Books by Robert Gottlieb

Robert Gottlieb has been Editor in Chief at Simon and Schuster, Alfred Knopf and The New Yorker. He has written two successful anthologies for Pantheon: Reading Jazz and (with Robert Kimball) Reading Lyrics, and has edited hundreds of books from Catch-22

Released: June 12, 2018

"Perspicacious, penetrating, and instructive."
An erudite and opinionated critic offers up a taster of tantalizing essays. Read full book review >
AVID READER by Robert Gottlieb
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"For lovers of literature and devotees of the New Yorker, this memoir is likely to prove endlessly captivating."
The longtime editor at Simon & Schuster, Knopf, and the New Yorker thankfully breaks his vow to never write a memoir. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 27, 2012

"A great choice for anyone who has ever wondered what life is like for the families who surround, support and are overshadowed by great historical figures."
A look into the lives of Charles Dickens' family, particularly the children, from former New Yorker and Knopf editor Gottlieb (Lives and Letters, 2012, etc.). Read full book review >
GEORGE BALANCHINE by Robert Gottlieb
Released: Nov. 1, 2004

"Livelier and gossipier than Terry Teachout's earnest primer, All the Dances (p. 953), though less explicitly instructive about Balanchine's historic significance. Ballet lovers, of course, will want to read both."
Another brief biography published to coincide with the centennial of the legendary choreographer's birth, gaining color and immediacy from the author's behind-the-scenes knowledge of the New York City Ballet. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 25, 1996

Jazz, like baseball, is an American cultural phenomenon and, like its sporting counterpart, has inspired a wealth of great writing. Former New Yorker and Alfred A. Knopf editor in chief Gottlieb, a relative newcomer to the ranks of jazz fans, has drawn on those riches for this enormous compilation of great nonfiction writing about the music, and his choices are astute ones. All the great names in jazz writing are here: Gary Giddins, Francis Davis, Gene Lees, Nat Hentoff, Leonard Feather, Whitney Balliet, and Martin Williams. Autobiographical material covers just about every major musician who ever put pen to paper (or voice to tape recorder). Gottlieb hasn't shied away from controversy, either, including such combative figures as James Lincoln Collier and Stanley Crouch (don't invite them to the same party!). There are even some unexpected literary lights like Jean-Paul Sartre. One might quibble with some of his choices of specific pieces, and there ought to be more than one entry from Lees, but this is a good introductory collection for the beginning jazz reader, and for the real aficionado, a nice smorgasbord to be dipped into at leisure. (Author tour) Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

An earnest dissertation on environmentalism as a complex social movement that began in response to industrialization, urbanization, and the closing of the frontier. Gottlieb (A Life of Its Own, 1988, etc.), an environmental activist and lecturer at UCLA's Urban Planning Program, rejects as too narrow the view of the environmental movement as one rooted in the struggle to preserve nature. This view, he claims, overlooks environmentalism's urban and industrial ancestry: the social-reform movements of the 19th century that sought to improve the daily lives of working people. Gottlieb diligently traces the history of this more broadly defined environmentalism from the 1890's on. He selects Earth Day 1970 as a transitional event, marking the emergence of a new mainstream environmentalism as a powerful force in shaping policy at the federal level, and he scrutinizes the conflict between this professional, institutionalized environmentalism and alternative, community- based, direct-action groups. Unlike mainstream environmentalists, whom Gottlieb describes as working closely with government and industry, alternative groups are more confrontational, and the issues they tackle are often ones in which gender, race, and class play significant roles—e.g., exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace, with its disproportionately greater impact on blue-collar workers. The picture that emerges is one in which mainstream environmentalism has lost its way, with new direction coming from the alternative groups, the true descendants of 19th-century champions of social justice. By recognizing its social-reform roots and by redefining itself in broad terms, Gottlieb asserts that environmentalism can transform itself into a more democratic movement, one concerned with the total human environment. Impressive research and a clear message—if somewhat tedious in the telling. Read full book review >