Fresh Ink: Winter Reads
Authors explore genetics in fiction and nonfiction, the call to teach and the problem with educational systems, the personality of American power and the lack of power in the American personality, and more.
In the Field: A Novel
By Rachel Pastan ’83
August 10, 2021
“In 1920, having persuaded her resistant mother to send her to college, Kate Croft falls in love with science. Painfully rebuffed by a girl she longs for, and in flight from her own confusing sexuality, Kate finds refuge in the calm rationality of biology: its vision of a deeply interconnected world, and the promise that the new field of genetics can explain the way people are. But science, too, turns out to be marred by human weakness.”
Empire Imagined: The Personality of American Power
By Giselle Frances Donnelly ’71
State University of New York
Press, August 1, 2022
“In Empire Imagined, Donnelly reveals the strategic unconscious of the American mind, one shaped by a global view, ideological motivation, and expansionist ambition. All this helped build the fear of strategic fragility and a belief that liberty would produce security. These traits still mark the American understanding of international politics and the balance of power. To imagine the American experiment’s future, we must recall its original design and purpose.”
Slouching Toward Utopia: An Economic History of the Twentieth Century
By J. Bradford DeLong ’78
Basic Books, September 6, 2022
“Before 1870, humanity lived in dire poverty, with a slow crawl of invention offset by a growing population. Then came a great shift: invention sprinted forward, doubling our technological capabilities each generation and utterly transforming the economy again and again. Our ancestors would have presumed we would have used such powers to build utopia. But it was not so. When 1870–2010 ended, the world instead saw global warming; economic depression, uncertainty, and inequality; and broad rejection of the status quo.”
Other People’s Colleges: The Origins of American Higher Education Reform
By Ethan Ris ’01
Chicago University Press, June 27, 2022
“The reform impulse is baked into American higher education, the result of generations of elite reformers who have called for sweeping changes in the sector and raised existential questions about its sustainability. Today, another coalition of business leaders, philanthropists, and politicians is again demanding efficiency, accountability, and utility from American higher education. But top-down design is not destiny.”
The Inn on Gooseneck Lane: A Novel
By Debora Hirshberg Noone ’69, writing as Delsora Lowe
Wild Rose Press, October 17, 2022
“In a small town where everyone knows your business and interfering relatives revive snicker-doodling, the lost art of matchmaking, Nat and Brad may not stand a chance. Can the two find enough heart to forgive and accept love again?”
The Scholastic Culture of Babylonian
By Talmud Noah Bickart ’94
Gorgias Press, October 4, 2022
Bickart “studies how and in what cultural context the Talmud began to take shape in the scholastic centers of rabbinic Babylonia. … The study demonstrates increasing academization during the talmudic period, and supports a gradual model of the Talmud’s redaction.”
Reimagining The Call to Teach: A Witness to Teachers and Teaching
By David T. Hansen ’71
Teachers College Press, May 14, 2021
“David Hansen revisits the idea of teaching as a calling in light of contemporary expectations in education. [This book] brings to life an ethical approach to teaching that is informed by an understanding of teaching’s great purpose: to help the next generation forge a spirit of mutual care and concern while supporting each student’s distinctive way of being in the world.”
The Patchwork Human: Two Billion Years of Evolution
By Peter Luykx ’55
McFarland, May 11, 2022
“Life began about four billion years ago on our planet. Like an old patchwork quilt, evolution stitched the human being together from parts of ancient species now long extinct. … [This] book aims to explain some human traits and how we—as social, sexual, language obsessed technological apes—evolved into our own modern species.”
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