Profiles in Grit

Non-Fiction - Anthology
192 Pages
Reviewed on 01/10/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite

CCNY Made: Profiles in Grit is an anthology by Dr. Ronnyjane Goldsmith. It features biographies of twenty-eight actual and four fictional alumni who attended the City College of New York in their rise to professional success and eminence in the fields of art and design, business and education, government and international affairs, literature and screenwriting, music and the performing arts, and science and technology. The anthology is dedicated to the author’s father, a CCNY alumnus who immigrated to the United States as a child, attended CCNY and law school at night so he could work in the daytime, and became a lawyer and FBI Special Agent after serving as an aide to General Patton in WWII. An appendix and bibliography provide additional content and references.

If you aren’t sure what the word “grit” means, you won’t be in any doubt after reading CCNY Made: Profiles in Grit by Ronnyjane Goldsmith. I was utterly inspired by the unbelievable courage and resolve described on page after page of this impressive and well-written collection of biographical profiles. Being unfamiliar with the history and mission of CCNY, I was surprised to find so many notables whose names or achievements were familiar but about whose lives I was ignorant. These are people who rose above the social, economic, and educational challenges and obstacles they faced and persevered to live the American Dream and impact our world in so many positive ways. If I could make CCNY Made: Profiles in Grit required reading in every American high school, I would.

Joe Wisinski

CCNY Made by Ronnyjane Goldsmith is about select graduates of City College of New York. Those whom the book profiles have all achieved enormous success in their field, and in doing so they helped positively change the world. The author divides the book into topical categories including Business and Education, Government and International Affairs, Performing Arts, and five more. Some of those profiled include former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, actor Tony Curtis, and author Upton Sinclair. The last category is fictional alumni, thus showing the influence that CCNY has had on society and culture. There are photos and illustrations of those being profiled throughout the book. It concludes with an extensive bibliography that covers each of those profiled.

I learned an enormous amount of fascinating information by reading CCNY Made by Ronnyjane Goldsmith. It was a stroke of genius to write about outstanding alumni of the City College of New York. But the book won’t merely be of interest to those with a connection to CCNY. Anyone who wants to read about highly successful and influential people will benefit. The author’s excellence lies not only in her superb writing skills but also in knowing how much to write on each subject. Each essay is just the right length to give readers the facts they want and need without including extensive or irrelevant information. I highly recommend this superb and well-written book to anyone with an interest in success stories. Congratulations to Goldsmith on writing an exceptional book. I hope she will consider writing similar books about the alumni of other universities.