Wrapping up the reading suggestions for summer 2017 is a list from the faculty. My request to the professors was only that their book picks be interesting or have relevance to the courses they teach, but if they described a selection, I’ve included the explanation. Where there’s no explanation of the book choice, you can find the theme by looking at the professor’s profile.
Beach Music, by Pat Conroy. A relaxing novel before the work begins
Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
The Law of Nations: An Introduction to the International Law of Peace, edited by Sir Claud Humphrey Waldock and James Leslie Brierly
Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel, by Rebecca Goldstein
The Essential Holmes, edited by Richard A. Posner
“Melian Dialogue,” in Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, (translated by Rex Warner)
A Man for All Seasons, by Robert Bolt
West with the Night, by Beryl Markham
Imperium, by Robert Harris
The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind—and Changed the History of Free Speech in America, by Thomas Healy
The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America, by Louis Menand
Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
An Imaginary Life, by David Malouf.
While everyone by now should have read Albert Camus’ The Stranger (L’Etranger), it is worth reading again as an introduction to Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation (Meursault, contre-euquete). The latter, a reprise of Camus from the perspective of the Arab victim in The Stranger, received well-deserved critical praise when it was published in 2015. While not as profound as Camus, Daoud’s reply is well worth reading and offers both an anti-colonial counterpoint (not innovative, but well done) and an interesting gloss on existence and identity. It’s probably better to read both in French, if possible, but it’s not necessary to do so.
The Promise and Limits of Private Power: Promoting Labor Standards in a Global Economy, by Richard Locke. This book is the most comprehensive study to date evaluating the impact of company codes of conduct on labor standards in global supply chains.
The Fissured Workplace: Why Work Became So Bad for So Many and What Can Be Done About It, by David Weil. This book argues that widening income inequality has more to do with organizational innovations than technological change.
“Why Diversity Programs Fail,” Harvard Business Review (2016, July 1), by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev. This is an easy to read article with a provocative view of diversity programs.
50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, by Roy Peter Clark. If you have not written papers in a long time (or maybe ever) this book contains many helpful insights.
Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman.
Professor Pearl Robinson (Professor Robinson is primarily affiliated with the Tufts Department of Political Science but also teaches at Fletcher.)
Beyond Timbuktu: An Intellectual History of Muslim West Africa, by Ousman Oumar Kane. This is one of the best books I’ve read about Africa in the past decade. I consider it a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the political, religious, and intellectual complexities of the Islamic landscape in contemporary Africa.
The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
In God’s Name: An Investigation Into the Murder of Pope John Paul I, by David Yallop. This is a tremendous book, regardless of your religious views. There is much more about banking in this book than you might imagine. Given the situation in Italy, this is really must reading.
Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton: The Secret Agent Who Made the Pilgrimage to Mecca, Discovered the Kama Sutra, and Brought the Arabian Nights to the West, by Edward Rice. This is an awesome story, it will change you.
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