Todd Gitlin – Biographical Brief
Todd Gitlin is the author of twelve books, including, most recently, The Bulldozer and the Big Tent: Blind Republicans, Lame Democrats, and the Recovery of American Ideals; other titles include The Intellectuals and the Flag; Letters to a Young Activist; Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives; The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked by Culture Wars; The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; Inside Prime Time; The Whole World Is Watching; Uptown: Poor Whites in Chicago (co-author); two novels, Sacrifice and The Murder of Albert Einstein; and a book of poetry, Busy Being Born. These books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Chinese, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. He also edited Watching Television and Campfires of the Resistance.
He has contributed to many books and published widely in general periodicals (The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Boston Globe, Dissent, The New Republic, The Nation, Wilson Quarterly, Harper’s, American Journalism Review, Columbia Journalism Review, The American Prospect, et al.), online magazines (tnr.com, prospect.org, openDemocracy.net), and scholarly journals (Theory and Society, Journal of Communication, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, et al.). He is on the editorial boards of Dissent and the Progressive Book Club, and a contributing writer to Mother Jones.
He is a regular contributor to the blog TPMcafe.com and the “Entanglements” and “The Book” blogs at The New Republic online.
He has been a columnist at the New York Observer and the San Francisco Examiner. During the 2008 campaign he is wrote a weekly “Sunday Watch” column for Columbia Journalism Review online and the Huffington Post. His poems have appeared in The New York Review of Books, Yale Review, and The New Republic.
In 2000, Sacrifice won the Harold U. Ribalow Prize for books on Jewish themes. The Sixties and The Twilight of Common Dreams were Notable Books in the New York Times Book Review. Inside Prime Time received the nonfiction award of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association; The Sixties was a finalist for that award and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.
He holds degrees from Harvard University (mathematics), the University of Michigan (political science), and the University of California, Berkeley (sociology). He was the third president of Students for a Democratic Society, in 1963-64, and coordinator of the SDS Peace Research and Education Project in 1964-65, during which time he helped organize the first national demonstration against the Vietnam War and the first American demonstrations against corporate aid to the apartheid regime in South Africa. During 1968-69, he was an editor and writer for the San Francisco Express Times, and through 1970 wrote widely for the underground press. In 2003-06, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Greenpeace USA.
He is now a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph. D. program in Communications at Columbia University. Earlier, he was for sixteen years a professor of sociology and director of the mass communications program at the University of California, Berkeley, and then for seven years a professor of culture, journalism and sociology at New York University. During 1994-95, he held the chair in American Civilization at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has been a resident at the Bellagio Study Center in Italy and the Djerassi Foundation in Woodside, California, a fellow at the Media Studies Center in New York, and a visiting professor at Yale University, the University of Oslo, the University of Toronto, East China Normal University in Shanghai, and the Institut Supérieur des Langues de Tunis in Tunisia.
He lectures frequently on culture and politics in the United States and abroad (Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Russia, Greece, Turkey, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, Morocco). He has appeared on many National Public Radio programs including Fresh Air as well as PBS, ABC, CBS and CNN. He lives in New York City with his wife, Laurel Cook.
What People Are Saying about “America, Israel, and The Ordeals of Divine Election”
“This is one of the finest books I have ever read about the ideas which drive modern nations. Eloquent and erudite, Gitlin and Leibovitz reveal the promise and the pitfalls of a mass temptation neither Americans nor Israelis have been able to resist. The Chosen Peoples is a necessary work for our perilous era.”
–Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan
“Americans’ deep sense of connection to Old Testament prophecy and providence dates back to the Puritans. In their provocative new book, Todd Gitlin and Liel Leibovitz explore that connection anew for modern times—and offer food for thought and rich argument about the historical as well as political experiences of both Israel and the United States.”
–Sean Wilentz, author of The Rise of American Democracy
“A perceptive comparison between Israel and the United States as Chosen Peoples of God. The authors synthesize history, Bible study, and current events with their own deeply moral analysis. They explore the analogy between the Israeli settlers on Palestinian lands and the white American settlers on Native American lands in ways profoundly enlightening.”
–Daniel Walker Howe, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848
“The Chosen Peoples invites readers to take with great seriousness and respect the idea that both Israel and the United States bear the burden of imagining themselves as chosen by God. In an extraordinarily sensitive exploration of the concept of being chosen, Todd Gitlin and Liel Leibovitz bring a fresh perspective to the history of Israel and America and to the complex linkages between them.”
–Joyce Appleby, professor emerita of history, UCLA, author of The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism
“Few alliances on the world stage are as complex and important as the Israeli-United States special relationship. Yet how best to understand it? In a book that is as refreshing as it is provocative, and timely too, The Chosen Peoples explores the fascinating consequences of both nations seeing themselves as chosen by God. Bravo to Todd Gitlin and Liel Leibovitz for their important contribution.”
–Jay Winik, author of April 1865 and The Great Upheaval
“The Chosen Peoples is a probing account of two powerful myths that have brought us to the brink of disaster, but that may still provide a fresh way forward. The authors’ case for more humane ideas of national destiny is lucid, compelling, and deeply necessary. No one who cares about the future of America–or Israel–can afford to ignore this timely and important book.”
–Jackson Lears, Rutgers University, author of Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877-1920