What We Are Reading Today: The Manhattan Nobody Knows

Updated 16 November 2018

What We Are Reading Today: The Manhattan Nobody Knows

Author: William B. Helmreich

Bill Helmreich walked every block of New York City — 6,000 miles in all — to write the award-winning The New York Nobody Knows. Now he has re-walked most of Manhattan — 721 miles — to write this new, one-of-a-kind walking guide to the heart of one of the world’s greatest cities.
Drawing on hundreds of conversations he had with residents during his block-by-block journey, The Manhattan Nobody Knows captures the unique magic and excitement of the island and highlights hundreds of facts, places, and points of interest that you won’t find in any other guide.
The guide covers every one of Manhattan’s 31 distinct neighborhoods, from Marble Hill to the Financial District, providing a colorful portrait of each area’s most interesting, unusual, and unfamiliar people, places, and things.
Along the way you will be introduced to an elderly Inwood man who lives in a cave; a Greenwich Village townhouse where Weathermen terrorists set up a bomb factory; a Harlem apartment building whose residents included W.E.B. DuBois and Thurgood Marshall; a tiny community garden attached to the Lincoln Tunnel.


What We Are Reading Today: Democratic Equality by James Lindley Wilson

Updated 17 August 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Democratic Equality by James Lindley Wilson

  • It mounts a bold and persuasive defense of democracy as a way of making collective decisions

Democracy establishes relationships of political equality, ones in which citizens equally share authority over what they do together and respect one another as equals. 

But in today’s divided public square, democracy is challenged by political thinkers who disagree about how democratic institutions should be organized, and by antidemocratic politicians who exploit uncertainties about what democracy requires and why it matters. 

Democratic Equality mounts a bold and persuasive defense of democracy as a way of making collective decisions, showing how equality of authority is essential to relating equally as citizens, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

James Lindley Wilson explains why the US Senate and Electoral College are urgently in need of reform, why proportional representation is not a universal requirement of democracy, how to identify racial vote dilution and gerrymandering in electoral districting, how to respond to threats to democracy posed by wealth inequality, and how judicial review could be more compatible with the democratic ideal.