Saturday, July 25, 2015

Paul Moses

Paul Moses is Professor of Journalism at Brooklyn College/CUNY and former city editor of Newsday, where he was the lead writer for a team that won the Pulitzer Prize. His book The Saint and the Sultan won the 2010 Catholic Press Association award for best history book. His new book is An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians.

Recently I asked Moses about what he was reading. His reply:
In June, I traveled to southern Italy to see the tiny villages where my two Italian grandparents were born. Carlo Levi’s classic Christ Stopped at Eboli was the perfect book to read. The idea behind the title is that the south of Italy was so marginalized that Christ never got there, having stopped further north in Eboli. Levi gives a vivid picture of the poverty in rural Basilicata in the 1930s, but what comes through even more so is the peasants’ dignity, wisdom and sense of pride. It gave me a sense for my own roots in the region.

When I returned home, I read the bound galley for John Norris’s upcoming book Mary McGrory: The First Queen of Journalism. I found it to be an enjoyable read. McGrory was a Washington columnist for more than 50 years, so her life story gives an inside view of the worlds of politics and journalism, with many interesting anecdotes about powerful pols. More on that when my review appears in Commonweal.

Now, I am on to Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See. I’ve just started it, so the most I can say is that the writing is masterful.
Learn more about An Unlikely Union at the NYU Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue