Letters written by nine African-American defendants in the infamous rape case in Scottsboro, Ala., are the foundation of The Scottsboro Boys in Their Own Words: Selected Letters, 1931-1950, edited by Kwando Kinshasa. The collection provides a wide range of perspectives as the miscarriage of justice became a celebrated cause. Kinshasa, a professor of Africana studies at John Jay College, has authored six books and numerous articles in the area of social justice and migration.
In Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World’s Fair and the Transformation of America, Joseph Tirella demonstrates how the World’s Fair was a flashpoint in areas of politics to pop culture, technology to urban planning and civil rights. Robert Moses brought the fair to Flushing Meadows, turning it into his greatest public park. Tirella, who has written about Queens for The New York Times, is associate director, media relations and publications at Lehman College.
How corporations have shaped – and plagued – public health over the last century, is the focus of Lethal But Legal: Corporations, Consumption, and Protecting Public Health, by Nicholas Freudenberg, Distinguished Professor of public health at CUNY’s School of Public Health and Hunter College. According to the book, decisions made by six industries – food, tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceutical, gun and auto – have had a greater impact on today’s health than those by scientists and policymakers.
Oxford University Press
Unfinished Business: Paid Family Leave in California and the Future of the U.S. Work-Family Policy, by Ruth Milkman and Eileen Appelbaum, documents the impact of California’s paid family leave program – the first of it kind in the U.S., started in 2004. The authors detail the effects on employers and workers, and explore implications for the nation, now engaged in a debate about work-family policies. Milkman is professor of sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and the academic director of CUNY’s Murphy Labor Institute.
Cornell University Press
My Father’s Wars: Migration, Memory, and the Violence of a Century, by Alisse Waterston, is an anthropologist’s account of her father’s journey across continents, countries, generations and wars. It is a scholar’s reflection on the forces of history, the experience of exile and immigration, as well as a daughter’s moving portrait of a charming but difficult man. A professor of anthropology at John Jay College, Waterston was recently named president-elect of the American Anthropological Association.