Ed Doctorow, a colleague here at NYU, was a staunch supporter in our fight to block the Board’s insane and universally detested real estate expansion plan for Greenwich Village, and otherwise reclaim the proper mission of this university against the plutocratic policies dictated from on high.
As NYU pushes forward with that ruinous agenda—a push that will now be promoted publicly by Andrew Hamilton of Oxford, replacing the preposterous John Sexton as president of NYU—we are more than pleased to see this posthumous collection of Ed’s writings for The Nation (see below).
p.s. That NYU’s administration shares the Board’s supreme contempt for NYU’s own faculty came clear (again) when Prof. Doctorow passed away last summer— and there was no sad announcement by NYU’s president, or NYU’s provost, or Marty Lipton, outgoing Chairman of the Board, or incoming chairman William Berkley.
The same thing happened—or didn’t happen—when Prof. Oliver Sacks passed on a few weeks later, and there was no sad announcement of the news by either Robert Grossman, dean of NYU’s medical school (and an otherwise prolific author of decanal meditations), or Ken Langone, colossal chairman of the med school’s board.
On the other hand, NYU’s managers have mourned the passing of their own
bureaucratic peers, and of big donors: “This past year has been particularly challenging for me,” wrote Dean Grossman in October, “as I lost a splendid friend and NYU Langone lost a great leader in Bernie Birnbaum”—Senior Vice President and Vice Dean, Chief of Hospital Operations at NYU Langone.
And, in September, Carol Mandel, Dean of the NYU’s Division of Libraries, sent out a sad announcement of the passing of Mamdouha Bobst, widow of Elmer Bobst:
Mrs. Bobst’s vision and generosity, together with her husband’s, enabled NYU in 1973 to open the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, our flagship library on Washington Square. This gave NYU a main library equal to its aspirations as a research university, and Bobst Library has been the heart of the campus ever since.
Surely it was only right for Dean Mandel to mourn the passing of that donor, andproper for Dean Grossman to express his sadness at the passing of his colleague.
But only to laments the deaths of other managers, and wealthy donors, while saying nothing of the deaths of two of NYU’s most eminent professors—news that was reported widely by the US and world press—is simply wrong, and all too typical.
Dear Friend of the Nation,
The award-winning novelist E.L. Doctorow, who died in 2015, will long be remembered for his highly imaginative historical fiction. Yet some of Doctorow’s most daring and charged prose can be found in his nonfiction, especially in hisnumerous essays published over four decades in The Nation, a magazine of which he was a longtime supporter.
I am pleased to announce that a new collection of E.L. Doctorow’s essays, Citizen Doctorow: Notes on Art & Politics, The Nation Essays, 1978–2015, is on sale now, available in paperback and digital formats for tablets, smartphones, and computers.
Collected here for the first time, Doctorow’s Nation essays show a brilliant writer probing through the detritus of American politics and culture for glimpses of intact American ideals.