Publication forthcoming: A New Scientific Biography of a Polar Pioneer

My current book project is a biography of my fourth-great uncle, William Scoresby, Jr. Born in 1789 in Whitby, Yorkshire, Scoresby is a unique figure in history—a Greenland whaling captain turned naturalist and physicist, who drew on his observations of polar phenomena to publish the first scientific survey of the Arctic. Critics praised him as “a man worthy of being placed along with a Hudson, a Dampier, and a Cook”; Herman Melville used the book as a primary source in Moby-Dick. Scoresby studied terrestrial magnetism and designed more accurate navigational instruments for sailors at sea, a humanitarian cause that dovetailed with his later occupation as a minister.

Scoresby also played a prominent role in Britain’s search for the Northwest Passage, the development of the global magnetic observatory network dubbed the Magnetic Crusade, and the founding of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He collaborated and corresponded with the era’s leading thinkers, including Sir Joseph Banks, Francois Arago, Alexander von Humboldt, Michael Faraday, and Charles Darwin.

Today, scientists use his data to understand polar conditions prior to the Industrial Age and to model future climate change. This scientific biography of William Scoresby will reveal the brilliant and courageous mind behind the development of Arctic science and how his work affects our world.

The Whitby Gazette wrote about my book research in the U.K.:  Ancestor of Scoresbys to Visit for Project


The Forbidden Apple: A Century of Sex and Sin in New York City (Ig Publishing)

A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice

Read an excerpt featured in The New York Times

Read The New York Times review

Read the Village Voice review

“Kat Long’s The Forbidden Apple is a fast-paced and vivid overview documenting the conflicts between evangelical moralists and defenders of sexual expression, commercial and otherwise.  Anyone interested in New York City or sex will have to pick this up.”—Timothy Gilfoyle, author, City of Eros and A Pickpocket’s Tale

“Kat Long has provided a fascinating overview of sex in New York City since the Civil War.  Everything you always wanted to know—and a lot you would never have suspected!”—Kevin Baker, author, Strivers Row, Paradise Alley and Dreamland

“Less a catalog of vice than an analysis of attempts to evade its suppression, from the Gilded Age to Giuliani’s ’90s. —The New York Times Book Review

“Long covers the great upheavals that have pushed the advantage in the sex wars one way or the other … there is something in it that suggests an epic history. By the end, I wished it were longer.” —The Village Voice

The Forbidden Apple: A Century of Sex & Sin in New York City reveals the battle between outlaw sex and moral righteousness that has been fought on the streets of America’s most licentious city.

Beginning with Gilded Age New York, where upper-class men of society routinely slummed with prostitutes and burlesque dancers—then wrote scathing condemnations of the “Lost Sisterhood” for the next day’s papers—and ending with Rudolph Giuliani’s crackdown on the city’s sexual life in the 1990s, The Forbidden Apple details the major trends in New York’s sexual history since the Civil War. They include the Victorian-era battles over prostitution; the women’s movement at the turn of the 20th century; the hedonistic Roaring Twenties; the rise of Times Square as the city’s sexual epicenter in the 1940s and 1950s; the birth of the gay rights movement in the 1960s; the decadence and pornography of the 1970s; and the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s.

The first-ever comprehensive sexual history of New York City, The Forbidden Apple shows how most of this country’s most important sexual movements began in New York, and also reveals how the repressive forces of morality and decency have waged war against the forces of sexual freedom.


Past media coverage

F*ck The Apocalypse! Preparing for the second coming…and the third…and the fourth, The Village Voice

100 Women We Love: Kat Long, GO Magazine

90 to Watch in ‘09 (I’m #18), The Brooklyn Paper

Radio interview on Doing Time with Ron Kuby
Air date: 4/16/09
Airing on Air America Radio

Radio interview on Moncrieff! with Sean Moncrieff
Air date: 4/8/09
Airing on Newstalk national radio, Ireland

An interview on Behind the News with Doug Henwood
Air date: 4/9/09
Airing on WBAI 99.5 FM (New York City) and KPFA 94.1 FM (Berkeley, CA)

An interview on Culture Shocks with Barry Lynn
Air date: 3/19/09
Syndicated on WMET 1160 AM (Washington, D.C.), KCAA 1050 AM (Los Angeles), KRXA 540 AM (Monterey, CA), KTAE 1330 AM (Cameron, TX), and WPRR 1680 AM (Grand Rapids, MI)

Cockroach: Music, Movies & Media 8/24/09
Bad Girls Go to Hell: 7 Questions for Kat Long
A Cockroach Book of the Year!

Tenement Talks 4/1/2009
Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Hosted by Kevin Baker