Dorinson, Joseph 1936-

views updated

DORINSON, Joseph 1936-

PERSONAL: Born November 15, 1936, in Jersey City, NJ; son of Peter (a store manager) and Rita (a garment worker; maiden name, Mandel) Dorinson; married Eileen Susan Levine, December 25, 1968; children: Hilary Beth, Paula Michele, Robert Greg. Ethnicity: "Human race: Jewish-American." Education: Columbia University, B.A., 1958, M.Phil., 1976; attended University of Oslo, 1961, and City College of the City University of New York, 1961–62. Politics: Democrat. Religion: "Jewish (secular)." Hobbies and other interests: Sports, reading, theater, films.

ADDRESSES: Home—1851 E. 26th St., Brooklyn, NY 11229-2437. Office—Department of History, Brooklyn Campus, Long Island University, 1 University Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11201-5372; fax: 718-488-1086. E-mail[email protected]; [email protected]

CAREER: Writer. Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, Brooklyn, NY, professor of history, 1966–, department head, 1985–97, faculty advisor to Hillel and Russian-Jewish Heritage Club, 1995–. St. Francis College, adjunct professor, 1987–; past lecturer at Kean College of New Jersey, Columbia University, and Herbert H. Lehman College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, and College of Staten Island, all of the City University of New York; conference director; public speaker.

MEMBER: Society for American Baseball Research, Popular Culture Association, Danforth Associates of New York (president, 1986–89), Madison Marine Civic Association (president, 1986–89).

AWARDS, HONORS: Grants from National Endowment for the Humanities, 1980, 1987, 1989, and 1991; Danforth associate, 1980–86; David Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching, Long Island University, 1988.


(With Dennis Carpenter) Anyone Here a Sailor?: Popular Entertainment and the Navy, Brightlights Publications (Great Neck, NY), 1994.

(Editor, with Joram Warmund) Jackie Robinson: Race, Sports, and the American Dream, M. E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY), 1998.

(Editor, with Jose Sanchez) Brooklyn: A City Apart, Long Island University Press (Brooklyn, NY), 1999.

(Editor, with William Pencak) Paul Robeson: Essays on His Life and Legacy, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 2002.

Contributor to books, including Ethnic Politics, edited by Joseph Roucek and Bernard Eisenberg, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1982; American Humor, edited by Arthur P. Dudden, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1987; Humor in America: Topics and Genres, edited by Lawrence E. Mintz, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1988; Immigration and Ethnicity, edited by Michael D'Innocenzo and Joseph P. Sirefman, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1992; and Long Island Women: Activists and Innovators, edited by Natalie Naylor, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1998. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Jewish Currents, Journal of Popular Culture, Long Island Historical Journal, Genesis, Maledicta, Journal of Psychohistory, Pennsylvania History: Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, and New York Times.

SIDELIGHTS: Joseph Dorinson told CA: "I write because there is a dybuk (internal spirit) in me crying to get out. Writing, therefore, takes on an element of exorcism. Suffering from writer's block early in my career, I felt 'bottled up,' so to speak. In 1974 I delivered a paper on Lenny Bruce, the iconoclastic Jewish comedian, which led, seven years later, to my first scholarly publications. The floodgates opened, and the prose began to flow. Unwilling to select a single specialty, I prefer to write on a broad range of subjects.

"The world is my oyster, and I've squeezed pearls from the following studies: Brooklyn, Jewish humor, sports history, African-American culture, Frank Sinatra, and popular culture. Currently I am fine-tuning a piece on the music and mores of World War II. I may do a book on American culture during the Cold War.

"In canvasing the realm of humor, I assayed the role of the standup comic. Laughter serves as a great social lubricant and powers my creative engines. To write engagingly (as I try to teach engagingly) defines my approach. To combine play and work leavens the process of communication. To induce laughter and to encourage thought constitute my goal. The means to that end continues to please. I am unwilling to lapse into silence until the world appreciates genuine heroes like Paul Robeson and Jackie Robinson."



Booklist, September 15, 1998, Wes Lukowsky, review of Jackie Robinson: Race, Sports, and the American Dream, p. 186.

Journal of Popular Culture, November, 2003, Douglas A. Noverr, review of Jackie Robinson, p. 360.

Science and Society, winter, 2003–04, Annette T. Rubinstein, review of Paul Robeson: Essays on His Life and Legacy, p. 502.