Faculty books

By Fran Forman ’67
Unicorn, $45
Forman’s award-winning photo-paintings, which she constructs from her original photos and other images, evoke a play of emotions and mystery. Here, more than 100 color plates are paired with prose and poetry by other artists. Forman is a Women’s Studies Research Center scholar.
By Jane Sapp with Cynthia Cohen
Brandeis University Press, $29.95
Sapp and Cohen, the director of Brandeis’ Peacebuilding and the Arts program, share songs of activism and hope, rooted in African American musical traditions, that Sapp wrote or adapted during her long career in cultural community development. Telling the stories behind the songs, which Sapp often crafted with children, both amplifies their message and offers inspiration to educators.

Alumni books

By David E. Lowe ’72, P’10
Potomac Books, $34.95
From 1968-70, Georgia native Morris Abram was Brandeis University’s second president. Earlier in his career, he was a member of the Nuremberg Trials prosecution staff, a leading civil-rights lawyer and the youngest person ever to lead the American Jewish Committee. This fascinating biography traces the full arc of Abram’s advocacy and leadership, as he took on anti-Semitism, racism and other virulent social issues.
By Michael Walzer ’56
New York Review Books, $14.95
This reissue of “Political Action,” originally published in 1971, reintroduces a common-sense, still-relevant social activism guide to 21st-century dissidents. “We live, right now, in a bad time,” Walzer writes in his new preface. “We need movements of resistance, and we need citizen activists who remember the old labor union imperative: Organize!” Walzer is editor emeritus at Dissent magazine and professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study.
By Adam Mitzner ’86, MA’86
Thomas & Mercer, $15.95
A master of the thriller, Mitzner is in predictably good form with his latest novel. Stockbroker Will Matthews breathes a sigh of relief when his sputtering career gets a much-needed shot of capital from an insanely rich client. Unfortunately, the investor has many items on his to-do list, including murder, making Will complicit in his criminal deeds. Can Will break free? Or is the cost of making a moral choice too dear?
By Susie Kaufman ’66
Resource Publications, $14
As a hospice chaplain, Kaufman listened for meaning — for “the melody,” she says — in the stories people told on their deathbed. Now in her 70s, she reflects on memory, aging and mortality in this collection of brief essays, which draw on stories from her own life. A practitioner of mindfulness in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, Kaufman urges all of us, especially older adults, to embrace the idea that it’s never too late to make meaning.
By Matthew Daniels, PhD’03
Post Hill Press, $16.99
Daniels, a law professor and social entrepreneur, focuses on the positive power of social media by profiling adult and teenage activists around the world who have used the web to spread compassion, hope and freedom. We live, Daniels writes, in “a Digital Age in which people can do more in the face of oppression than ever before, both to expose tyranny and abuses and to unite with others from around the world to end them.”
By Myron Uhlberg ’55
Albert Whitman & Co., $16.99
Aimed at readers in grades 3-6, this brief autobiography is an adaptation of Uhlberg’s 2009 memoir about growing up as the hearing son of deaf parents in 1940s Brooklyn. Warm, funny and occasionally heartbreaking, the book describes the joy Uhlberg felt and the burdens he carried as he translated the world for his mom and dad.
By Dena Samuels ’87
Night River Press, $16.99
Samuels, who practiced meditation to deal with the traumatic effects of the abuse she suffered during childhood, explains how to use mindfulness techniques to create a happier and more meaningful life. Techniques that aid self-healing can also quicken our social consciousness, she finds, and can spur us into addressing difficult ethical and moral issues.
By John R. Howard ’55
State University of New York Press, $34.95
In 1989, a bitterly divided U.S. Supreme Court rejected a claim brought on behalf of Joshua DeShaney, a 5-year-old Wisconsin boy left severely disabled by sustained abuse at the hands of his father, despite regular home visits by county social workers. The DeShaney decision, still hotly debated, asserts the state has no duty to protect citizens from private violence. Howard, a sociologist, revisits the decision to explore ways of bringing “the law” into better alignment with “justice.”
By Jacqueline Véissid ’98 / Illustrated by Paola Zakimi
Chronicle Books, $16.99
Ruby’s playtime shifts into overdrive when she realizes that, with just a little imagination, a stick can become a sword, a cloud can be a dragon, and she can sally forth as a swashbuckling adventurer. Véissid’s first book will delight readers 4 to 7 years old.
Edited by Adam E.M. Eltorai, Alan H. Daniels, Derek R. Jenkins and Lee E. Rubin ’00
Johns Hopkins University Press, $15.95
Rubin, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the Yale University School of Medicine, co-wrote and -edited this comprehensive collection of answers to everyone’s most-pressing questions about hip-replacement surgery. A one-stop resource for hip-pain sufferers preparing for the operating room or considering alternative approaches.
By Mark Guerin, MFA’88
Golden Antelope Press, $25.95
In this debut novel, secrets and misunderstandings divide journalist Walker McGuire from his father, a rift that began when Walker, then 19, witnessed a bloody fight at the Illinois auto factory where his dad was plant physician. Thirty years later, Walker comes home to see his dying father, get some clarity on the explosion of anger that changed many lives that long-ago summer and finally understand who his dad really was.
By Douglas Stark ’94
Rowman & Littlefield, $36
Stark, museum director at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, shares stories about race relations on the professional basketball court. From the bravery of Bucky Lew, who became the first black pro-basketball player in 1902; to basketball’s official integration in the late 1940s; to today’s adulation of Stephen Curry, LeBron James and other black superstars, the book’s historical perspective adds depth to the understanding of sports and race in America.
Edited by Celene Ibrahim, MA’14, PhD’18
Wipf and Stock, $29
Religion scholar Ibrahim describes this wide-ranging collection of essays — a combination of theological and personal reflections — as “a resource for people of curiosity and conviction to discover more about the lives of American Muslims and the teachings of Islam.” Section titles range from “Eclipsing Hate,” to “Healing Divides,” to “Celebrating Feminine Wisdom.”
By Lesley A. Sharp ’78
University of California Press, $34.95
Sharp, a medical anthropologist at Barnard College, examines the philosophical issues that lab personnel grapple with when they conduct experiments involving other species, research that often involves the death of an animal. Her central question: How do animal researchers “remake their moral worlds” to accomplish the work they do?
By Joan Burbick, MA’70, PhD'74
Redbat Books, $16
Part of a series of books showcasing Pacific Northwest writers, this novel draws on the facts of a real-life murder, the 2009 shooting of a Nez Perce man by an Idaho State Police officer. In the unsettled aftermath, four disparate characters — a homeless man, a lawyer, a photographer and an internet troll — try to understand, benefit from or exact revenge for the killing.
By Ásta (Sveinsdóttir) ’92
Oxford University Press, $35
Ásta discusses how sex, gender, race and other social categories are created and sustained, and how they shape our interactions and self-understanding, with analysis that takes place, in her words, “at the intersection of metaphysics, social philosophy, social ontology and feminist theory.” She is a professor of philosophy at San Francisco State.
By Grahame K. Simpson and Lisa A. Brenner ’91
Oxford University Press, $45
This is an evidence-informed guide for experts engaged in suicide prevention and intervention for persons with neurodisability, including traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury. Brenner is a board-certified rehabilitation psychologist and a faculty member at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus.
By Ariel I. Ahram ’01
Oxford University Press, $29.95
Ahram, an associate professor in Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs, takes a look at the Arab separatist movements that have attempted to remake borders and create new independent states over the past eight years. Although these movements were inspired by Woodrow Wilson’s notion of self-determination, he writes, their hope for international recognition has gone unfulfilled, and they have prolonged the region’s conflicts.
By Eric Nahorai Kotkin ’00
Kodesh Press, $24.95
This volume, the first English-language dictionary of the Bible based entirely on traditional Hebrew sources, is designed to help scholars at all levels understand the authentic, traditional and indigenous meaning of the language spoken by the prophets. Kotkin is a rabbi and an educator.
By Joshua Kent Bookman ’12
LYS Publishing, $15.55
Bookman’s first novel is a deconstructed family saga told in brief chapters that jump back and forth between three generations and two continents. Vivid descriptions of sensory experiences remind the reader of the pleasures of slowing down and participating in life as it’s being lived.
By Jeremy Kuzmarov, PhD’06
Clarity Press, $29.95
Taking issue with those who call President Barack Obama a shrewd foreign-policy strategist, this book contends Obama-era policies were instrumental in institutionalizing a permanent warfare state. Kuzmarov points to human rights violations, a new Cold War with Russia and an erosion of American influence in the Middle East to buttress his claim.
By Stephen J. Garber ’87 and Glen R. Asner
NASA History series, Free download
In 2004, less than a year after the Columbia space-shuttle accident, President George W. Bush announced NASA would embark on a plan known as the Vision for Space Exploration. The ambitious agenda included resuming shuttle flights, completing the International Space Station, and sending robots and astronauts to the moon and Mars. The authors give a detailed historical account of the debates and decisions that launched a new generation of spaceflight.

Brandeis University Press

By Wendy Doniger
In this so-called mythologized memoir, Doniger assembles an intricate portrait of her mother and father, from their childhoods in Europe to their post-World War II married life in a Long Island Jewish enclave. A Hinduism and mythology scholar, Doniger also digs through her memories to pinpoint the origins of her complicated relationship with her family.