Faculty books

By Robert Kuttner
W.W. Norton & Co., $26.95
The Meyer and Ida Kirstein Visiting Professor in Social Planning and Administration at Heller, Kuttner outlines why the upcoming U.S. presidential election is the last chance for preserving America’s democratic ideals. “There are times when one can plausibly write about democracy in terms of process reform, good government, comity and bipartisanship,” he notes. “This is not one of those times. In 2020, a Democrat needs to win, and to win a mandate, in order to rescue America from a Republican Party that has been willing to destroy democracy itself in order to realize its ideological and partisan goals.”
By Jonathan D. Sarna ’75, MA’75
Yale University Press, $26
University Professor Sarna, the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, updates his 2004 history of Judaism in America, which was named the National Jewish Book Award’s Jewish Book of the Year. Among its revisions, the new edition adds material on the Jewish LGBTQ community, charts the increase in the number of Jews of color and discusses the decline of the Conservative movement.
By Jonathan Decter
University of Pennsylvania Press, $79.95
The winner of a 2018 National Jewish Book Award, this volume makes panegyric down-to-earth again. Tribute poems do more than commend the powerful in formulaic ways, it argues. In fact, the panegyrics written in Mediterranean Jewish communities from the 10th century onward can tell scholars a great deal about the societies that produced them. Decter is the Edmond J. Safra Professor of Sephardic Studies.
By Ulka Anjaria
Temple University Press, $69.50
Eschewing the comforts of a backward gaze, Anjaria, a professor of English, takes an analytical look at post-2000 Indian literature and popular culture. She discovers an aesthetic moment filled with new and experimental forms, a crossroad where highbrow meets lowbrow, and a literary movement where genres coalesce.
By Elizabeth Bradfield
Boreal Books, $19.95
This collection of poems by Bradfield, associate professor of the practice of English, is inspired by her days as a naturalist on ecotourism expedition ships in Antarctica. The verse pays homage to a Japanese form known as haibun, developed in the 17th century by the poet Basho, known for his journeys on foot into remote areas for months at a time.
By Pu Wang
Harvard University Press, $45
The first comprehensive study in English of the work of a controversial figure from China’s revolutionary century, Guo Moruo (1892-1978), who was a Romantic writer, a Marxist historian and a prolific translator of works ranging from classical Chinese poetry to “Faust.” Wang, the Helaine and Alvin Allen Chair in Literature, is an associate professor of Chinese literature and culture.
Translated by Richard Lansing
University of Toronto Press, $24.95
“Alas, my weary heart / Now has so many wounds / That as it lives it dies / From loving well, and thinks of death as life.” Lansing, professor emeritus of Italian studies and comparative literature, pens the first English translation of the complete poems of Giacomo da Lentini, a 13th-century literary pioneer who wrote lyric poetry, invented the sonnet, and blazed a path for Dante and Petrarch.
By Dian Fox
University of Nebraska Press, $55
The manliness embodied by the fictional hero Hercules and the real-life King Sebastian of Portugal (1554-78) informed the ideas that shaped the politics and culture of 17th-century Spain. Fox — professor emerita of Hispanic studies, and women’s, gender and sexuality studies — explores how a brace of virile symbols influenced many aspects of Spanish national identity.
By Mark Hulliung
Routledge, $155
Part of the Routledge Research in Early Modern History series, this volume contrasts the Enlightenments in Scotland and France, including the two countries’ very different reactions to the American Revolution. Hulliung is the Richard Koret Professor of the History of Ideas.
By Grace Talusan
Restless Books, $22.99
Growing up in Massachusetts, Talusan, now the English department’s Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence, lived with secrets. She and her family were undocumented immigrants from the Philippines, trying to live quietly under the radar. From age 7 to 13, she was sexually abused by her paternal grandfather. Ultimately, she writes, she learned “how dangerous it was to protect the wrong people by telling only the happy stories.” A testament to courage and stepping into your truth.
By Palle Yourgrau
Oxford University Press, $74
The Harry A. Wolfson Professor of Philosophy, Yourgrau attempts to develop a metaphysics of death and resolve the paradox of nonexistence. If the dead and the unborn lack existence but not being, then the metaphysics of death and birth are central to such thorny ethical issues as contraception and abortion.
Edited by Kate A. Moran
Cambridge University Press, $99.99
Philosophy scholars consider how the writings of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) describe the nature of freedom and spontaneity. Many of the essays were presented at a Kant conference at Brown University in 2013. Editor Moran is an associate professor of philosophy.
Edited by Marion Howard and Susan Holcombe
Kumarian Press, $85
Howard and Holcombe, Heller professors emeritae, assemble (and also write) essays that explain what effective and sustainable development is, and how it’s attained. Essay titles include “Good Intentions and the Reality of Development Practice,” “The Business of Aid” and “Empathy: A Missing Link.”

Alumni books

By Josh Gondelman ’07
Harper Perennial, $16.99
An Emmy-winning comedy writer (“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”), standup comic and all-round mensch, Gondelman writes a collection of essays on fear, nosedives and comebacks. The pieces include “What If I Bombed at My Own Wedding,” published in The New York Times in 2017, in which Gondelman frets about the pressure of writing his own vows. (One pledge he offered his wife at their wedding: “I vow to help you celebrate your friends and exact petty and often imperceptible revenge against your enemies.”)
By James Klosty ’66
powerHouse Books, $75
Originally published in 1975 and republished 11 years later, “Merce Cunningham” is back in a 2019 edition, redesigned and reimagined — with an additional 140 pages of photographs — to mark the centennial of the acclaimed dancer/choreographer’s birth. Klosty’s monumental photos pay homage to the dancer, his dances and the circle of artists who surrounded him.
By Amy Fish ’91
New World Library, $15.95
Fish — the ombuds, aka chief complaints officer, at Montreal’s Concordia University — tells you how to speak up for yourself and get results. The book, divided into three parts — “I Want My Problem Solved,” “I Want You to Change” and “I Want Justice to Be Served” — offers up real-life situations (for instance, you want the guy in front of you on an airplane to move his seat up). Fish provides clear instructions on how to proceed; her sparkling humor and you-got-this reassurance make the guidance especially appealing.
By Gloria Goldreich ’55
Severn House, $17.95
In this affecting novel, Judith and David are shattered by the unexpected death of their 13-year-old daughter, Melanie. As their marriage begins to fray, they develop relationships with others who are grieving their own losses. Amid the couple’s sorrow and feelings of dislocation, will they be able to forge a future together?
Edited by Nancy C. Atwood, Heller PhD’83, and Roger Atwood
University of Georgia Press, $29.95
Autobiographical pieces by 30 writers — including Tobias Wolff, Mary Karr, Michael Patrick MacDonald and bell hooks — offer a window into the struggles of growing up poor or working-class. A moving, engrossing anthology, assembled by psychotherapist Atwood and her eldest son, a writer/journalist.
By Jay Miletsky ’94 / Illustrated by Luis Peres
New Paige Press, $17.95
This picture book helps explain autism to children ages 4-8 by imagining paintbrushes of all shapes, sizes and colors, working together to create something beautiful. Despite the different challenges faced by the brushes, “their painting was perfect,” the book affirms. “It all meshed just fine.”
By Lauren Stiller Rikleen ’75
American Bar Association, $24.95
Sexual harassment in the workplace feeds upon silence, which feeds upon fear that reporting inappropriate actions will bring retaliation. Rikleen’s readable analysis of workplace misconduct and her blueprint for building organizations that value safety and justice will resonate with anyone who’s ever been an employee or a manager.
By David S. Cohen and Carole Joffe ’67
University of California Press, $24.95
A professor emerita of sociology at UC Davis, Joffe has written several books about abortion provision. Today more than ever, she and her co-author find, American women are struggling to exercise reproductive autonomy, faced with such roadblocks as arbitrary waiting periods, mandatory ultrasounds and exorbitant costs. The book also scrutinizes the plight of abortion providers, forced to bring daunting levels of personal commitment to their jobs.
By Zahra Ayubi ’06
Columbia University Press, $35
Ayubi, an assistant professor of religion at Dartmouth, examines Islam’s philosophical core to locate where and how it supports gender justice’s aims. This is a necessary act of rebalancing, she writes: “To date, scholars of Islamic philosophy have not yet paid serious attention to the category of gender — a symptom of how male-dominated the field of Islamic philosophy has been.”
By Edmund Case, MA’99, Heller MM’99
Center for Radically Inclusive Judaism, $19.99
Today, nearly three-quarters of non-Orthodox Jews choose partners who are not Jewish. Case — founder of the nonprofit InterfaithFamily — did; so did his children. In “Radical Inclusion,” Case seeks to help Jewish leaders and institutions understand that, in his words, “Jews can choose both to love someone from a different faith background and to engage with Jewish tradition,” and advises families and Jewish organizations on how to create spaces and traditions that welcome everyone.
By Betsy Teutsch ’74
Independently published, $39.99
Between 30-40% of the food grown around the world, especially crops grown on small farms, never reaches a consumer. This guide — which is being disseminated for free around the world to agricultural extension workers and others — details ways to remove obstacles from the paths that lead from field to fork, to get more food in front of more people.
By Jonathan Lang ’98 / Illustrated by Andrea Mutti
H1, $17.95
Mobster Meyer Lansky died of lung cancer at his Miami home in 1983 at age 80. Or did he? This graphic novel imagines the longtime friend of Bugsy Siegel and Lucky Luciano deciding to fake his death so he can carry out one last job in a criminal underground now dominated by drug lords, assisted by a younger man who views him as a father figure.
By Ted Tesser and Lawrence Tesser ’75
Independently published, $9.99
Five decades ago, two brothers hit the highways to look for America. This is their chronicle of those adventures, including their take on the late-1960s music industry in California and their memories of the 1969 Woodstock festival.
By Patricia Hill Collins ’69, PhD’84
Duke University Press, $29.95
All individuals fall into overlapping social categories that describe race, class, gender, sexuality, age, ethnicity or ability. As Collins, a Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, writes, the recognition of this intersectionality has become “an important intellectual, political and ethical tool for empowerment.” This book is designed to help practitioners and scholars working to facilitate social change reflect critically on intersectionality’s assumptions, epistemologies and methods.