Ted Hamm, chair of journalism and new media studies at St. Joseph’s College is a historian of New York City. His latest book, Bernie’s Brooklyn: How Growing Up In the New Deal City Shaped Bernie Sanders’ Politics (OR Books, 2020) is not just for Sanders fans but for anyone interested in New York City politics. The book traces and untangles the dense political and cultural backdrop of New York City during the 1930s and 1940s when New York was on its way to becoming the most progressive city in the United States. With a cast of characters that include first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Fiorello Laguardia, Robert Moses, Woody Guthrie, Jackie Robinson, and the Brooklyn Dodgers, Hamm describes the landscape where Bernie and his brother would come of age. Perhaps now more than ever, as the city struggles with a severe recession in the wake of the novel coronavirus, it is important that the roots of Sanders’s socialism be understood as the product of a particular place and time.

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