Faculty books

By Anita Hill
Viking, $30
In October 1991, Anita Hill gave live-televised testimony before the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee as it considered Clarence Thomas’ nomination to the Supreme Court. Over the decades since that pivotal moment under a white-hot spotlight, Hill, now a University Professor at Brandeis, has been a prominent figure in the struggle for women’s rights and the end of gender violence. With “Believing” — part memoir, part legal and social analysis — she issues a clarion call to action.
By Jonathan D. Sarna ’75, GSAS MA’75
Jewish Publication Society, $45
In his scholarship on American Judaism, University Professor Sarna, the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, often explores a complex question: How do Jews in the U.S. “straddle two civilizations,” balancing the tensions of being both a Jew and an American? The 15 essays collected here offer his deeply considered insights.
By Kate Clifford Larson
Oxford University Press, $27.95
Heroism is on display in this portrait of civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-77), who, despite dropping out of school at age 12 to pick cotton, became a voice for justice that rampant racism and sexism; beatings by Mississippi police; and the classist snobbery of allies to the cause, both white and Black, couldn’t silence. The author is a visiting scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center.
By Gowri Vijayakumar
Stanford University Press, $26
Through interviews and ethnographic research, sociologist Vijayakumar shows how activist sex workers and LGBTIQ people in India — deemed most at risk in what everyone expected would become the world’s biggest AIDS hot spot by the year 2000 — proved central to their country’s AIDS response and encouraged more acceptance around issues of sexuality, even within a sexually conservative society.
By Mari Fitzduff
Oxford University Press, $75
Heller professor emerita Fitzduff argues that political scientists tend to over-emphasize logic’s sway — and minimize the role of instinct and emotion — in decisions related to war and peace. Grounded in the latest research by biopsychologists and neuroscientists, “Our Brains at War” plumbs the true causes of our aggressive impulses and describes more effective paths to peaceful coexistence.
By Ilana Szobel
SUNY Press, $32.95
Szobel, associate professor of modern Hebrew literature, examines the depiction of sexual violence in modern Israeli fiction, nonfiction and poetry through two lenses. The first: How women and survivors write about sexual violence. The second: What representations of sexual violence look like when they’re written by those who hold more-privileged positions in society.
Edited by Caren Irr
Bloomsbury, $115
Scholars weigh in on “Minima Moralia,” a 1951 book by Theodor Adorno, a philosopher and social critic in post-WWII Germany. Edited by English professor Irr, the essays find Adorno’s ideas still relevant to contemporary debates on the ecological crisis, the changing nature of work and the rise of fascism. (Irr is also editor of the anthology “Life in Plastic: Responses to Petromodernity,” published by the University of Minnesota Press in November.)
Edited by Dorothy Kim and Adeline Koh
Punctum Books, $27
Kim and her co-editor assemble essays that discuss genealogies and histories of the digital humanities, taking pains to “reexamine the silences” present in straight, white masculinist histories and note how power affects narratives. Kim is an assistant professor of English.

Alumni books

By Allan Lichtman ’67
Rowman & Littlefield, $21.95
In 1981, Lichtman developed the 13 Keys to the White House, a seemingly foolproof model that has allowed the American University historian to accurately predict the results of every U.S. presidential election for four decades. In this book, he takes more of a diagnostic stance, examining 13 urgent threats to American democracy and proposing practical, lasting remedies for each.
By Gregory Zuckerman ’88
Portfolio, $30
Soon after a highly contagious respiratory disease began spreading out of Wuhan, China, in late 2019, a handful of scientists and pharma execs mobilized to create a desperately needed shield: a vaccine that could neutralize a lethal coronavirus. Grippingly told by Zuckerman, a Wall Street Journal reporter, this is a
tale of decisive action made possible by decades of work by largely unheralded vaccine researchers.
By Michael J. Sandel ’75
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18
Sandel, the Harvard University political philosopher whose course on justice is so popular it’s available for free online, probes a question fundamental to democracy’s survival: Why have Americans stopped believing in the common good? The author convincingly places the blame on a corrosive faith in the idea of meritocracy, which has fanned hubris and myopia in the haves, and rage in the have-nots.
By Spencer Jakab ’91, P’21
Portfolio, $28
The editor of The Wall Street Journal’s “Heard on the Street” column dissects what went down in 2021 when individual stock traders banded together on a Reddit forum to show Wall Street who’s boss by collectively buying shares in an ailing video-game retailer. Jakab explains why the David-and-Goliath contest ended in a big fall for the little guys and what lessons ordinary investors should take away.
By J. Matthew Gallman, GSAS PhD’86
University of Virginia Press, $35
American party politics during the Civil War was unusually polarizing, so much so that nearly half of northern Democrats refused to vote for the reelection of President Abraham Lincoln in 1864. Historian Gallman traces the complicated ties of party loyalty during a time of crisis in the U.S., a topic that has significant resonance today.
By Lynne Shapiro, GSAS MA’81
WordTech Editions, $16
Rooted in a knowledge of nature’s bounty and life’s fragility, the stirring, plain-spoken poems in this collection reflect on tikkun olam and what it means to be Jewish: “How liquid we are, here and gone, broken open by dappled green, / engulfed by revered fusion of beauty and its opposite, / periphery and its opposite, / interiority and its opposite.”
By Matt Axelrod ’88 
Rowman & Littlefield, $28
Cantor Axelrod surveys bar/bat mitzvah history and current practices, and suggests possibilities for change. The overarching question, he writes, is this: “If all of our kids are individuals, with various abilities and specific interests, why are we insisting on one immutable model of Jewish learning?”
By Judith L. Pace ’79
Rowman & Littlefield, $36
Against a backdrop of racial injustice, climate change and rising authoritarianism, how do universities prepare teachers to deal with contentious issues in the classroom? Pace, a professor of teacher education at the University of San Francisco, uses case studies to depict teacher preparation in three politically divided societies: Northern Ireland, England and the United States.
By Eitan Fishbane ’97, GSAS PhD’03
Panui, $18
Seminary faculty member, writes hopeful poems about America’s present moment, which has left so many feeling hopeless. Readers are reminded to look for truth in art: “the artist seeing through the crude masks overlaid / hearing melody as though hidden / by the droning layers of dissonance / to the edges of the real / the cliffs of word-smithed wonder.”
By Charles Giuliano ’63
Berkshire Fine Arts, $25
A unique ab ovo look at the development of a world-class art museum. Directors, curators, trustees, art historians and arts journalists offer their critical perspectives in this oral history of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, founded in 1870 in cramped quarters on the top floor of the Boston Athenaeum, now home to nearly a half million works of art.
Edited by Jennifer Lemberg ’91 and Alexander Pope IV
Teachers College Press, $29.95
Essays by middle school, high school, and college educators discuss how stories from Holocaust history can be used to spark students’ interest in addressing instances of inequality and persecution they witness today. Lemberg is associate director of U.S. programs at the Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights.
By Anne-Marie Baila Asner, GSAS MA’96
Matzah Ball Books, $6.95
Joining Asner’s series of picture books introducing kids to the joys of Yiddish, “Kibbitzy Girl” spotlights a youngster who shares her happiness by chatting and kidding with others. (“Shleppy Boy,” another new title, trails a little guy who is always carrying something somewhere.)
By Daniel C. Thomas ’86
Oxford University Press, $100
Where does Europe begin and end? Parsing how the European Union has over time decided which countries can join the community highlights the values shared by member-state governments, explains Thomas, professor of international relations at Leiden University, in the Netherlands.
Edited by Rabbi Edwin C. Goldberg and Rabbi Elaine S. Zecher ’83
CCAR Press, $19.95
This collection of essays explores our experience of God in our everyday lives — through prayer, poetry, music, service, meditation and more. How, the volume asks, can God be dead if we feel what Rabbi Heschel called “radical amazement” so often in our journey?
By David J. Allon ’81, P’22
Oak Tree Press, $18
Allon tells the consequential story of his remarkable father, Max Allon, born Mordecai Pickholz in Poland in 1914. The one-time orange-grove manager not only helped found the Jewish State, he assisting in securing Israel’s future by developing a series of successful businesses, then switched gears and became a painter, noted for his colorist expressionism.
By Karen Levenson ’79
Lantern Publishing & Media, $20
Levenson’s quest to end Canada’s seal hunt forms the heart of this memoir, which details her activism and the acts of violence she has herself endured. The author’s passionate commitment to a cause, her wit and her hopes for the future make this a lively read.
By Henry Kopel ’80
Lexington Books, $135
Can genocide and terrorism be eliminated? Yes, asserts federal prosecutor Kopel. The key: Shutting down the incitement that fuels the hatred, particularly the hate propaganda that encourages a multitude of bad actors around the world to wreak havoc.
By Lynn Stephen, GSAS PhD’87
Duke University Press, $27.95
A close look at the journalism and activism of Elena Poniatowska, one of Mexico’s foremost public intellectuals, who helped shape Mexican politics and strengthened her country’s commitment to social justice. The author is an anthropologist at the University of Oregon.

Brandeis University Press

By Charles Dellheim
Cultural historian Dellheim draws on his long interest in the fate of art stolen by the Nazis to paint a fascinating chronicle of the Jewish art dealers and collectors who, beginning in the late 19th century, became arbiters of taste and shaped the modern art world. Their rise to preeminence in a rarified space once dominated by non-Jews led to smoldering resentments, which helped stoke antisemitism in Europe.
By Adam Kirsch
Poet and literary critic Kirsch, a self-identified secular Jew, in 2012 committed to reading a page of the Talmud every day for 2,711 days. His account encourages others to see with fresh eyes “how the text moves and what it thinks about, its preoccupations and insights, its moments of strangeness and profundity.”