Book Review: Gotham Unbound (Ted Steinberg)

This book review was written by Janos.nyc guest writer Roxanne Earley. “New York City was the beneficiary but the victim of its geography.” –Raymond Moley, 1970 So begins Ted Steinberg’s sweeping ecological history of New York City, an exceptional read about the significant environmental changes that have been taking place in the metropolitan region for…

Inside Andrew Cuomo’s Presidential Pipe Dream: Reviewing Michael Shnayerson’s “The Contender”

(The following article was published in Salon on April 1) “You guys are just scrambled eggs. You call yourselves professionals?” Michael Shnayerson had the misfortune of releasing his Andrew Cuomo biography, “The Contender,” after Cuomo’s time has passed as a serious presidential contender. There was a time when Cuomo’s presidential stock was on the rise.…

Book Review: The Murder of the Century (Paul Collins)

 If you’re looking for a grisly tale of murder set in turn of the century New York City starring the forefathers of the people that bring you today’s splashy New York Post headlines, The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime that Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars is definitely for you.…

Book Review: The Occupiers (Michael Gould-Wartofsky)

The Occupiers: The Making of the 99 Percent Movement by Michael Gould-Wartofsky was a difficult book to review. In the three years since Occupy Wall Street, I have struggled with reconciling the energy of that period, which has never been replicated during my years of activism, with the failure of OWS to advance the causes…

Book Review: NYPD Tapes (Graham Rayman)

This weekend I plowed through Graham Rayman’s NYPD Tapes, one of the most startling and gripping nonfiction books I have read in a very long time. It is the story of Adrian Schoolcraft, a police officer who spent two years collecting evidence of rampant fraud in the NYPD, only to suffer astonishing retaliation, including a…

Book Review: Machine Made (Terry Golway)

(I began reading Machine Made before the Silver scandal broke, but as today’s machines jockey to replace him, this review seemed even more appropriate.) The name “Tammany Hall” has long been synonymous with urban political sleaze, personified by fatcat Boss Tweed. Yet during the halcyon days of the Tammany Hall political machine, New York City…

Book Review: So Much To Do (Richard Ravitch)

Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In: The Richard Ravitch Story… Richard Ravitch is one of those legendary public intellectuals from a bygone era who leaves you at the end of a television interview muttering to yourself about the shallowness of other news coverage. His most famous accomplishment, for which all New…

Book Review: Cuban Star (Adrian Burgos)

  A quarter of today’s major league baseball players are Latinos from outside the United States, but the pioneer who brought these two worlds together was nearly forgotten by history. When I was a kid, every Christmas my dad would take me to Barnes & Noble and let me fill a shopping basket with books.…