Just before classes ended, I sent a note to the faculty asking for summer reading suggestions for incoming students. (I like to think that this list will be useful for our newest Fletcher students, as well as anyone still reading the blog who will attend a different grad school.) I’ve collected suggestions before, and ran short lists last summer, and in 2007. This year I modified my request slightly: Instead of asking the professors to suggest books that incoming students could read to prepare, I asked them instead for the books they might pass along to a family member who wanted to learn about their area of expertise. I hoped it would result in some “lighter” reading, and I think it did.
Of course, suggesting that you do preparatory reading contradicts the students’ advice, posted recently. I’ll just need to leave it to you to decide whether you should follow the advice to relax and recharge, or read one of the books listed below.
One final note: I only asked the profs for their picks. I didn’t ask them to elaborate on their choices. I regret that now, though I think the simplicity of the assignment led to the high number of responses. I’ll include any comments they happened to send.
So, with no further discussion, here (alphabetically by the professors’ last names) are the first of the book picks.
First, Richard Blackhurst, who teaches the mid-career folk in the GMAP program, suggests Paul Krugman’s Pop Internationalism. He notes: “The students will, of course, recognize Paul Krugman’s name. However, this collection of economic essays pre-dates his much more political New York Times weekly columns, and is both very entertaining, accessible, and directly relevant to many — if not all — of the economics and political science courses they will take at Tufts.”
Antonia Chayes gives a little shout-out to her daughter, when she says, “I would add first and foremost, Sarah Chayes, The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban.” Prof. Chayes also suggests Tom Ricks’s new book on Iraq, The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008, as well as A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Ishmael Beah’s memoir on child soldiers in Sierra Leone.
And last (for today), Brian Ganson suggests Kings of Peace, Pawns of War: The Untold Story of Peace-Making by Harriet Martin (with a foreward by Kofi Annan), and Making Social Science Matter: Why Social Inquiry Fails and How It Can Succeed Again by Bent Flyvbjerg (translated by Steven Sampson).
That should keep you all busy for the week. More to come soon!
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