History Department

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History Department

Faculty & Staff

Bernstein, Lee

B.A., Hobart and William Smith Colleges
M.A., Boston College
Ph.D., University of Minnesota


Department: History
Office: JFT 1006
Phone: (845) 257-2683
E-mail: bernstel@newpaltz.edu

Office Hours

T09:30 AM - 10:30 AM
F01:00 PM - 02:00 PM

and by appointment

Career History

He has taught at New Paltz since 2004.

Teaching Interests

Undergraduate Courses:
US History Since 1865
Postwar America
US Since Watergate
US Foreign Policy Since 1900
Prisons and Prisoners in the U.S.
American Immigration

Graduate Courses:
Interpretations of American History
Recent American History

Research/Creative Activity

Lee Bernstein's research and writing focus on crime and incarceration in U.S. history. He is the author of The Greatest Menace: Organized Crime in Cold War America (2002) and America Is the Prison: Arts and Politics in Prison in the 1970s (2010).


America Is the Prison: Arts and Politics in Prison in the 1970s. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010).

The Greatest Menace: Organized Crime in Cold War America. Culture, Politics, and the Cold War Series. (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2002; Paperback 2009).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters:
“The Hudson Valley School of Incarceration: Sing Sing Prison in Antebellum New York,” American Nineteenth Century History Vol. 14, No. 3 (2013), 261-282.

““What did Apalachin Prove?: Looking for the Mafia in Cold War Politics and Culture.” Trends in Organized Crime. Volume 10, No. 4. (December 2007), 3-15.

“The Age of Jackson: George Jackson and the Culture of American Prisons in the 1970s.” The Journal of American Culture. Vol. 30, No. 3 (September 2007), 310-323.

"Prison Writers and the Black Arts Movement," Chapter in New Thoughts on the Black Arts Movement. Lisa Gail Collins and Margo Crawford, eds. (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2006).

"Jack Henry Abbott." Famous American Crimes and Trials, Steve Chermak and Frankie Bailey, eds. (New York: Praeger, 2004).

"The Avengers of Christie Street: Crime, Race, and Class in Mike Gold's Jews Without Money." The Novel and the American Left: Critical Essays on Depression-Era Fiction. Janet Galligani Casey, ed. (Iowa City, Ia.: University of Iowa Press, 2004).

“Screens and Bars: Confronting Cinema Representations of Race and Crime," Chapter in Reversing the Lens: Ethnicity, Race, Gender, and Sexuality through Film, Lane Hirabayashi and Jun Xing, eds. (Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 2003).

"'… Give Me Death': Capital Punishment and the Limits of American Citizenship." States of Confinement: Policing, Detention, and Prisons, Joy James, ed. (New York: St. Martins, 2000; Paperback edition, New York: Palgrave, 2002).

"'Unlucky' Luciano: Fear of Crime during the Cold War." Fear Itself: Enemies Real and Imagined in American Culture, Nancy Schultz, ed. (West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, 1999).

Essays in Conference Proceedings:
"Capone's Old Town: Italian American 'Mobsters,' Racial Desegregation, and the Cicero Riots of 1951." Chapter in Shades of Black and White: Conflict and Collaboration Between Two Communities. Dan Ashyk, ed. (AIHA [American Italian Historical Association] Conference Proceedings, 1999).

Reference Materials:
“George Jackson.” American National Biography. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).

African Americans and the Criminal Justice System. One volume in the multivolume electronic series, The Black Experience in the Western Hemisphere. (New York: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library and Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest Information and Learning Company, 2009).

“Criminal Justice.” (essay entry). Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History. Second Edition. Colin Palmer, General Editor. (Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference, 2006).

"Mafia." Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia. Peter Knight, ed. (Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2003).