Books authored or co-authored by UCLA history professors have been included on the New Yorker’s Best Books of 2022 So Far list: “Bad Mexicans” by Kelly Lytle Hernández and “American Shtetl,” co-written by David Myers.
Kelly Lytle Hernández, the Thomas E. Lifka Professor of History and director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, is a race, mass incarceration and immigration expert and an award-winning author. She is also the principal investigator for Million Dollar Hoods, a data-driven project that uses police and jail records to examine costs and incarceration disparities in Los Angeles neighborhoods.
In “Bad Mexicans,” Lytle Hernández uncovers the story about a band of Mexican revolutionaries — headed by the radical Ricardo Flores Magón — that helped spark the Mexican Revolution and lead to the eventual ousting of President Porfirio Díaz in 1911. The subsequent impact of the revolution was massive, causing more than a million Mexicans to migrate north. Lytle Hernández emphasizes that “you cannot understand U.S. history without Mexico and Mexicans.”
David Myers is the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History and director of the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy. He has authored five books in the field of modern Jewish intellectual and cultural history, and is co-editor of the Jewish Quarterly Review. Myers wrote “American Shtetl” with Nomi Stolzenberg, a professor at USC Gould School of Law.
“American Shtetl” dives into the history of a separatist Hasidic Jewish group which built its own village, Kiryas Joel, in upstate New York. Myers and Stolzenberg explore how America’s political, legal and economic institutions created this ethnographic response. “‘American Shtetl’ provides an unambiguous historical refutation of the idea that liberalism renders meaningful community impossible,” according to the New Yorker.