The Committee to Save the New York Public Library is excited to announce the forthcoming publication of Scott Sherman’s new book Patience and Fortitude: Power, Real Estate and the Fight to Save a Public Library, a definitive account of NYPL’s aborted plan to dismantle one of the world’s most cherished public libraries and the Herculean efforts of a broad coalition of writers, scholars, and library lovers to stop it.
In a series of penetrating articles for The Nation, Scott Sherman first began to unravel the details of the Central Library Plan in 2011. His investigative work played a pivotal role in generating wide-spread public opposition to the plan. Now Sherman tells the entire story in vivid detail based on his probing interviews and meticulous research.
Praising the book as “a major feat of reporting,” Vanity Fair joins a chorus of advanced accolades for the book:
“The battle over the New York Public Library was such an important fight to win, and Scott Sherman’s reporting was an essential part of that victory.” —Salman Rushdie
“It’s very hard to produce a specific, inarguable example of the power of the press—but here’s one. Scott Sherman’s pathbreaking 2011 article in The Nation about the New York Public Library’s plans to demolish much of its headquarters building and substantially change its purpose led directly to that misguided plan’s being abandoned three years later. Now Sherman lays out the entire story, from conception to cancellation, of the Central Library Plan. It is an absorbing narrative, and more; it also gets to the heart of an urgent broader issue, the danger our most precious institutions face in the age of disruption.” —Nicholas Lemann, author of The Big Test
“With cool acuity, Scott Sherman details the insidious threat to one of the world’s greatest cultural institutions, and the gritty resistance that saved it. Anyone who cares about the future of books should read Patience and Fortitude.” —Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire
“Scott Sherman’s fast-paced story is a nuanced, disturbing account of what happens when the age of hedge funds, metrics and management consultants meets one of our country’s great institutions of learning. Patience and Fortitude is all the more fascinating because Sherman’s journalism played a significant role in preventing a cultural atrocity.”
—Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost
“One can read Scott Sherman’s engrossing book as a critique of the New York Public Library’s stumbles, or as a love letter to a priceless institution. This is a love letter, and one that assails those the author believes would have violated the library’s legacy. Even those who disagree with Sherman should tip their hats to him, for his passion and rigorous reporting, as the book reveals, has aided a great and priceless institution.” —Ken Auletta, author of Googled
“When civic vandals masquerading as visionaries attempted to gut the New York Public Library, Scott Sherman’s intrepid reporting in The Nation shut them down. Now he gives us the full story, a riveting activist adventure yarn written with the elegance of a cultural romantic and the gimlet eye of an investigative journalist. What I learned is that a civilization traduces its libraries—especially this library—at its peril.” —Rick Perlstein, author of The Invisible Bridge
“With reportorial doggedness, narrative elan, and an unfailing eye for the lancing detail, Scott Sherman masterfully tells the story, by turns enraging and heartening, of the plight of New York’s most storied institution in an uncertain age.” —Tom Vanderbilt, bestselling author of Traffic
“Scott Sherman’s Patience and Fortitude is a gripping, meticulously reported account of the plan to gut a world-famous research library—and the movement that sprung up to preserve it. Like Nicholson Baker’s Double Fold, another provocative story about a debacle in the stacks, this riveting book shows just how bloody the fight over our cultural treasures can get.” —Marilyn Johnson, author of This Book Is Overdue!
Patience and Fortitude will be available in bookstores on June 23rd. Pre-order your copy through Melville House’s website to get it now.