Faculty book

International Scholarships in Higher Education: Pathways to Social Change

International Scholarships in Higher Education: Pathways to Social Change 
Edited by Joan R. Dassin ’69, Robin R. Marsh and Matt Mawer 
Palgrave Macmillan, $159.99

Though international education’s impact on social, economic and leadership development has been thoroughly documented, data on the influence of international scholarship programs have been less plentiful. Dassin, professor of international education and development at Heller, steps in to fill the void, compiling current research and analysis to flesh out how international scholarships benefit individuals, countries, geographic regions and the globe.

Alumni books

Arthur Ashe: A Life

Arthur Ashe: A Life
By Raymond Arsenault, MA’74, PhD’81
Simon & Schuster, $37.50

Civil-rights historian Arsenault presents a compelling, exhaustively researched biography of Arthur Ashe, the African-American tennis star who splintered color barriers and fought hard to help disenfranchised people gain equality and respect. When Ashe died in 1993 at age 49 after contracting HIV from a blood transfusion, he had not only changed the face of tennis, he’d transformed our understanding of what a socially engaged sports hero can do.

The Lake on Fire

The Lake on Fire
By Rosellen Brown, MA’62
Sarabande Books, $17.95

In this vivid, beautifully written historical novel, teenager Chaya and little brother Asher, Russian Jewish immigrants, flee their family’s failing Wisconsin farm for a hard-knock life in Gilded Age Chicago. Chaya, who gets a job making cigars, is soon being courted by a rich family’s socialist son. Asher, a street thief, moonlights as a child savant to entertain guests at fashionable parties. Against the backdrop of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the siblings struggle for a foothold in a changing America.

The Pope Who Would Be King

The Pope Who Would Be King
By David I. Kertzer, PhD’74
Random House, $35

Kertzer, the Brown University social science professor who won a 2015 Pulitzer for “The Pope and Mussolini,” again brings the complicated histories of the Vatican and Italy to life with an account of the pivotal 32-year reign of Pope Pius IX (1846-78). Alarmed by the revolutions that were ending aristocratic dynasties across Europe, Pius asserted his divine right to rule; worked against Italian unification; claimed the notion of papal infallibility; and opposed extending freedoms of speech, press, association and religion to all, steering the Roman Catholic Church into a deeply conservative stance.

The Embattled Vote in America

The Embattled Vote in America
By Allan J. Lichtman ’67
Harvard University Press, $27.95

Remarkably, the “13 Keys to the White House” prediction model Lichtman created in 1981 has accurately foretold the outcome of every presidential election since then. Here, the political historian turns his attention to voting rights, which, when not protected, means every American will lose. Voter ID laws, gerrymandering and felon disenfranchisement are some of the assaults on the electoral process discussed.

Standoff: How America Became Ungovernable

Standoff: How America Became Ungovernable
By Bill Schneider ’66
Simon & Schuster, $27

Schneider, a former CNN senior political analyst, assesses the past 50 years of U.S. presidential politics, frayed by the pull of progressive reforms on the left and conservative backlash on the right. By explaining how Americans choose their issues and cast their votes, “Standoff” attempts to make sense of the candidates we elect, including the 2016 winner, whom, as Schneider points out, 61 percent of voters believed wasn’t qualified to serve as president.

Broken: Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?

Broken: Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?
By Ira Shapiro ’69
Rowman & Littlefield, $35

A companion piece to Shapiro’s 2012 book, “The Last Great Senate,” “Broken” dissects and diagnoses the U.S. Senate’s accelerating decline from the early 1950s to now. Gridlock and hyper-partisanship have eroded the once-august body’s promise and possibility, a sad state not lost on the senators themselves. “We have been miniaturized,” observed Sen. Olympia Snow (R-ME) upon her retirement six years ago.

Al Capone Throws Me a Curve

Al Capone Throws Me a Curve
By Gennifer Choldenko ’79
Wendy Lamb Books, $17.99

Growing up on Alcatraz Island in the 1930s is a mixed blessing for 13-year-old Moose, whose father is assistant warden at the prison. Like its predecessors, this fourth book in Choldenko’s funny yet bittersweet Tales From Alcatraz series, for readers ages 8-12, includes encounters with Al Capone, the prison’s most famous resident. At its heart, however, it’s a warm family story, as Moose worries about his older sister, Natalie, who has autism; hones his baseball skills; and navigates the trials of adolescence.

Asking Styles

Asking Styles
By Brian Saber ’84
Asking Matters, $29.95

You — yes, you — can learn to ask for the support that turns a great idea into a successful nonprofit, writes Saber, who is a fundraiser, coach and consultant. You just have to decide whether you’re analytic or intuitive, introverted or extroverted, then adopt the appropriate asking style: rainmaker, go-getter, mission controller or kindred spirit. Saber offers clear, practical advice geared to each asker type.

Who's Got the Etrog?

Who’s Got the Etrog?
By Jane Kohuth ’01
Illustrated by Elissambura
Kar-Ben Publishing, $7.99

In Uganda, little Sara and her Auntie Sanyu celebrate Sukkot with a lion, a parrot, a camel and other friendly creatures. But will the avid wart hog who shows up first let go of the etrog so everyone else can enjoy it, too? A delightful story with winsome illustrations, for readers between the ages of 4-8.

Estrogen Matters

Estrogen Matters
By Avrum Bluming and Carol Tavris ’66
Little, Brown Spark, $27

Social psychologist Tavris and her co-author make a well-argued case in favor of hormone replacement therapy after menopause. “Estrogen Matters” takes issue with the nearly-20-year-old finding that connected HRT with an increased risk for breast cancer, presenting scientific evidence that underscores HRT’s benefits. As the authors assert, “The powerful belief that estrogen causes breast cancer has blinded otherwise reputable, serious investigators to what their own data actually reveals.”

Thirty Minutes Over Oregon

Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot’s World War II Story
By Marc Tyler Nobleman ’94
Illustrated by Melissa Iwai
Clarion Books, $17.99

Written for history buffs ages 6-9, “Thirty Minutes Over Oregon” tells the true story of a Japanese pilot who, a few months after the Pearl Harbor attack, dropped bombs on a wooded area in coastal Oregon. Twenty years later, he returned to the U.S. to apologize. (A second 2018 book by Nobleman, “Fairy Spell: How Two Girls Convinced the World That Fairies Are Real,” introduces young readers to another true story, about an infamous paranormal hoax cooked up by a couple of English girls in 1917.)

Jerusalem: A Brief History

Jerusalem: A Brief History
By Michael Zank, PhD’94
Wiley-Blackwell, $25.95

In fewer than 300 pages, this volume delivers a comprehensive, accessible introduction to Jerusalem, whose roots reach all the way back to the Middle Bronze Age, 2000-1500 BCE. The book’s first section focuses on the present-day city; the second on its biblical past; the third on its imperial incarnations. The fourth and final part returns to modern Jerusalem, from late Ottoman times through its subsequent transformations. Zank is a professor of religion at Boston University and director of the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies.

Checking In: Hospitality-Driven Thinking, Business and You

Checking In: Hospitality-Driven Thinking, Business and You
By Stephen J. Cloobeck ’83
Greenleaf Book Group Press, $23.95

Cloobeck, the founder and former CEO/chair of Las Vegas-based Diamond Resorts International, uses his hospitality-industry expertise to help you improve how you deal with people, problems and possibilities, in both your personal life and your work. Sample pieces of advice: “You learn more about a company from studying its culture than its strategy.” “Spend your time obsessing over your customers, not your competition.” “The language of hospitality is universal. The smallest gestures can leave the biggest impressions.”

The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment

The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment
Edited by Julian Zelizer ’91
Princeton University Press, $24.95

“History is a novel for which the people is the author” goes the maxim. These essays by political historians, edited by Princeton historian Zelizer, begin the work of putting the Obama administration into its proper context, assessing its successes and failures within a year of the first African-American president’s departure from the White House. For one thing, says Zelizer, despite his formidable wins as a policymaker “Obama did not leave behind a coalition that, at least in the short term, has the muscle to protect what he built.”

The Russians Are Coming, Again

The Russians Are Coming, Again
By Jeremy Kuzmarov, PhD’06, and John Marciano
Monthly Review Press, $19

The United States would do well to avoid repeating the mistakes of its 1945-91 Cold War with the Soviet Union, such as the “skewed priorities” that caused the U.S. government to spend 57 percent of its budget on the military and just 6 percent on education, health, labor and welfare programs. So argue Kuzmarov, assistant professor of American history at the University of Tulsa, and his co-author, who believe a new Cold War with Putin’s Russia could prove similarly hysterical and dangerous.

Spared

Spared
By Shaun Deane ’77
Mascot Books, $16.95

In the space of two weeks during Deane’s final semester at Brandeis, both his mother and his brother committed suicide. Deane’s decades-long quest to understand this double tragedy and its effect on him is at the center of this moving, incisive memoir. “I trust my memory,” he writes. “It has protected me from my greatest foe: ambiguity.”

A Measure of Darkness

A Measure of Darkness
By Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman, MFA’03
Ballantine Books, $28.99

The Kellermans roll out another crime thriller starring deputy coroner Clay Edison, as he travels a perilous path to identify a Jane Doe who’s been brutally murdered in the Bay Area. No less an authority than Stephen King has praised the father-son writing team for their “brilliant, page-turning fiction.”

Allusion as Narrative Premise in Brahms' Instrumental Music

Allusion as Narrative Premise in Brahms’ Instrumental Music
By Jacquelyn Sholes, PhD’08
Indiana University Press, $38

Sholes, assistant professor of music history at Central Connecticut State University, analyzes the musical references to works of earlier composers — J.S. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and, especially, Beethoven — that Johannes Brahms wove throughout his own instrumental music. These influences, the author writes, both “inspired and in some cases burdened him as he emerged with his own unique artistic voice and established his own place in music history.”

Cuddled and Carried

Cuddled and Carried / Consentido y cargado
By Dia L. Michels ’80
Illustrated by Mike Speiser
Platypus Media, $9.95

In this sweet bilingual book, accessible to speakers of English and Spanish, realistic illustrations show very young readers how various members of the animal kingdom care for their babies. Be they pandas, wolves, manatees or humans, attentive parents are shown looking after their little ones with tenderness and patience.

Islam and the Role of Justice: Image and Reality in Muslim Law and Culture

Islam and the Rule of Justice: Image and Reality in Muslim Law and Culture
By Lawrence Rosen ’63
University of Chicago Press, $35

Rosen, professor emeritus of anthropology at Princeton and adjunct professor of law at Columbia, traces the intricacies of Islamic law by dispelling the misperceptions and oversimplifications often held by Westerners. These include the assumptions that Islamic law “invariably disadvantages women and minorities,” “is predominantly characterized by brutal punishments” or “is concerned with enforceable rules not procedural justice.”

Does Judaism Condone Violence?

Does Judaism Condone Violence? 
By Alan L. Mittleman ’76
Princeton University Press, $29.95

Can acts of violence ever be considered holy according to Jewish teachings? No, concludes Mittleman, who teaches Jewish philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary. In his journey to this answer, Mittleman ponders ethical principles as well as the meaning of “holiness” within the context of the Jewish tradition.

Monologues for Teens

Monologues for Teens
By Mike Kimmel ’81
Ben Rose Creative Arts, $14.99

In his third performing-arts book for young actors, Kimmel presents 60 original monologues that can help them steal the spotlight at auditions; put together a stellar demo reel; or improve their film, television or theater performances. Monologues, Kimmel reminds his readers, are less a speech than “a way in which you’re finally permitted to talk out loud to yourself in public.” Throughout, the book encourages teens to be generous and selfless in their acting and their lives.

Sue's Strategies: Write to be Right

Sue’s Strategies: Write to Be Right
By Susan B. Kahn ’60  
CreateSpace, $50

Educator Kahn helps struggling readers and writers gain a better understanding of syntax, organization and punctuation, and sharpen their reading and writing skills. This comprehensive text, which includes practice exercises, can be used as a resource for many learners, including high-school and college students, English as a Second Language students and people with dyslexia.

Swindler Sachem

Swindler Sachem: The American Indian Who Sold His Birthright, Dropped Out of Harvard and Conned the King of England
By Jenny Hale Pulsipher, PhD’99
Yale University Press, $35

In 17th-century Massachusetts, John Wompas, a Nipmuc Indian, enrolled at Harvard, then left before graduating to embark upon a checkered career, becoming a sailor, a land speculator, a notable spendthrift and a defender of the Nipmucs’ rights against the encroachment of English settlers. Pulsipher, associate professor of history at Brigham Young University, meticulously reconstructs the life of a fascinating man who drew upon his knowledge of polar-opposite worlds to chart a singular course in life.

The Essentials of Theater

The Essentials of Theater
By Lisa Mulcahy ’86
Allworth Press, $29.99

Aspiring actors, English majors and matinee habitués will applaud the scope and clarity of this effort, written by a theater teacher/director/performer. From explanations of what actors, directors and producers do; to offering a new way to watch a play; to the 10 plays every theater student should see, “The Essentials of Theater” is a key to stellar stagecraft and drama knowledge.

Women of Fortune: Money, Marriage and Murder in Early Modern England

Women of Fortune: Money, Marriage and Murder in Early Modern England
By Linda Levy Peck ’62
Cambridge University Press, $34.99

Money changes everything, the English aristocracy discovered during the Tudor and Stuart dynasties. Merchants were amassing great wealth, and their daughters were marrying into blue-blood families, bringing, along with much-needed funds, new ideas and attitudes into the upper classes. Historian Peck details how upwardly mobile brides from merchant backgrounds — particularly those with an entrepreneurial or scholarly bent — helped spark lasting societal, economic and cultural changes within the old order.  

Borderline Citizens: The United States, Puerto Rico and the Politics of Colonial Migration

Borderline Citizens: The United States, Puerto Rico and the Politics of Colonial Migration
By Robert C. McGreevey, PhD’08
Cornell University Press, $45

During the first decades of the 20th century, soon after the U.S. takeover of Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans began coming to the U.S. mainland to look for jobs. The legal and labor disputes that resulted revolved around a difficult-to-answer question: Were the subjects of colonial territories “foreign” or “domestic”? McGreevey, an associate professor of history at the College of New Jersey, digs into this chapter of American history to map the tensions between colonialism, law and migration.

Threshold

Threshold: Emergency Responders on the U.S.-Mexico Border
By Ieva Jusionyte
University of California Press, $85

An assistant professor of anthropology at Harvard who has worked as an emergency responder on the boundary between Arizona and Sonora, Jusionyte tells gripping stories of the professionals who serve in firefighting and rescue units at that border. As U.S. and Mexican authorities collaborate to handle life-or-death emergencies in unforgiving terrain, “wall” isn’t part of the lexicon, and political topography means next to nothing. “When we are helping Mexico,” one U.S. public-safety official is quoted as saying, “we are helping ourselves.”

Dig Your Grave

Dig Your Grave
By Steven Cooper ’83
Seventh Street Books, $15.95

Novelist Cooper (a former TV reporter) adds a second volume to his Gus Parker/Alex Mills thriller series. Detective Mills and psychic Parker combine their talents to solve another Arizona crime mystery: Someone is leaving freshly dead bodies on the grounds of Phoenix cemeteries. Can the sleuths unmask the murderer before more Phoenicians meet a grisly end? 

Brandeis University Press

Not Bad for Delancey Street: The Rise of Billy Rose

Not Bad for Delancey Street: The Rise of Billy Rose
By Mark Cohen
$29.95

He wrote the lyrics to “Me and My Shadow” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” He produced Broadway shows. He oversaw lavish spectacles showcasing stripper Sally Rand and “America’s mermaid” Esther Williams, and an adaptation of Bizet’s “Carmen” featuring an all-black cast. He was Billy Rose (1899-1966), whose outsized successes made him a household name, “a marvelously exaggerated example of the Jewish-American experience,” writes Cohen. This is the first biography in 50 years of a man who supported Jewish war refugees and Israel as eagerly as he promoted himself and his entertainment empire.

Pennies for Heaven: The History of American Synagogues and Money

Pennies for Heaven: The History of American Synagogues and Money
By Daniel Judson, PhD’16
$35

The dean of Hebrew College’s Rabbinical School, Judson “follows the money” to delineate the priorities of American synagogues from 1728 to the present day, analyzing how synagogues have raised and spent their funding. “The American embrace of free market principles in religion has influenced almost every aspect of synagogue life,” he writes, “from the pay and quality of rabbis, to the size and architecture of synagogues, to even […] Jewish ritual itself.” Part of the Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture and Life.

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