentation of actual student outcomes, and alternative approaches to transforming public education so that it serves all children.


Sexual Types: Embodiment, Agency, and Dramatic Character from Shakespeare to Shirley

Lehman College professor of English and Graduate Center doctoral faculty in English Mario DiGangi

University of Pennsylvania Press

Building on feminist and queer scholarship, this book demonstrates how sexual types on the early modern stage — such as the sodomite, the tribade (a woman-loving woman), the narcissistic courtier, the citizen wife, the bawd, and the court favorite — function as sites of ideological contradiction. On the one hand, these sexual types are vilified and disciplined for violating social and sexual norms; on the other hand, they can take the form of dynamic, resourceful characters who expose the limitations of the categories that attempt to define and contain them. In bringing sexuality and character studies into conjunction with one another, Sexual Types provides illuminating new readings of familiar plays, such as Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Winter’s Tale.


In the Company of Men: Inside the Lives of Male Prostitutes

Brooklyn College assistant professor of Health and Nutrition Sciences and Graduate Center doctoral program chair of Public Health Christian Grov, and Susquehanna University associate professor of clinical psychology Michael D. Smith.

Praeger

Documenting male prostitution from the perspective of a group of men working for an Internet escort agency, this in-depth account sheds light on the hidden world of Internet male escorts, their customers, and the niche they inhabit in modern American society. Christian Grov and Michael Smith also address attendant issues of postmodern identity, culture and sexuality — and the transformative influence of the Internet on sexual behavior and male prostitution. Through numerous interviews, the book examines the sometimes-dichotomous relationship between the image men convey and the lengths to which they go in order to meet their most private needs.