Few cases, if any, in American legal history can equal the injustice and racism suffered by the nine black teenagers who were falsely accused and wrongly convicted in Scottsboro, Ala., in 1931. In his book, The Scottsboro Boys in Their Own Words: Selected Letters, 1931-1950, Kwando Kinshasa, professor of sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, examines how the boys were arrested and charged with raping two white girls on a freight train and found guilty by an all-white jury. By using their own words, the letters present an original and authentic representation of their nearly two decades of incarceration, as well as a forceful expression of their struggle to maintain a sense of dignity and hope.
In Tomorrow-Land:The 1964-65 World’s Fair and the Transformation of America, Joseph Tirellla,Lehman College’s associate director of public relations, celebrates the fair’s 50th anniversary, writing of its turbulent background, Robert Moses’ role in its creation, and the fair’s subsequent financial failure. Juxtaposed against the country’s civil rights movement and the social, political and cultural changes of the time, Tirella helps us understand the appeal of the fair and why its theme, “Peace through Understanding” was so useful to the United States’ position as a world leader during the Cold War era.
Stereotypes of Italian Americans in literature remain problematic argues Anthony Tamburri, author of Re-reading Italian Americana: Specificities and Generalities on Literature and Criticism and dean of CUNY’s John D. Calandra Italian American Institute. “We are still at a point in regard to the critical voice where we can’t afford to play to the stereotype,” says Tamburri.
Since entering the White House, Barack Obama has been battered by criticism from both sides. In Out of Many, One: Obama and the Third American Political Tradition, Ruth O’Brien, a political science professor at The CUNY Graduate Center, explains how Obama’s leadership style, more statesman than politician, is partly to blame and argues that he represents the values of a lesser-known third tradition in American political thought that defies the usual left-right categorization.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.