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Book Beat

Walking Every Block of New York

April 1, 2014 | Book Beat

When City College sociologist William Helmreich found that no one had ever thoroughly explored all five of New York City’s boroughs, he decided to walk the entire city, block by block. By the end of his four-year adventure, he had walked more than 6,000 miles, worn out nine pairs of shoes and chronicled his project in the wildly popular book, The New York Nobody Knows.

Shirley Chisholm–Remembering a Hero

March 24, 2014 | Book Beat

Shirley Chisholm was the first African-American woman elected to Congress and one of Brooklyn College’s most famous alumni. Yet many people under 40 know little of her, says Brooklyn College professor Barbara Winslow. Hoping to raise awareness of the political trailblazer, Winslow penned the new biography, Shirley Chisholm: Catalyst for Change.

The Art and History of Women’s Tattoos

March 24, 2014 | Book Beat

Examined here are not the scary images we feared as children, but some of the most intricate, beautiful, poignant and thought-provoking tattoos that cover women’s bodies, dating back to Victorian society. In her third edition of Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoos, Margot Mifflin, associate professor of English at Lehman College, explores the economic independence of female tattoo artists, the power in creating unique art on a different canvas, and the change in some medical insurance practices that now allow payment for women who have had mastectomies and who use tattooing as a sign of courage and healing.

John Lindsay’s New York

March 24, 2014 | Book Beat

New York City’s 103rd mayor, John Lindsay, had a two-term administration of highs and lows during a period of racial unrest, antiwar protests, fiscal problems and municipal strikes — one of which greeted him on his first day in office. Editor and essayist, Joseph Viteritti, professor of public policy at Hunter College, and other writers use Summer in the City: John Lindsay, New York, and the American Dream, to provide an in-depth analysis of a mayoralty that, while filled with such challenges, also showed New Yorkers’ pride in their city and in Lindsay, who, at times, was not above picking up litter in the streets.

Putting Profit Above Health

February 21, 2014 | Book Beat

Companies that make fatty foods, cigarettes, alcohol and prescription drugs are plaguing public health, leading to thousands of preventable deaths, says Nicholas Freudenberg, Distinguished Professor at CUNY School of Public Health and Hunter College. His new book, Lethal But Legal: Corporations, Consumption, and Protecting Public Health, discusses deceptive marketing tactics and how the public can fight back.

Our Clothing, and Hair, in the Courts

February 10, 2014 | Book Beat

From Colonial collars and Quaker hats to miniskirts and Muslim headscarves, our clothing — and hair — often have become issues for U.S. courts, says CUNY Law School professor Ruthann Robson. In her new book, Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy from Our Hairstyles to Our Shoes, Robson examines nudity cases, saggy pants in schools and recent battles of transgender teens dressing for the prom.

Shepard Sees a ‘Bright Future for Journalism’

October 9, 2012 | Book Beat, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Newsmakers

In his new book, Deadline and Disruption: My Turbulent Path from Print to Digital, Stephen Shepard describes how journalism is experiencing a “best-of-times, worst-of-times moment,” but that, in spite of the turmoil, will continue to thrive as it adapts to the ever-changing technology that delivers news content. “There is a bright future for journalism,” says Shepard, the founding dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and a former editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek. “More journalism is being done, on more platforms, by more people, than ever before in our history.”

From a Family Loss

October 1, 2012 | Book Beat, Brooklyn College, Newsmakers

Author Joshua Henkin says that when it comes to families, Tolstoy was right — it’s adversity that keep them interesting. “All happy families are the same, unhappy families are unhappy in their own way,” says Henkin, citing the iconic Russian novelist to describe his latest novel, “The World Without You.” Henkin, who directs the MFA program in fiction writing at Brooklyn College, discusses his book, which revolves around a family mourning the death of their son in Iraq and how a calamity impacts family members for years to come. “Tragedies do big things to the most stable kinds of people.”

New York City’s Journey Through the Recession

April 19, 2012 | Book Beat, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Newsmakers

New York City managed to survive the Great Recession largely intact and in roughly half the time it took the rest of the country to recover, thanks to its diversified economy combined with a bailout on Wall Street, according to Greg David, director of the Business and Economics Reporting Program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. “The city has changed a lot — and manufacturing is no longer important,” says David. “Manufacturing is also cyclical — and the biggest sectors by jobs now are education and health, and they are not cyclical.” Formerly a business editor of Crain’s New York, David discussed his newly published book, Modern New York: The Life and Economics of a City.

Kennedy and the Spirit of Churchill

March 29, 2012 | Book Beat, CUNY Lecture Series, Hunter College

The author of Churchill Defiant: Fighting On, 1945-1955, claims that the British prime minister’s influence on John F. Kenney’s intellectual thinking and political strategies is indisputable. “I don’t think Jack Kennedy would have been half the man he was if it wasn’t for Winston Churchill,” says Barbara Leaming, the author of Jack Kennedy: The Education of a Statesman (2006), in which she detailed her research. Leaming, who spoke at the Tina Santi Flaherty Irish Voices Literary Series at Hunter College, discussed how Kennedy “looked to his idol for inspiration, in almost all his decisions, including the (1963 Limited Nuclear) Test Ban Treaty which put an end to the Cold War.”