Book Beat

Gotham City: The Story Continues

November 16, 2017 | Book Beat, Graduate Center

CUNY historians Mike Wallace and Edwin G. Burroughs won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Gotham, their sweeping history of New York City through 1898. Nearly 20 years later, Wallace is getting early acclaim for his eagerly awaited, and equally epic, next volume – Greater Gotham. The indefatigable historian – a distinguished professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The CUNY Graduate Center – tells the story of the two decades through World War I that transformed the city, seemingly overnight, into the global metropolis it is today. 

Revolutionary Thinking: Does College Need an Overhaul?

October 30, 2017 | Book Beat, Graduate Center

CUNY’s Cathy Davidson thinks so. The director of the Futures Initiative at The Graduate Center, and an influential voice in American education, Davidson argues that college as we know it was conceived for an earlier era and needs to be wholly reimagined for today’s “ever more complex and bewildering world.” She offers a roadmap for reboot in The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux.

The Progressive Pragmatist: A Mayor at Midpoint

October 5, 2017 | Book Beat, Hunter College

Even as he glides toward a second term as mayor, Bill de Blasio remains something of an enigma to many New Yorkers. In The Pragmatist: Bill de Blasio’s Quest to Save the Soul of New York, Joseph Viteritti of Hunter College and The Graduate Center says the mayor’s challenge is fulfilling his progressive promise in New York at a time of polarized politics in Washington.

The NAACP’s Long Fight for the Right to Vote

August 17, 2017 | Book Beat, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Newsmakers

From its first Supreme Court case in 1915 to today’s voter-suppression and gerrymandering, the NAACP has been on the front lines of the battle for the most fundamental American right. In The Voting Rights War: The NAACP and the Ongoing Struggle for Justice, lawyer, legal commentator and John Jay College professor Gloria Browne-Marshall tells the story of the organization’s courageous – and continuing – work in federal courtrooms, state capitols and city streets.  

The Malmedy Trial: A Case of Truth, Justice and False History

July 19, 2017 | Book Beat, Brooklyn College

In 1944, a notorious Nazi combat unit captured and executed 84 American soldiers – an episode that became known as the Malmedy Massacre. Most of the Germans were later sentenced to death for war crimes but eventually released – for reasons that today are the stuff of mythology. In “The Malmedy Massacre: The War Crimes Trial Controversy,” Brooklyn College historian Steven Remy investigates the truth about the worst atrocity against American soldiers in World War II.

The Life of Lehman: From Wall Street Scion to Liberal Lion

April 4, 2017 | Book Beat, Lehman College

Herbert H. Lehman may be the most notable but neglected New York political figure of the last century – a popular governor and senator of his day now known mostly as the namesake of CUNY’s Lehman College. In Herbert H. Lehman: A Political Biography, Duane Tananbaum, a professor of American history at the college, reveals the unlikely story of the New York financier who became a liberal conscience for the nation.

Barring the Gates

February 16, 2017 | Book Beat, City College

We are a nation of immigrants, but also of immigration laws rooted in nativism and far less welcoming than Lady Liberty’s plea to “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.” In his revealing and relevant book, Expelling the Poor, City College historian Hidetaka Hirota traces the nation’s deportation laws and connects them to the emerging policies of the Trump administration.

Exposing the Perils of Stealth Advertising

January 31, 2017 | Book Beat, Queens College

In today’s online world, it’s becoming harder and harder to distinguish not only between real and fake news but also between news and a cleverly disguised sales job. In “Black Ops Advertising,” Queens College media professor Mara Einstein explores the dark arts of modern mass marketing and how its target – you – can fend off the deception.

Eleanor Roosevelt: A Woman in Full

January 3, 2017 | Book Beat, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Thirty-five years after embarking on a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, historian Blanche Wiesen Cook has completed the third and final volume of her monumental portrait of one of the most important women of the 20th century. The author, a Distinguished Professor of History at John Jay College and the CUNY Graduate Center, says the ideals of “the first lady of the world” are a legacy that have never been more important.

Travels to Prison

May 11, 2016 | Book Beat, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Baz Dreisinger started a pioneering program that brings college courses to people in prison and admits them to CUNY colleges after their release. The experience led the English professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice to spend two years on a very personal journey to prisons around the world. The result, “Incarceration Nations,” is […]