Last updated: Feb. 19, 2004
Go Sorry: Inside a Deaf World, by Leah Hager Cohen, CJS 1991.
(Hardcover: Houghton Mifflin, 1994; Paperback: Vintage, 1995.) One year
in the life of a high school for the deaf, a center of deaf culture in
America. Front-page review in New York Times Book Review. Listed among
The Times Book Reviews Notable Books of the Year and American Library
Association Books of the Year. Chosen by Seattle Public Library as outstanding
non-fiction book of the year.
New Beats: Exploring the Music, Culture, and Attitudes of Hip-Hop,
by S.H. Fernando, CJS 1992. (Paperback: Anchor, 1994.) A serious social
history of hip-hop. Acquired by Quality Paperback Book Club. Published
in British, French, and Japanese editions.
See and See Again: A Life in Iran and America, by Tara Bahrampour,
CJS 1993. (Hardcover: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, January 1999). A familys
odyssey from privilege in the Shahs Iran through the Islamic revolution
to welfare and dislocation as refugees in America. Praised as a "fascinating,
often moving account" by The New York Times Book Review and
"a profound reflection on the immigrant journey" by The Wall
Street Journal. Currently in its third printing in hardcover. Published
in paperback by University of California Press.
Father's Gun: One Family, Three Badges, One Hundred Years in the NYPD,
by Brian McDonald, CJS 1997. (Hardcover: Dutton, May 1999.) Three generations
of a New York Police Department family, both on the job and at home. Hailed
by The New York Times Book Review as "dramatic" and by
USA Today as a "revealingly honest history" that stands
comparison with the fiction of Richard Price and Joseph Wambaugh. Publishers
Weekly, in a starred review, lauded McDonalds "brooding
elegance." Two printings in hardcover. Published in paperback by
Plume. Adapted for an acclaimed television documentary by the History
Channel in June 2002.
the Narrow Gate: The Journey of Four Chinese Women from the Middle Kingdom
to Middle America, by Leslie Chang, CJS 1995. (Hardcover: Dutton,
May 1999.) A group portrait of four women from Nationalist families, who
remained lifelong soulmates even as they fled China for Taiwan and later
immigrated to America. Called "an appealingly intimate portrait,"
by Publishers Weekly. A national best-seller that went through
five printings. A finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First
Non-fiction. Published in paperback by Plume.
A Family's Journey in Africa and America, by Philippe Wamba,
CJS 1994. (Hardcover: Dutton, August 1999.) The intense and sometimes
tortured relationship between Africans and African-Americans. Praised
by The Washington Post as "beautifully written" and by
Newsday as "tremendously engaging, exhaustively researched."
Kirkus Reviews called it "the best book dealing with the African
half of the compound African-American." Selected by the Quality Paperback
Book Club. A finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Memoir. Published
in paperback by Plume.
from the Abyss: Ocean Floor Mapping and the Earth Science Revolution,
by David Lawrence, CJS 1998. (Hardcover: Rutgers University Press, January
2002.) A narrative history of the undersea mapping project that led to
the theories of continential drift and plate tectonics. Praised by the
Times Literary Supplement, among other publications. Choice magazine,
which serves academic and research libraries, wrote that Lawrence "could
join the ranks of elite science writers" such as Stephen J. Gould
and Jared Diamond.
The Victim's Fortune, by John Authers, CJS (Knight-Bagehot) 2000.
(Hardcover: HarperCollins, May 2002). The international legal and financial
battle over restitution to Holocaust survivors by European banks, industries,
and insurance companies. Publishers Weekly praised it as "well-researched
The Breach: One Year in the Trenches With Newark's Street Medicine Warriors,
by Jana Abrams Karam, CJS 1999. (Hardcover: Renaissance, 2002.) The danger,
tragedy, and gallows humor of an EMS squad in a large, troubled city.
Named one of the top investigative books of 2002 by Investigative Reporters
by Elisabeth Eaves, CJS 1998. (Hardcover: Knopf, 2002). The human story
of the sex industry as lived in one Seattle strip club.
Sahibs, by Sanghamitra Kalita, CJS 2000. (Hardcover: Rutgers University
Press, 2002). The changing face of suburban America as exemplified by
the Indian immigrants who create a thriving community in the bedroom communities
of Central New Jersey. Praised in The New York Times Book Review
for being "as shapely as fiction and as timely as this mornings
Secret Epidemic, by Jacob Levenson, CJS 1999. (Hardcover: Pantheon,
2004.) The untold story of how the AIDS plague, largely quelled among
whites and gays, is ravaging black America. Publishers Weekly called
it "fascinating" and "highly readable." In The
New York Times Book Review, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc wrote of "the
haunted, righteously disturbed feeling one has after finishing this important
Brothers: The FDNY Bagpipe Band's True Story of Tragedy, Mourning, and
Recovery, by Kerry Sheridan, CJS 2002. (Hardcover: Rutgers University
Press, 2004). The tragedy and aftermath of September 11 as experienced
by the members of the New York Fire Departments ceremonial band.
Praised in Library Journal for its "startling immediacy"
and likened to David Halberstams Firehouse "as a testament
to the resilience and humanity of these brave souls."
Radical Line, by Thai Jones, CJS 2002. (Hardcover: Free Press,
2004). The roots of American radicalism, as lived out by the authors
grandparents, one a Jewish Communist and the other a Christian pacifist.
Booklist wrote in its review, "Jones provides a thoughtful
and compelling portrait of radical politics as lived by one family and
as experienced by the nation as a whole."
Mirta Ojito, CJS 2001 (Hardcover: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005). The story of
the Mariel Boatlift how it changed one family and Cuban-American
relations. "A skillful melding of individual personalities with the
grand currents of history," wrote Kirkus Reviews.
the Bees, by Holley Bishop, CJS 2002. (Hardcover: Free Press,
2005). A social history of honey. Booklist called it "eminently readable."
by Liel Leibovitz, CJS 2002. (Hardcover: St. Martins Press, 2006).
What the experiences of four Zionist immigrants over the decades reveal
about Israel, American Jewry, and the bond between them. "With a
flair for storytelling, Leibovitz richly illustrates these lives, deftly
detailing their emotional journey from carefree Americans to proud Israelis,"
said Publishers Weekly.
For All The World: The Secret History of Eugenics and Forced Sterilization
in the United States, by Harry
Bruinius, CJS 2000. (Hardcover: Knopf, 2006). How an unlikely alliance
of racists and progressives tried to improve Americas population
by sterilizing as many as 100,000 "inferior" people against
their will. "His story is one worth hearing, and heeding," wrote
The New York Times Book Review.
Collar, by Jonathan Englert, CJS 2001 (Hardcover: Houghton Mifflin,
2004). The struggle toward the Catholic priesthood by three seminarians.
Publishers Weekly hailed it as "compassionate and eye-opening."
Eight, by Adam Pitluk, CJS 2004. (Hardcover: DaCapo Press, 2006).
The biography of a champion boxer whose life has been spent moving back
and forth across the border. "A compelling story," said Texas
People, by David Houze, CJS 2001. (Hardcover: University of California
Press, 2006). The effects of race, color, and class on two strands of
the author's family, one in Mississippi and the other in South Africa.
"The blending of the personal with the political is never slick metaphor
in his account; it is fact," wrote Booklist in a starred review.
"His own family story is a gripping way to fill in the social history
and bring it close."
- The Girl With the
Lindsay Pollock, CJS 2003. (Hardcover: PublicAffairs, 2006). A biography
of Edith Halpert, one of the most important yet unappreciated art dealers
in 20th century America. Reviewed favorably in The New Yorker,
The New York Times, and other major publications.
- The Street Stops Here: How An Inner-City Catholic School
Succeeds, by Patrick McCloskey, CJS 1998. (Hardcover: Random House,
2008). A year in the life of Rice High School in Harlem, an emblem of
the many inner-city parochial schools serving non-white and often non-Catholic
- Across the Black Waters,
by Minal Hajratwala, NAJP Fellow 2001 (Hardcover:
Houghton Mifflin, 2004). The Indian diaspora as lived by the author's
extended family, from Gujarat to Fiji to Africa to America.
- Home Fires, by Joan Quigley, CJS 2002. (Hardcover:
Random House, 2005). The environmental disaster that has destroyed a Pennsylvania
coal-mining town and deeply divided its surviving residents.
- Three Septembers, by Kavitha Rajagopalan, CJS 2003.
(Hardcover: Rutgers University Press, 2005). The encounter between Muslim
immigrants and Western nations, as experienced by émigrés
in Brooklyn, Berlin, and London.
- Let My People Go, by Gal Beckerman, CJS 2003. (Houghton
Mifflin, 2006). A narrative history of the movement to save Soviet Jewry
and its influence on the modern concept of human rights in international
- Living with Microbes: Health and Survival in a Bacterial
World, by Jessica Snyder Sachs, CJS 2006. (Hardcover: Farrar, Straus,
and Giroux 2006). How a new appreciation for the bacteria that pervade
our bodies and our world may help us move beyond the "war on germs"
that produced todays drug-resistant super bugs.
- The Cornbread Mafia, by Jim Higdon, CJS 2005. (Hardcover:
Putnam, 2007). How one country in rural Kentucky became a national center
of drug-dealing, and the way crime destroyed the community.
- The Next Golden Age: Searching for a Progressive Islam,
by Ayesha Akram, CJS 2005. (Hardcover: Beacon, 2008). An exploration of
the ways in which liberal Islam is being created in the most unlikely
- The Hebrew Quarterback, by Murray Greenberg, CJS
03. (Hardcover: PublicAffairs, 2008). A biography of Bennie Friedman,
the football star for the University of Michigan and the New York Giants
who revolutionized the use of the forward pass.
- Parting Ways: The New Rituals of Death, Dying, and Mourning
in America, by Denise Carson, CJS 2005. (Hardcover: University of
California Press, 2008). The trend toward living funerals, ecologically-friendly
burial, body-washing, and other end-of-life rites.
- Shirley: Growing Up Between the Hamptons and a
Hard Place, by Kelly McMasters, Book Seminar 2004, Columbia MFA 2004.
(Hardcover: PublicAffairs, 200). A family history that looks at Kelly's
hometown of Shirley, N.Y., a blue-collar enclave struggling with economic
decline and environmental degradation in the midst of the wealthy beach
Planet Internet: The Liberating Effects of a Wired
World, by Cyrus Farviar, CJS 2005. (Hardcover: Rutgers University
Press, 2008). How the Internet has advanced both political and economic
freedom in four developing nations.
- I'm Not Marching Anymore: Soldiers Who Dissent,
From George Washington to John Murtha, by Chris Lombardi, CJS 2006.
(Hardcover: University of California Press, 2009). A social history of
American warriors who became anti-war activists.
Alike Are Broken, by Justine Fontinell, CJS 1998.
(Hardcover: Harcourt Brace, 2004). The narrative history of how black
GIs, back home after defeating fascism in World War II, took on segregation
in their small Tennessee town.
- Making Babies: Families on the Frontier of Reproductive
Technology, by Arienne Noble, CJS 1998. (Hardcover: William Morrow,
2004). How the revolution in reproductive technology is changing the definition
- All The Good Songs: Little Red School House, Four Graduates
and the Legacy of the 60's, by Dina Hampton, CJS 1999. (Hardcover:
PublicAffairs, 2003). The braided history of four alumni of a radical
school, several of whom personified the New Left and one who emerged as
a leading critic of it.
- Taking Sides, by Chris Farah, CJS 2003. (Hardcover:
University of California Press, 2006). How the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
is being lived out and fought about on American university campuses.
Middle Passage" by Philippe Wamba, CJS 1994. Included in Half
+ Half: Writers on Growing Up Biracial + Bicultural . (Hardcover:
Pantheon, 1998.) Wamba's chapter is about his mixed African/African-American
- "Women on the Water" by Anna Seaton Huntington,
CJS 1994. Included in Nike Is A Goddess: The History of Women in Sports.
(Hardcover: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1998.) Huntington's chapter is about
women's rowing, a sport in which she won an Olympic medal.
of Hate," by Adam Miller, CJS 1992. Included in The Bell Curve:
History, Documents, Opinions . (Paperback: Times Books, 1995.) Miller's
chapter, originally published as a feature article in Rolling Stone, profiles
three eugenicists supported by the secretive Pioneer Fund.
Evangelism: Defining and Degrading American Christianity for Future Generations,"
by Ken Baker, CJS 1994. Included in Preview 2001+: Popular Culture
Studies in the Future. (Hardcover: Bowling Green State University
Popular Press, 1995.) Baker's chapter looks at the history, and the future,
of athletes using their fame to evangelize for Christianity.
White and Blue: We Love You," by Yvette Fernandez, CJS 1993. Included
in the literary quarterly Icarus, No. 12, Fall 1993. Fernandez's
chapter describes Filipinos' fascination with American pop culture, despite
U.S. support for the Marcos dictatorship.
Kessel Hendricks, senior editor, Pocket Books, a division of Simon &
Michaelson, editor, Bantam Books.
Wamba, formerly associate editor, Macmillan Travel Books.
Pientka, assistant, Henry Dunow Literary Agency
in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times Magazine, LA
Weekly, New York Jewish Week, Commonweal.
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