Bookshelf | The New York Times
By SAM ROBERTS
“Their collective stories illuminate the personal costs of holding dissident political beliefs in the face of intolerance and moral panic,” Professor Deery writes, “and this is as relevant today as it was 70 years ago.”
Back in the 1950s, when an American Communist Party leader was deported to Britain on the Queen Elizabeth, The New York Daily News, wholly unsympathetic, captured him waving in a front-page photograph with the playful headline “Red Sails in the Sunset.”
Phillip Deery, a history professor at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia, takes a grimmer view of the human consequences of the Red Scare in the 1940s and 1950s in “Red Apple: Communism and McCarthyism in Cold War New York” (Fordham University Press)
He focuses on six individuals, including Lyman Bradley and Edwin Burgum, who taught at New York University; the writer Howard Fast; and O. John Rogge, who would become the lawyer for David Greenglass, whose testimony sent his sister and brother-in-law to the electric chair in the Rosenberg spy case. Read NYT article
1/10/14 Bookshelf | The New York Times By SAM ROBERTS “Their collective stories illuminate the personal costs of holding dissident political beliefs in the face of intolerance and moral panic,” Professor Deery writes, “and this is as relevant today as it … Full Story
By Billy Heller
Industrial Sublime Modernism and the Transformation of New York’s Rivers, 1900-1940
edited by Kirsten Jensen and Bartholomew F. Bland (Fordham University Press)
From the 1820s through the turn of the 20th century, artists of the Hudson River School painted the pastoral landscape along the river. As industrialization and commerce along the river increased, a group of artists continued to paint the area but shifted their focus to the teeming metropolis growing along the waterfront. The more than 150 images in this gorgeous collection include bridges, tugs, waterfront shacks, skyscrapers and smokestacks from artists such as Robert Henri, John Sloan, Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Ault.
The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles
by Katherine Pancol (Penguin)
Will a trendy Parisian novel from 2006 become the très chic accessory in 2014 New York? Pancol’s tale follows Josephine Cortes, a homely French scholar of Medieval history whose unemployed husband runs off with his mistress to manage a crocodile farm in Kenya. But everything changes when her glamorous, wealthy sister, Iris, convinces Josephine to write a 12th-century romance novel — in Iris’ name — and the book becomes a runaway bestseller. Mon dieux!
The Purity of Vengeance
by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Dutton)
Copenhagen cop Carl Mørck returns with a new cold case for his Department Q. Just about everyone has forgotten a brothel owner who went missing in 1987. But when it comes to Carl’s attention that several other people — a lawyer, a fisherman, a women’s asylum guard — disappeared that same day, he, his assistant, Hafez el-Assad, and his secretary, Rose Knudson, are on the case. It leads them to the bleak island of Sprøgo, where, from 1923 to 1959, Danish women thought to be “pathologically promiscuous” were incarcerated — and some even sterilized.
The Prince of Risk
by Christopher Reich (Doubleday)
The latest thriller from Reich (“The Devil’s Banker”) begins with a bang — one heard from Washington to Wall Street and around the world. On their way to an urgent late-night meeting with the president, the Treasury secretary, chairman of the Fed and chief exec of the New York Stock Exchange are killed when the car they are in goes out of control on the White House lawn and Secret Service open fire. But just before the vehicle erupts in a fiery explosion, the NYSE exec leaves a final clue — a text to his estranged hedge-fund-manager son, Bobby.
The Time Regulation Institute
by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar (Penguin Classics)
More than 50 years after the Turkish author’s death, Tanpinar’s satire on state bureaucracy has been translated into English. In this Kafkaesque tale, we follow the adventures of Hayri Irdal, who, after the establishment of the Turkish Republic and its turn toward modernism, has helped create the Time Regulation Institute — to make sure all clocks in Turkey are set to Western time. The government department uses an absurd system of fines enforced by Irdal and his fellow timekeepers, who include a mystic, a pharmacist/alchemist and an official from the old Ottoman empire.
ENTERTAINMENT REQUIRED READING By Billy Heller Industrial Sublime Modernism and the Transformation of New York’s Rivers, 1900-1940 edited by Kirsten Jensen and Bartholomew F. Bland (Fordham University Press) From the 1820s through the turn of the 20th century, artists of … Full Story
New York Times BOOKSHELF
Suggested Reading for de Blasio
By SAM ROBERTS
Published: December 13, 2013
If Harold Bloom, the Yale humanities professor, were to compile a New York version of his “Western canon,” he would face a shelf of books meeting his high standard: that they be authoritative, sublime, representative and distinguished by originality that “cannot be assimilated or that so assimilates us that we ceased to see it as strange.”
Such an urban canon could prove helpful to New York’s next mayor, Bill de Blasio. There are many obvious choices, like “The Power Broker,” “Gotham,” “The Encyclopedia of New York City,” “To Be Mayor of New York” and “A Phoenix From the Ashes.” These Mr. de Blasio may well be familiar with. With only two weeks left before he takes office, here are a few new and recent candidates to make an even 10 for Mr. de Blasio’s Christmas reading (or rereading) list:
“The Accidental Playground: Brooklyn Waterfront Narratives of the Undesigned and Unplanned” (Fordham University Press). Daniel Campo, a former New York City planner, considers the serendipitous development of Williamsburg and concludes: “In contrast to urban space produced through conventional planning and design, the accidental playground that evolved on the North Brooklyn waterfront generated vitality through immediate and largely unmeditated action. The waterfront was there for the claiming, and people went out and did just that without asking for permission, holding meetings or making plans.”
New York Times BOOKSHELF Suggested Reading for de Blasio By SAM ROBERTS Published: December 13, 2013 If Harold Bloom, the Yale humanities professor, were to compile a New York version of his “Western canon,” he would face a shelf of books meeting … Full Story