Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years by Thomas Mallon ’73 (Pantheon).
In his masterly ninth novel, Mallon (Dewey Defeats Truman, Watergate, Henry and Clara) again mines the archives to recreate a lost world. The book centers on a few months in 1986 as Ronald Reagan prepares to meet Mikhail Gorbachev at the Reykjavik Summit to negotiate arms control. With a scroll of familiar characters, including Nancy Reagan, Christopher Hitchens, John W. Hinckley, and Pamela Harriman, as well as a few completely fictional ones, Finale provides a satisfying front-row seat for a backstage view of history.
Dirty Blvd.: The Life and Music of Lou Reed by Aidan Levy ’08 (Chicago Review Press).
In one of the first two Lou Reed biographies published after his 2013 death, Levy charts the career of the founding member of the Velvet Underground—from Reed’s growing up in Freeport, Long Island, to his early bands, his battles with depression and drugs, his time with the Velvets, and his later solo work. Laced with fresh interviews, this is a rich account of the extended highs and lows of Reed’s at times tempestuous life. Levy, who lives in New York City, has also written for the New York Times and the Village Voice.
Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind by George Makari ’82 (W.W. Norton).
What is the mind? Part soul? Part machine? This is the vast territory that Makari explores in this history of the modern mind. Makari, also the author of Revolution in Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis, covers the span from 1660 to 1815, when the question of what exactly makes up the mind came into a new focus. He vividly details views from medicine, philosophy, physics, and religion, as well as the arguments of such theorists as Hobbes, Bacon, Locke, and Descartes. The result is a very readable chronicle of thought.
The People Make the Peace: Lessons From the Vietnam Antiwar Movement edited by Karim Aguilar-San Juan ’95 AM, ’00 PhD and Frank Joyce (Just World Books)
Thinking Through China by Jerusha McCormack and John G. Blair ’56, ’62 PhD (Rowman & Littlefield)
The Good Book: Writers Reflect on Favorite Bible Passages edited by Andrew Blauner ’86 (Simon & Schuster)
Fashioning Spaces: Mode and Modernity in Late-Nineteenth-Century Paris by Heidi Brevik-Zender ’02 AM, ’06 PhD (Univ. of Toronto)
No God But Gain: The Untold Story of Cuban Slavery, the Monroe Doctrine, and the Making of the United States by Stephen Chambers ’08 AM, ’13 PhD (Verso)
Social Work With Immigrants and Refugees: Legal Issues, Clinical Skills, and Advocacy, Second Edition edited by Fernando Chang-Miu and Elaine Piller Congress ’63 (Springer)
Novel Nostalgias: The Aesthetics of Antagonism in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature by John Funchion ’08 PhD (Ohio State)
Flirtations with Fame: Memoirs of a Celebrity Manqué by Neil Isaacs ’59 PhD (Amazon Digital Services)
The Case Against Free Will: What a Quiet Revolution Has Revealed About how Behaviour is Determined by David A. Lieberman ’68 ScM, ’70 PhD (Palgrave MacMillan)
Ontopower: War, Powers, and the State of Perception by Brian Massumi ’78 (Duke)
The Literature of Waste: Material Ecopoetics and Ethical Matter by Susan Signe Morrison ’88 AM, ’91 PhD (Palgrave MacMillan)
Rear Views, a Star-Forming Nebula, and the Office of Foreign Propaganda by Taryn Simon ’97 (Tate)
Mapping Region in Early American Writing edited by Edward Watts ’97 PhD, Keri Holt ’03 AM, ’08 PhD, and John Funchion ’08 PhD (Georgia)
Into the Wet by Jerry Coker ’79 AM (Black Oak Writing)
I am Radar: A Novel by Reif Larsen ’02 (Penguin)
Thicker Than Blood by Jan English Leary ’75 (Fomite)
Grendel’s Mother: The Saga of the Wyrd-Wife by Susan Signe Morrison ’88 AM, ’91 PhD (Top Hat Books)
Apologies by Kristin P. Bradshaw ’99 MFA (Burning Deck)
Quit by Lissa McLaughlin ’76 AM (Burning Deck)
Why Am I Telling You This And Other Poems from Psychotherapy by Brad Sachs ’78 (BrickHouse Books)