As David Feige describes in his recent memoir Indefensible: One Lawyers Journey into the Inferno of American Justice (Little, Brown, Company, 2006), early in his career as a public defender, before Feige became trial chief at the Bronx Defenders, he was an attorney with Brooklyn Legal Aid. In 1994a year in which more residents of New York City were victims of violent crimes than the entire population of Atlantahe takes his first homicide case.
Is the American soldier that died today in Anbar more important than a cousin I have who was shot last month on the night of his engagement to a woman hes wanted to marry for the last six years? I dont think so.
Theres a kinder, gentler image of Robert Moses in circulation these days, helped along by the much talked about exhibits on the master builder now on display at the Museum of the City of New York, Columbia, and the Queens Museum of Art. We have been released, Phillip Lopate suggested in a recent essay in the Times, from the Satanic Moses portrayed by Robert Caro in his classic work, The Power Broker. Given the enormous influence of Caros version of Moses career, some sort of re-interpretation was inevitable. But unfortunately, much of this newfound appreciation is based less on history than on boosterism.
On January 30 in a Brooklyn federal court, the twelve jurors assigned to decide the fate of 24-year old Ronnell Wilson finished deliberating, and went with death. It might have been a dramatic conclusion to a fairly traditional death penalty caseexcept that the trial never belonged in federal court to begin with.
In The Business of Books (2000), André Schiffrin memorably recalled the heyday of intellectual publishing in the U.S. Schiffrin had directed Pantheon from the early 1960s through 1990, when it was closed by Random House. Pantheon had helped a wide range of authors, including Chomsky and Foucault, reach a large commercial audience. In 1990, Schiffrin launched the New Press. In his new memoir, A Political Education: Coming of Age in Paris and New York (Melville House Publishing), Schiffrin discusses his life before Pantheon, paying particular attention to the political climate of the 1940s and 50s. The Rails Williams Cole and Theodore Hamm recently sat down with Schiffrin at his Upper West Side apartment, which contains one wall of books Schiffrins father had published in France and then when he directed Pantheon in the 1940s, and another wall of those of that Schiffrin published when he took over Pantheon in the 1960s.
For decades, I have been dropping occasional quotes into various topical files. I use them to dress my office door (rarely noticed), or to add a veneer of scholarship to something I am writing. Together they affirm that I have spent far too much time on my bookshelf. Included here are quotes on Oppression. The message is that injustice is a nasty and sneaky business and can seep into us as just the way things are.
Recently, Nikolas Kozloff, author of Hugo Chavez: Oil, Politics, and the Challenge to the U.S. (St. Martins Press, 2006), sat down with Paulo Fontes, a Brazilian and visiting professor at the Program in Latin American Studies at Princeton University. Kozloff is currently working on another book, South Americas New Direction (also with St. Martins Press), about the geopolitical realignment in South America and its implications for the U.S. Fontes, a native of Sao Paulo, is a labor historian who worked as a history teacher and researcher at the Cajamar Institute, a labor center in Sao Paulo during the late 80s and 90s. During the interview, Fontes touched on the current state of organized labor in Brazil, the role of social movements, race relations in Brazilian society, the relationship between President Lula and civil society, and U.S.-Brazilian relations.