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Book Beat

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 […]

Staten Island’s Poet Laureate

March 17, 2016 | Book Beat, The College of Staten Island

Cate Marvin possesses one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary American poetry, and in 2015 the College of Staten Island English professor was a awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. The speakers in her third collection of poems, “Oracle,” are haunting, passionate and sometimes bitingly funny women—and they’re all denizens of the borough where she’s taught and lived for a decade.

Precision, Pomp and Cultural Touchstone: The Marching Band

February 29, 2016 | Book Beat, Queensborough Community College

Jules Allen spent five years traveling the country photographing African-American marching bands. What he saw through his lens was “a precision art form” as public spectacle and a culture that “breathes the soul and spirit of Africa within the modern world.” The result is the simply titled “Marching Bands.” It’s the fourth book by the long-time Queensborough Community College art and design professor, whose photographs are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian and the National Gallery.

Not So Easy for Models

January 8, 2016 | Book Beat, Borough of Manhattan Community College

Fashion models lead a glamorous life, right? Far from it, says Elizabeth Wissinger, associate professor of sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College and of fashion studies at the CUNY Graduate Center. In This Year’s Model: Fashion, Media and the Making of Glamour from New York University Press, she paints a disturbing picture of hard-working 21st-century models who must continually remake their bodies to attain an ever-shifting “right look.”

How Art Becomes Iconic

December 11, 2015 | Book Beat, Queens College

Think of some famous works of art. Chances are you’ll name a few that are on everyone’s list – if not coffee mug – like Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa,” Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” and Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” John B. Nici, who teaches art at Queens College, looks at how those and other works reached rock-star status in his book, “Famous Works of Art — and How They Got that Way.” Hint: It doesn’t always have to do with artistic quality.

The Irish and the Italians: A New York Story

September 22, 2015 | Book Beat

They were two of 20th Century New York’s largest, most influential–and most contentious–immigrant populations. In his new book, “An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York’s Irish and Italians,” Brooklyn College journalism professor Paul Moses weaves together a great cast of characters to tell the story of an intense rivalry that became a fine romance.