Faculty books

Edited by John Plotz
Columbia University Press, $26
In essays assembled by Plotz, the Barbara Mandel Professor of the Humanities, writers and critics offer heartfelt endorsements of books that haven’t gotten the critical and popular acclaim they deserve. The overlooked gems include fiction and nonfiction by Paule Marshall, Charles Portis and Shirley Jackson.
By Richard Gaskins
Cambridge University Press, $110
Gaskins, the Proskauer Chair in Law and Social Welfare, offers an in-depth study of the first cases heard at the International Criminal Court in the early 2000s, prosecutions of men charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As an ICC judge observed, “There are successes and not a few problems, and the unexpected occurs almost on a daily basis.”
By Jerome Tharaud
Princeton University Press, $35
This volume surveys the work of American painters and writers, including Thomas Cole, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry David Thoreau, to reveal how geography and landscape acted as “sacred” spaces in the art of antebellum 19th-century America. For instance, thanks to the influence of Protestant evangelicals, the era’s art lovers interpreted Frederic Church’s enormous canvases as “spiritually charged moral landscapes,” writes Tharaud, an assistant professor of English.
By Ulka Anjaria
Routledge, $42.95
Enjoy the music and the dancing, but don’t overlook the meaning behind them. English professor Anjaria explains how India’s Bollywood films use eye-catching visuals and often formulaic structures to tell stories that innovatively reflect human emotions and conflicts.
By Simon Rawidowicz; edited by David N. Myers and Benjamin C.I. Ravid ’57
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, $150
Ravid, professor emeritus of Near Eastern and Judaic studies, and his co-editor pre­sent selected writings by Simon Rawidowicz (1896-1957), a Poland-born Jewish philosopher who emigrated to the U.S. in 1948. Rawidowicz served as chair of the Near Eastern and Judaic studies department at Brandeis.
By Vittoria Colonna; translated by Ramie Targoff; edited by Ramie Targoff and Troy Tower
Iter Press, $41.95
English professor Targoff gives a 1538 book of poetry by Vittoria Colonna (1490-1547), which includes more than 140 sonnets and two canzoni, a long-awaited translation into English. Targoff is the author of the 2018 biography “Renaissance Woman: The Life of Vittoria Colonna.”
By Paul Morrison
Routledge, $159.77
Morrison examines “Ninotchka,” “Sunset Boulevard” and other film classics to understand the gay male fetishization of the faces of such iconic actors as Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson and Elizabeth Taylor. The author is a professor of English.
By Elizabeth Bradfield and Antonia Contro
Poetry Northwest Editions, $31.95
Poet Bradfield and multimedia artist Contro — using spare text and imagery — reflect on what it means to hold secrets. Bradfield is co-director of Brandeis’ Creative Writing Program.
By Siri Suh
Rutgers University Press, $34.95
Sociologist Suh studies the impact of post-abortion care — the treatment of medical complications from incomplete or unsafe abortions — in Senegal, a West African country that has strict anti-abortion laws. Suh, who researches global maternal and reproductive health, once worked as a public-health professional at an NGO in Senegal.

Alumni books

By Janice Johnson Dias ’94
Ballantine Books, $27
Sociologist Johnson Dias offers parents and other caregivers advice on raising girls who can take hold of their futures and create social change. Teaching girls to celebrate themselves and practice gratitude, building them a safety net, and cultivating their passions are among the book’s key recommendations.
By Ha Jin, MA’89, PhD’93, H’05
Pantheon, $28
The ninth novel by the author of the National Book Award winner “Waiting” follows the struggles of a popular Chinese singer who, in trouble at home for political reasons, flees to America to protest the assault on his artistic freedom. Ultimately, he must decide whether to endure China’s repressions or choose a less-fettered life in a land that’s not his own.
By Naomi S. Baron ’68
Oxford University Press, $29.95
Today’s reading materials span platforms — bound books, digital pages on our iPad, audio downloads we listen to in our car. Baron, professor emerita of linguistics at American University, details how the various formats affect the way readers concentrate, understand and remember.
By Kitt Shapiro and Patricia Levy ’76
Pegasus Books, $26.95
Journalist Levy teams with the daughter of singer/actress Eartha Kitt (1927-2008) to tell the life story of the groundbreaking entertainer Orson Welles called “the most exciting woman in the world.” Despite her accomplishments, travels and famous friends, Kitt was happiest in her role as mother, says Shapiro, who was born at the height of her mom’s fame.
By Cindy Weinstein ’82 with Bruce L. Miller, MD
Johns Hopkins University Press, $22.95
Weinstein, the Broad Professor of English at Caltech, was a graduate student when her father was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 58. By the time he died, he had lost his memories, and his ability to read, write and speak. This book, which Weinstein co-authored with a neurologist, is a fascinating mix: a personal reflection on loss, a look at literature on grief and a layperson-level tutorial on brain science.
By Michael J. Lyon ’81
Cycle Touring Books, $15.95
Love to bike but limited on time? Avid cyclist Lyon maps out 90 single-day rides you can take from more than 30 European cities. Following his routes and tips, you’ll be able to branch out beyond the typical city tour, and explore the environs of Florence, Amsterdam, Prague and other scenic locales on two wheels.
By Erica Schultz and Mike Schultz ’96
Max Holt Books, $25
The parents of heart-transplant patient Ari Schultz, the exuberant Red Sox superfan who became a social-media favorite before his untimely death at age 5, share what they learned during their son’s illness to help you maximize your effectiveness, fulfillment and happiness during good times and bad. One important step: Learning how to stay focused and positive, even during crisis.
By Gabriel J. Loiacono, PhD’08
Oxford University Press, $35
Loiacono, an associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, uses an absorbing storytelling approach to explain the ways the U.S. government helped the poor during the nation’s earliest decades. Following the lives of five Rhode Islanders, including an ex-soldier, a nurse and a paralyzed man, he demonstrates how integral government-provided welfare was to the lives of ordinary Americans.
By Antonie T. Knoppers ’93, IBS MA’95, et al.
Emerald Publishing, $34.99
What happens when your body language and your tone don’t match up with what you say? People tend to believe what your body and voice are telling them, and ignore your words. Knoppers and his co-authors teach you how to fine-tune your communication style to project confidence and inspire others to listen to you.
By Elisabeth C. Rosenberg ’89
Pegasus Books, $27.95
During the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir, a 1930s civil-engineering marvel that today supplies drinking water to Boston and surrounding communities, four Massachusetts towns — along with countless homes, businesses and landmarks — were lost to the flooding the project required. Rosenberg recounts the history of the reservoir in interesting detail, digging into the psychological and socioeconomic effects of the flooding on area residents.
By Jessica Pressman ’97
Columbia University Press, $30
Technology hasn’t killed books; it’s elevated them to objects of obsessive desire. So concludes Pressman, professor of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University, who draws from media studies, book history and literary criticism to illustrate the heightened meaning books hold for readers today.
By Shoshana Levin Fox ’69
Routledge, $39.95
Child psychologist Levin Fox offers a fresh perspective on how young children who are considered autistic are assessed, diagnosed and treated. Parents will find encouragement and hope in this accessible mix of clinical insights, theoretical reflections and case histories.
By Marvin M. Chun and Steven B. Most ’94
Oxford University Press, $149.95
A new cognitive psychology textbook, rich with everyday applications, presents classic and contemporary research in ways students can easily grasp. Most is associate professor of psychology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
By Allison E. Schottenstein ’08
University of North Texas Press, $29.95
From the 1930s to the 1980s, Black and Jewish Houstonians interacted in diverse, evolving and increasingly mutually supportive ways, as both groups strove to claim and enjoy their civil rights. To chart this evolution, Schottenstein, who teaches history at the University of Cincinnati, relies upon archival materials, personal oral histories, documentaries and other accounts.
Edited by Daniel Worden, MA’02, PhD’06
University Press of Mississippi, $30
This compilation of scholarly essays assesses Crumb’s contributions as an underground-comix pioneer, including how his work made its way into art museums, and takes an unvarnished look at his ideas on gender, sexuality, race, politics and history. Worden is associate professor of art, comics, media and print culture at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
By Matt Witten, MFA’81
Oceanview Publishing, $26.95
Emmy-nominated TV writer Witten pens this thriller about a small-town waitress racing to prove the man about to be executed for killing her daughter is actually innocent. Can she persuade the FBI the real killer is still free and the lives of other little girls continue to be in peril?
By Peter L.W. Osnos ’64
Platform Books, $25.95
From covering the Vietnam War and Thatcher’s Great Britain for The Washington Post to overseeing books written by Bill Clinton, Magic Johnson and Nancy Reagan, Osnos — born in India to Jewish refugee parents from Poland — has occupied a catbird seat above the swirl of world events. In this entertaining, wide-ranging memoir, he reports on what he saw from his enviable vantage.
By Carol Zeavin and Rhona Silverbush ’88; illustrated by Jon Davis
Magination Press, $8.99
Along with two other new books co-written by Silverbush (“New Baby!” and “Time to Go!”), “Potty!” expands the “Terrific Toddlers” series of titles published by the American Psychological Association’s children’s book imprint. This entry helps toddlers get comfortable with a formidable milestone: toilet training.
By Deborah Kaplan Polivy, Heller MA’72, PhD’78
Rowman & Littlefield, $45
Aimed at nonprofit organizations, “The Time for Endowment Building Is Now” guides staff and board members through the basics of developing an endowment program that can be both successful and sustainable. Endowment consultant Polivy uses plain language and clear examples to help organizations navigate a complicated course.
By Gen. George Joulwan with David Chanoff, PhD’73
University Press of Kentucky, $29.95
U.S. Army Gen. George Joulwan (with writing assistance from Chanoff) looks back at his career, from tours in Cold War-era Germany to the Bosnian peacekeeping missions of the 1990s, punctuated by a sojourn in the White House as Richard Nixon’s deputy chief of staff. Although America’s interests certainly depend upon maintaining allies and partnerships, the general writes, “to survive […] we need above all to keep to our moral purpose as a nation.”
By Alison Bass ’75
Bedazzled Ink, $17.95
Subtitled “How One Journalist Helped Pave the Way to #MeToo,” this memoir by an investigative reporter covers a career filled with firsts, including being one of the first journalists to write about the pattern of female patients’ sexual abuse by male psychiatrists. Bass, who was also the first Boston Globe reporter to write about child molestation by Catholic clergy, contends her reputation as an assertive woman kept her off that paper’s Spotlight Team.
By Maya Stein ’94
Toad Hall Editions, $30
Expanding on the entertaining pandemic meme of using household objects (and friends and family) to recreate well-known paintings, Stein assembles reconstructions of portraits by emerging contemporary artists, whom she also interviews. As the author explains, “If you can’t see the art, be the art.”
By Mark Mehler ’70
McFarland, $29.95
Journalist Mehler spent seven years as a crisis case manager for Adult Protective Services, a program designed to protect older people and disabled adults from mistreatment by others or self-neglect. The stories he tells here reveal a world few people see, charged with details that are sometimes funny or uplifting, and occasionally deeply disturbing.
By Shaquan McDowell ’18
Self-published, $6.99
Elizabeth L. Moran, a third grader with “lots of smarts and sass,” is at the heart of this novella aimed at readers ages 7-10. To help Elizabeth understand where she came from, her mother tells her stories that deepen her understanding of the contributions of Black people to the world and give her a personal connection to this history. Author McDowell is an admissions counselor at Brandeis.
By Ann P. Levin ’82
Self-published, $18.99
Levin rebuts postmodern criticism of the Hebrew Bible — for instance, the voices that “tell us that the God of the Old Testament is vengeful, angry and mean” — to encourage readers to see the clarity and commonsense contained within its pages. The author teaches legal writing at Israeli law schools.
By Rachel Sharona Lewis ’09
Self-published, $13.99
At work, Rabbi Vivian Green tries to inspire her congregation to be politically active. In her private life, she yearns to go dancing in the leather boots “that make her look like her finest gay self.” But after her synagogue mysteriously catches fire, the rabbi must suddenly morph into sleuth. This whodunit is a first novel by Lewis, who is a community organizer.
Edited by Dayle Friedman ’78 et al.
Albion-Andalus Books, $16.95
Rabbi Friedman and her co-editors present essays that help clergy, spiritual caregivers, professionals and families address dying and grieving during the age of COVID. Topics include crafting rituals to mark death and creating community for those who are suffering.
By Crystal Anne Chemris, MA’82, PhD’87
Tamesis, $99
This wide-ranging volume traces the many strands that link the Spanish literary Baroque (Luis de Góngora’s “Soledades,” “Don Quixote”) with modern Latin American poetry (Rubén Darío, Jorge Luis Borges). Chemris is a lecturer in Spanish at the University of Virginia.
Edited by Richard A. Smith ’62 et al.
Academic Press, $200
This collection of articles by prominent scientists discusses advances that have revolutionized treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis‎, Parkinson’s disease and other challenging neurological disorders. Successes and pitfalls along the way to drug discovery and development are detailed, as are the collaborations that have contributed to breakthrough approaches.
By Amy Golahny ’73
Brill, $155
Part of Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History, this volume explores painter Rembrandt van Rijn’s pragmatic adaptation of and critical commentary on imagery used by Italian masters. Golahny is a past president of Historians of Netherlandish Art.
By Robert L. Hirsch ’73
iUniverse, $26.99
Viral immunologist Hirsch pens a novel centering on a topic he knows a lot about: a pandemic. An evil scientist creates viruses that kill by attacking the human nervous system, as anti-terrorism agencies and a brave immunologist race to contain the destruction and end the scientist’s deadly activities.
By Mindy Littman Holland ’75
Self-published, $11.95
The narrator of this mystery is a 19-year-old cocktail waitress working at a Catskills resort during the summer of 1973. When an older waitress who’s been hiding secrets disappears and misfortunes begin to plague other resort employees, a sense of uncertainty and alarm deepens at this popular outpost in the Borscht Belt.
By Malca Bassan ’86
Self-published, $14.99
Bassan offers a brief version of the Esther and Mordechai story, told in the form of 20 pieces of correspondence. A Spanish version, “20 Letras de Purim,” is also available.

Brandeis University Press

Edited by Sarah M. Shoemaker
The Brandeis Library holds a wealth of treasures: rare books, photographs, Judaica materials and more. In fact, if placed end to end, the boxes holding the library’s unique manuscript collections would stretch farther than the Boston Marathon course. This volume, edited by the associate university librarian for archives and special collections, provides an in-depth look at just 60 of the irreplaceable pieces of history now in Brandeis’ care.