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Book Beat

From a Nickel to a Metrocard

March 25, 2015 | Book Beat

Every subway, bus and commuter train in New York is operated by a single government agency, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. But there was a time when public transit was provided by private companies–more than two dozen of them. Andrew Sparberg traces the transition of the transit system in “From a Nickel to a Token.”

Nightcrawling in Gentrified New York 

March 4, 2015 | Book Beat

Sociologist Richard Ocejo spent years exploring the changing face of the city through an unusual and revealing lens–the burgeoning bar scene of Lower Manhattan. The John Jay professor tells about it in “Upscaling Downtown: From Bowery Saloons to Cocktail Bars in New York City.”

Inside the World of Eggs

February 26, 2015 | Book Beat

Hunter College bird expert and animal behaviorist Mark Hauber reveals unexpectedly glossy egg colors, fascinating facts, and still unsolved mysteries of the bird world in the stunning volume, “The Book of Eggs.”

What We Eat and Why We Eat It

February 2, 2015 | Book Beat

Alexandra Logue, a behavioral scientist and CUNY’s former vice chancellor for academic affairs, discusses the newly released fourth edition of The Psychology of Eating and Drinking. Her book explores the scientific research of every aspect of food behaviors, disorders, nutrition and weight—and separates real science from pop science.

John Tytell on the Beat Writers and Literary Mayhem

January 13, 2015 | Book Beat

John Tytell, a longtime professor of modern American literature at Queens College, discusses his latest book, “Writing Beat and Other Occasions of Literary Mayhem,” a new look back at the Beat Generation. An author best known as a preeminent historian of that idiosyncratic period of postwar American literature, Tytell reflects on writers and writing from the perspective of someone who’s been doing it, and teaching it, for more than 50 years.

Bronx Faces and Voices

December 11, 2014 | Book Beat

In the early 1980s, Lehman College conducted interviews with hundreds of Bronx residents — public figures, community leaders and regular folks — for an oral history project about the borough before, during and after its decade of arson, crime and abandonment. Thirty years later, Emita Hill, a former Lehman professor and vice president, and Janet Munch, a research librarian at the college, have collected some of the project’s most enduring stories into a new book, Bronx Faces and Voices: Sixteen Stories of Courage and Community.

To Iraq and Back in the Lives of Soldiers

December 9, 2014 | Book Beat

Phil Klay, a former Marine who served in Iraq and a Hunter College MFA, ’11, discusses his acclaimed book, Redeployment, a poignant and powerful collection of short stories about war’s deep impact on soldiers in combat and when they return home. Klay recently won the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction.

‘The Orphan Scandal’ and the Muslim Brotherhood

November 20, 2014 | Book Beat, City College, Graduate Center

In her new book, The Orphan Scandal: Christian Missionaries and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, City College history professor Beth Baron recounts the brutal beating of a 15-year-old Muslim girl by Christian missionaries in 1933 and tells how the incident spurred the growth of one of Islam’s most influential political organizations.

The Rise of Sunset Park

November 7, 2014 | Book Beat, Queens College

With a $100 million investment from Mayor Bill de Blasio and the arrival of artisanal businesses like Jacques Torres Chocolates, Sunset Park seems poised for a revival. But the transformation of this eclectic Brooklyn neighborhood won’t be easy, says Queens College urban studies professor Tarry Hum. In her new book, Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood: Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, Hum traces historical struggles and new challenges including job development, environmental issues, an underground sex industry, gentrification and forging alliances between Chinese and Latino immigrant communities.

Food to Feed a Burgeoning 19th-Century New York

September 24, 2014 | Book Beat

In Urban Appetites: Food and Culture in Nineteenth-Century New York, Cindy Lobel, an assistant history professor at Lehman College, serves up a richly detailed account of the origins of the food industry in a century that brought enormous changes to the city’s cultural, social and political life. Deftly written, with fine illustrations, Lobel’s cultural history takes us on a fascinating tour of the foodways, describing the farms and markets that supplied the kitchens of the burgeoning city. Lobel also explains how the explosion of restaurants — from posh dining rooms to sixpenny eating houses — helped establish New York’s roots as the world’s greatest culinary center.