Rutgers University Press Will Publish New Michael Davis Story of Sesame Street’s Fight for America’s Children

New Brunswick, NJ (April 2, 2024) – STREET FIGHT: Sesame Workshop’s Audacious, Persistent, Subversive Counter-assault on Mean America is not a sequel. It is not a history. It is the story of Sesame Street, a company that is fighting for America’s children. 

Michael Davis, author of the 2008 New York Times bestseller Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street has signed with Rutgers University Press to write a clear-eyed, independent assessment of Sesame Street’s impact, undertaken with the cooperation and encouragement of Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder of the Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop), and the Workshop’s president, Sherrie Westin.

The deal was negotiated by Rutgers University Press Executive Editor, Nicole Solano, through Amy Collins at Talcott Notch Literary Services and includes world, audio, and translation rights. 

To the outside world, everything has been A-OK at One Lincoln Plaza, Sesame Workshop’s idea factory. But within its walls, those who succeeded the founders of Sesame Street have had to sweat blood to keep it from going under, battling forces that would have snuffed it out long ago. And Sesame Street has been a target for those who find its prosocial curriculum a threat to their preferred way of life. 

Using techniques of an emerging reporting strategy known as “solutions journalism,” STREET FIGHT will take measure of the ways in which the ongoing experiment in educating preschoolers through television has served the world’s children, while also revealing the limitations and complications that left some viewers behind.

“I’m thrilled and incredibly proud to collaborate with Michael on this book,” says Solano. “Michael’s solutions-based journalism approach to the cultural history of Sesame Street Workshop aligns seamlessly with the Press’s core mission of disseminating essential research to the broader public, especially focusing on children and media. We’re proud to partner with Michael on this significant project and eagerly anticipate the book advancing the broader conversation on the importance of children’s educational television.”

Journalist, editor, educator, and producer Michael Davis was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He covered children’s television as a senior editor and Family Page columnist at TV Guide. Learn more at

A leading publisher in film, television, media and performing arts, Rutgers University Press is a nonprofit academic publishing house dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge to scholars, students, and the general reading public. The Press reflects and extends Rutgers University’s core mission of research, instruction, and service. Rutgers University Press enhances the work of its authors through exceptional publications that shape critical issues, spark debate, and enrich teaching throughout the world for a wide range of readers. 

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