You are here

Patience and Fortitude: Power, Real Estate, and the Fight to Save a Public Library (Hardcover)


    Staff Reviews

    When real estate interests and corporate logic threatened to destroy the New York Pubic Library from within, a dedicated group of writers, scholars, and activists saved a historic institution from itself in a rare example of the public good triumphing over corporatism. Sherman (whose own reporting for The Nation was a boon to activists) examines every aspect of this controversy, from the NYPL's philanthropic roots to the present day. The result is an overdue reminder of the enduring cultural importance of libraries in the digital age. (Dylan)

    — From Dylan


    A riveting investigation of a beloved library caught in the crosshairs of real estate, power, and the people's interests--by the reporter who broke the story

    In a series of cover stories for The Nation magazine, journalist Scott Sherman uncovered the ways in which Wall Street logic almost took down one of New York City's most beloved and iconic institutions: the New York Public Library.

    In the years preceding the 2008 financial crisis, the library's leaders forged an audacious plan to sell off multiple branch libraries, mutilate a historic building, and send millions of books to a storage facility in New Jersey. Scholars, researchers, and readers would be out of luck, but real estate developers and New York's Mayor Bloomberg would get what they wanted.

    But when the story broke, the people fought back, as famous writers, professors, and citizens' groups came together to defend a national treasure.

    Rich with revealing interviews with key figures, Patience and Fortitude is at once a hugely readable history of the library's secret plans, and a stirring account of a rare triumph against the forces of money and power.

    About the Author

    SCOTT SHERMAN is a contributing writer for The Nation. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, the London Review of Books, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Dissent, Lingua Franca, and other publications.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781612194295
    ISBN-10: 161219429X
    Publisher: Melville House Publishing
    Publication Date: June 23rd, 2015
    Pages: 224
    Language: English