Friday, March 24, 2017


Skyhorse, 2017
Look what just showed up! Officially published on April 4 but rumor has it Amazon's already shipping copies. More info at Skyhorse.
Modern American Manners
Dining Etiquette for Hosts and Guests
by Fred Mayo with photos by Michael Gold

Fabulous … a sensible, simple, concise, and fun approach.”
—Kevin Zraly, James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award winner

The essentials of contemporary manners ... all illustrated with Michael’s spot on, often humorous, photographs.”
—Melanie Young, host of The Connected Table LIVE!

Clearly written and comprehensive … belongs in the hands of everyone who would have the world think well of them.”
—Darrin Siegfried, president emeritus, Sommelier Society of America

“A useful guide to navigating the often confusing—and always evolving—world of manners at today's dinner table. Among many things, it is a quiet plea to acknowledge civility at a time when we apparently need it most.”
—James Oseland, former editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine and judge on Top Chef Masters

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mary Otto, TEETH

Otto TEETH final.jpg
Early raves for Mary Otto’s Teeth, published March 14 by the New Press:
“A hard-hitting look at the current state of oral health in a beauty-obsessed America … Otto’s sobering report should not go unheeded …” —Publishers Weekly (STARRED review)
“Otto’s well-reported and important book will arouse concern over the fact that dental health, which is so essential to our well-being, gets such short shrift, and, hopefully, help instigate reform.” —Booklist (STARRED review)

“An astute examination of the complex, insular business of oral health care. Former Washington Post journalist Otto recognizes poor oral hygiene and maintenance as a major public health problem, and she adroitly probes the ramifications of this persistent ‘silent epidemic of oral disease.’  [...] A focused, well-researched depiction of the dental industry’s social and cultural relevance and its dire need for reform.” —Kirkus Reviews

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Dining out in Boston, by James O'Connell

University Press of New England, 2016
Announcing James O’Connell’s deeply researched, copiously illustrated history of food establishments in Beantown. The author has given talks in prime venues locally, starting with a launch party at Newtonville Books on Oct. 23, 2016. Also:

Dining Out in Boston is illuminated by over 50 illustrations and close readings” of early menus and other culinary ephemera, making this new book an irresistible trove for foodies and students of Boston’s rise to greatness (from rather plain beginnings). James O’Connell also gives talks about his earlier (lavishly illustrated) books, The Hub's Metropolis: Greater Boston's Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth (MIT Press, 2013) and Becoming Cape Cod: Creating a Seaside Resort (UPNE, 2003). He’s an engaging presenter, often making use of PowerPoint for illustrative purposes, and really knows his material.

Praise for The Hub’s Metropolis (MIT Press, 2013)

“A riveting history of one of the nation’s most livable places—and a roadmap for how to keep it that way. James O’Connell’s wealth of knowledge about Greater Boston makes him the perfect guide for understanding this extraordinary metropolitan region, from celebrated urbanism to pastoral retreat.” —Anthony Flint, Fellow, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

“A welcome addition to the venerable literature on patterns of suburban development around Boston. Comprehensive and readable … [makes] real connections between planning history and the world we move through every day.” —Ethan Carr, author of Wilderness by Design and Mission 66: Modernism and the National Park Dilemma
“James O’Connell’s comprehensive overview of sprawl and development in Metropolitan Boston over the past two centuries puts into context the significance and timeliness of smart growth and transit-oriented development in the region. He provides interesting examples of how sustainable growth could strengthen our region’s economic competitiveness, improve social equity, and address impacts of climate change.” —Marc Draisen, Executive Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Yiddish Theater: A Tribute

The New York Times gives two good plugshere and herefor New York's Yiddish Theater: From the Bowery to Broadway, the companion volume to an exhibition opening March 9 at the Museum of the City of New York (through July 31, 2016).
The lavishly illustrated collection of scholarly essays, published this month by Columbia University Press, is edited by Edna Nahshon, a professor of theater and drama at Jewish Theological Seminary, who is also curating the exhibit.
Praise for New York's Yiddish Theater: From the Bowery to Broadway
“A witty and absorbing demonstration of the interplay of minority and mainstream—with the minority culture here being of outsize influence over the larger culture of Broadway, Hollywood, and America.”  —Kirkus Reviews

“The many photos of famous actors and comics, old posters, packed theaters, and stage scenes balance out the richly sourced text, making this a visually lively, comprehensive, and accessible addition to any collection on theater or Jewish American history and heritage.” —Booklist

Friday, March 11, 2016

Riis Exhibition Moves to Library of Congress for Five Months


Exhibition on Jacob Riis, Pioneering Photographer, Journalist and Social Reformer, Opens April 14

March 3, 2016Library of Congress (

The life of Jacob Riis, a late-19th/early-20th century newspaper reporter and writer, whose stories and photographs of the squalid conditions in New York City’s tenements led to social reform, will be explored in a new Library of Congress exhibition.

"Jacob Riis: Revealing ‘How the Other Half Lives’" will open on Thursday, April 14 in the South Gallery on the second level of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition is free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It closes on Monday, Sept. 5, 2016.

The exhibition is a co-presentation of the Library of Congress and the Museum of the City of New York. It combines items from the Library’s Jacob A. Riis Papers and the museum’s Jacob A. Riis Collection of photographs. Currently, the exhibition, under the title Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half, is on display until March 20 at the Museum of the City of New York.

Riis is one of the first to use innovations in documentary photography to great effect. He experimented with new techniques of flash photography and created rare images of tenement interiors, as well as outdoor photos of street and city life. He used these pictures as a compelling complement to his written words. Although he was well aware of the power of photography, he did not consider himself a photographer.

The Library’s exhibition repositions Riis as he saw himself—a highly skilled communicator who devoted his life to writing articles and books, delivering lectures nationwide and doggedly advocating for social change. He brought attention to the crises in housing, education, crime and poverty that arose at the height of European immigration to New York City in the late-19th century. His crusading journalism led to safer water, better housing, the creation of parks in New York City and other reforms.

On display will be correspondence, including three letters from Theodore Roosevelt and one to Booker T. Washington; photographs; fire insurance maps that help show the locations of Riis’ photographs; drafts and published works; lecture notes; reviews of his lectures; family correspondence and family photographs; appointment books; and journal entries. The exhibition also will feature a lantern-slide projector and camera equipment similar to those Riis used—a Blair Hawkeye Detective camera (7 inches by 17 inches by 13 inches), a glass-plate holder and a flash pan. An online version of the exhibition will be available on the opening date at

Jacob August Riis was born May 3, 1849 in Ribe, Denmark. The son of a schoolmaster, he was educated locally, leaving school for work at age 15. He immigrated to the United States in 1870. The New York Tribune hired him as a police reporter in 1877, and he wrote about crime and disease, documenting life in the tenements. In 1888, he started working for the New York Evening Sun and started taking photographs, using a new German innovation, flash photography. It was a novel idea at the time to use photographs to substantiate words. The wretched living and working conditions of New York’s immigrant communities were made vivid by the harrowing images, which were meant to spur his audiences to act. His career as a reformer took shape. He worked at the Sun until 1899. From the 1890s to 1910, he wrote many magazine articles and nine books and lectured nationwide. He died on May 26, 1914.

The exhibition has a companion volume, Jacob Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half, written by Bonnie Yochelson, who spent more than two decades researching Riis and assembling materials. The 336-page hardcover book, published by Yale University Press in association with the Library of Congress and the Museum of the City of New York, is the first comprehensive study and complete catalogue of Riis’ images. The book contains more than 600 images and is available for $65 in the Library of Congress Shop in the Thomas Jefferson Building. Credit-card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557 or

The exhibition and its programming at the Library of Congress are made possible through the generous support from the Library of Congress Third Century Fund; Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik’s Foundation; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Danish Ministry of Culture, and the Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces; the Royal Danish Embassy; and the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

Later this year, other versions of the exhibition—combining Library of Congress and Museum of the City of New York resources with additional Riis-related objects—will be presented in Denmark. The first will be at the Kunstforeningen GL Strand museum in Copenhagen from Oct. 1, 2016 to Jan. 8, 2017, and the second at the Ribe Kunstmuseum in Riis’s home town of Ribe, Denmark, from Jan. 21, 2017 to May 14, 2017.

The Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress acquired the Jacob A. Riis Papers in the early 1950s as a gift of Riis’ second wife and widow, Mary Phillips Riis (1877-1967), who was a longtime social welfare advocate and board member of the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement in New York. Additions have been made by generations of the Riis family, including Jacob Riis Owre, Ruth Riis Jones, Oscar T. Owre and Martha Riis Moore. The Manuscript Division also holds the papers of Jacob Riis’s son, Roger William Riis (1894-1953), an author and editor. That collection contains family correspondence and other materials gifted by Riis family members Jacob Riis Owre and Martha Riis Moore.

The Library’s Manuscript Division holds more than 70 million items, including the papers of 23 U.S. presidents, from George Washington to Calvin Coolidge. For more information about the collections and holdings of the Manuscript Division, visit

The Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, holds more than 162 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its website at

Monday, May 4, 2015

Catalogue raisonné of Jacob Riis photographs accompanies major exhibitions at the Museum of the City of New York and the Library of Congress

Yale University Press, October 2015
Jacob Riis: Revealing New York's “Other Half”a catalogue raisonnĂ© of photographs by Jacob A. Riis (1849-1914) accompanies a major exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York ( open from October 2015 into March 2016. The show marks the centenary of the death of this great photographer and social reformer, who captured unique, and often shocking, images of New York’s immigrant poor at the turn of the twentieth century. The exhibition will be the first major retrospective of Riis’s photographic work in the U.S. since the Museum’s seminal 1947 exhibition The Battle with the Slum.The exhibition and accompanying catalogue are supported by a major gift from the Terra Foundation.
The catalogue, edited by curator Bonnie Yochelson, is published by Yale University Press in conjunction with the Museum of the City of New York and the Library of Congress. The Museum of the City of New York owns the complete archive of photographs by Riis. The exhibition and catalogue are undertaken in a partnership with the Library of Congress, which holds the Jacob A Riis Papers. Dr. Yochelson is the author of highly praised books on Berenice Abbott, Alfred Stieglitz, Esther Bubley, and Karl Struss, among other important figures in the history of photography; and she is coauthor (with Daniel Czitrom) of Rediscovering Jacob Riis: Exposure Journalism and Photography in Turn-of-the-Century New York, first published in 2007 and reissued last year by the University of Chicago Press. Dr. Yochelson is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York's Other Half debuts at the Museum of the City of New York on October 7, 2015, and will travel in March 2016 to the Library of Congress, where it will remain on display in the Thomas Jefferson Building through mid-September 2016. In 2016-2017, the exhibition will travel to two venues in Denmark: the Kunstforeningen (GL Strand) in Copenhagen and the Kunstmuseum in Ribe, Riis’s native city.

From the Yale University Press catalog
Danish-born Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914) found success in America as a reporter for the New York Tribune, first documenting crime and later turning his eye to housing reform. As tenement living conditions became unbearable in the wake of massive immigration, Riis and his camera captured some of the earliest, most powerful images of American urban poverty. This important publication is the first comprehensive study and complete catalogue of Riis’s world-famous images, and places him at the forefront of early-20th-century social reform photography. It is the culmination of more than two decades of research on Riis, assembling materials from five repositories (the Riis Collection at the Museum of the City of New York, the Library of Congress, the New-York Historical Society, the New York Public Library, and the Museum of South West Jutland) as well as previously unpublished photographs and notes. In this handsome volume, Bonnie Yochelson proposes a novel thesis—that Riis was a radical publicist who utilized photographs to enhance his arguments, but had no great skill or ambition as a photographer. She also provides important context for understanding how Riis’s work would be viewed in turn-of-the-century New York, whether presented in lantern slide lectures or newspapers.

Two sewing women in Elizabeth Street den, 1887–1888
Museum of the City of New York, Gift of Roger William Riis,

Thursday, April 30, 2015

FOLK CITY is here!

The book, from Oxford University Press, accompanies an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York (through January 10, 2016).
Don't miss it!!

Jon Pareles, the Times music critic, loves the exhibition: “Captures the ambition, the ferment and the (sometimes contentious) sense of community that made a few blocks of Greenwich Village into a cultural bellwether in the 1950s and early 1960s.” [url]

Everybody Loves the Book
A “handsome book, which includes rarely seen photographs, reminiscences of participants and a lively narrative. … The authors do a fine job of presenting the various facets of the folk revival, including its impact on the city and its role in changing the larger culture.” —Ronald Radosh, The New York Times Book Review 

Folk City is a magical token back to a clattering, incandescent New York, where Popular Front hootenannies gave way to the fretted hip of Gerde’s, the Gaslight, and the Folklore Center. Stephen Petrus and Ronald Cohen have written the best history yet of the city’s influential folk music culture, packed with astonishing photos that finally see the light of day.” —Sean Wilentz, author of Bob Dylan in America

“Yes, dear readers, there was a time not so long ago when urban troubadours sang of flowers more powerful than guns; a time when ideals put to song helped transform a culture. With compelling artistry, Stephen Petrus and Ronald Cohen capture the history behind that special moment and how New York’s diverse creative class made it happen.” —Thomas Kessner, Distinguished Professor of History, City University of New York Graduate School

Folk City is beautifully written and illustrated, a mesmerizing history of one of the great moments in New York cultural history. The prose fairly sings off the page, and the photos and old poster and song sheets are fascinating. This will make you wish you were there.” —Kevin Baker, author of The Big Crowd

“Fourteen years ago, author David Hajdu crafted a superb, perhaps definitive, portrait of Greenwich Village at the height of the folk-music revival . . . yet [Folk City], in its winningly plain-spoken way, provides a far more comprehensive appreciation of one of the most colourful chapters in American music.” Maclean’s

“[A] fresh, colorful, thoroughly illustrated portrait of the scene, from its origins to today . . . [Folk City] is particularly compelling in chronicling, from original documents and firsthand testimony, how the critical mass for the folk revival congregated in the city.” The Wall Street Journal

Friday, January 30, 2015

Thomas Merton and Robert Giroux: Correspondence

University of Notre Dame Press, 2015
An edition of letters between Thomas Merton and his longtime editor, Robert Giroux, was published in August 2015 by the University of Notre Dame Press, amidst celebrations marking the centennial of Merton's birth. This new edition joins a raft of publications devoted to Merton and his work during the centennial. The Letters of Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton, edited by Patrick Samway, SJ, chronicles one of the great literary friendships of the twentieth century. It includes letters dating as early as 1948, when Giroux, then a young editor at Harcourt, Brace, was preparing Merton’s first book, The Seven Storey Mountain, for publication. The phenomenal success of that memoir, completed soon after Merton joined the Trappist order, launched a career that led to more than two dozen books written by Merton and edited by Giroux. When Giroux moved to the firm then known as Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, he brought with him not only Merton but Flannery O’Connor, T.S. Eliot, and many other influential authors. In 1964, Giroux became a principal of the firm, known ever since as Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and remained active as editor-publisher until his death, in 2008.
Merton and Giroux met in the mid 1930s, as undergraduates at Columbia University. The Letters of Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton is a richly illuminating record of their relationship, combining day-to-day editorial business with friendly banter and spiritual reflection. The correspondence continued until just weeks before Merton's tragic and untimely death, in 1968.
The University of Notre Dame Press is noted for its highly regarded list of books on religion, particularly in the Christian tradition. The Letters of Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton joins two other titles by Thomas Merton on their list: Faith and Violence: Christian Teaching and Christian Practice (1968) and Contemplation in a World of Action (second Edition, restored and corrected, 1998).
Patrick Samway, a former literary editor of America, the nation's premier Catholic weekly, is an emeritus professor of English at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. He is the author of Walker Percy: A Life (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997) and editor of Percy's Signposts in a Strange Land: Essays (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1991) as well as A Thief of Peirce: The Letters of Kenneth Laine Ketner and Walker Percy (University Press of Mississippi, 1995). He is the editor, with Ben Forkner, of the two-volume anthology Stories of the Old South (1989; rev. ed. Penguin, 1995) and Stories of the Modern South (1977; rev. ed. Penguin, 1986). His most recent book is Educating Darfur Refugees: A Jesuit's Efforts in Chad (University of Scranton Press, 2007).

Monday, October 20, 2014


ForeEdge/UPNE, October 2014
Buy hardcover or e-book on Amazon
Buy on Google Play
Buy hardcover or e-book on
Buy on

An early rave in the Wall Street Journal:

"A concise but comprehensive history of the airship and its evolution. With style and some flair, Mr. Hiam introduces a cast of dogged visionaries ... A diligent researcher, Mr. Hiam quotes judiciously and generally has an eye for a good story and the detail that brings it to life. Dirigible Dreams is a work of solid reportage, illustrated with enchanting photographs of the monster crafts. I admire the author’s brevity; the book could have been twice as long, and it would have been half as good. Mr. Hiam remains charmingly in thrall to the romance of the skies. “Regrettably,” he writes, “the dirigible age came and went far too quickly.” A believer to the last, he reckons that, “were it not for Hitler’s rise to power,” which shifted global attention to the war effort, “the airship would yet have had a place in global transportation.” It is hard, on the strength of these entertaining pages, not to agree with Mr. Hiam’s claim that “the brief epoch of the airship . . . was charged with incredible potential, it consumed nations and imaginations, and for an exciting period in aviation history it represented the future of human flight."
Sara Wheeler, The Wall Street Journal,  Friday, October 17, 2014

The Boston Globe loves it too!
Read the in-depth article about Dirigible Dreams.