This list was generated by placing a request for suggestions for summer reading on both Furman's local campus discussion group and on the H-SURVEY history discussion group. Some comments have been edited for clarity and brevity.
David Shi, Furman:
Alan Brinkley, The End of Reform : New Deal Liberalism in Recession And War.
Katie Clerkin, Furman:
I recommend The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulix, a quirky, well-written novel about a dull-witted newspaperman and the the coast of Canada; Bastard out of Carolina (Dorothy Allison), a tale about a young girl's tragic life in Greenville County during the 1950's and includes neighborhoods very much like the ones that surround Furman; and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a classic that distorts and presents the history of a family, a country, and the world in a very unusual manner.
Laura Wright, Furman:
A book that I have really enjoyed that is both history and science is "Nobel Prize Women in Science" by Sharon Bertsch McGrayne. It goes through in non-technical terms the major contributions of women scientists who have either won the Nobel Prize in a science or should have won one or perhaps will win one in the near future. It is a really interesting science history book with lots of information about the lives and times these scientists lived through. Science students in all areas will enjoy it (both men and women) and other students will get an inside glimpse of the way science is influenced by politics and religion.
Tracey Rizzo, Furman:
I am once again teaching The secret life of saeed, the ill-fated pessoptimist by Emile Habiby, and am reminded of how brilliant this very satirical depiction of life in Palestine/Israel is. the protagonist is a Palestinian informer for the Israelis, a real anti-hero, much like Voltaire's Candide. Students report that they have learned more aboiut the history of this issue in this book than from any other source. It's very funny, tragic and short. An excellent Summer read.
Jim Edwards, Furman:
I presume many students will already know it, but Thomas Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" is one of the most influential books published in the last 50 years or so. No student...should graduate without having read it. No book is better at capturing an important part of the contemporary intellectual Zeitgeist than Richard Rorty's "Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity." Thomas Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow" is an indispensable American novel, the true successor to "Moby-Dick." Another candidate for the same prize: Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian."
Brian Siegel, Furman:
1. Paul Boyer's WHEN TIME SHALL BE NO MORE: PROPHECY BELIEF IN MODERN AMERICAN CULTURE. Harvard/Belknap, 1992. (It brought back--and explained--all those spendid nights listening to "Eve of Destruction") 2. Jeffrey S. Victor's SATANIC PANIC: THE CREATION OF A CONTEMPORARY LEGEND. Open Court, 1993. ("current social history" of the 1980s "ritual child abuse" panic--really well done) 3. Ivor Noel Hume's (Noel Hume is a single name, like Noel-Hume) MARTIN'S HUNDRED (rev.). U.Virginia, 1991. (historical archaeologist as a detective at a 17th century Virginia colony plantation) 4. James Deetz's FLOWERDEW HUNDRED: THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF A VIRGINIA PLANTATION, 1619-1864. U.Virginia, 1993. (upper James River, near Hopewell)
Pat Pecoy, Furman:
In the interest of "internationalizing" your summer reading list, I would like to recommend the following books for enjoyable, yet profitable, summer reading: Carles, Emilie. A Life of Her Own. Trans. by Avriel H. Goldberger. New York: Penguin Books, 1992. This book is the autobiography of a peasant woman from southeastern France. She describes the transformation of her own life as well as that of twentieth-century France. A remarkable book about a remarkable woman. Corbett, James. Through French Windows: An Introduction to France in the Nineties. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994. The emphasis in this book is on values: regional attachments, the sexual revolution, wealth and equality, social relations, political values, and the new economic necessities of a Europe-centered France. Kaplan, Alice. French Lessons. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993. This book is a memoir by a former French professor who describes "what it feels like--and what it means--to fall in love with a language not one's own." And, of course, for pure pleasure and beach reading, if students have not yet discovered Peter Mayle, now is the time to do so: Mayle, Peter. A Year in Provence. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989. This is a delightful memoir of a British businessman and his wife who decide to move permanently and take up residence in Provence (the south of France). Read for pure pleasure. Also available on video cassette. Mayle, Peter. Toujours Provence. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991. This book takes up where A Year in Provence leaves off. Hilarious tales of cultural discoveries.
Ken Abernethy, Furman:
*Being Digital* by Nicholas Negroponte (Knopf) is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the revolutionary changes we're undergoing in technology. Non-technical, but packed with marvelous insights, explanations, and projections. One that's probably already on your list that I have also enjoyed immensely is McCullough's *Truman*.
Marian Strobel, Furman:
A great airplane book is HAVING OUR SAY by Sarah and Elizabeth Delany--readily available in paper.
Brannon Andersen, Furman:
Here are a couple of ideas for students interested in environmental issues and the history of the environmental movement from a land use change perspective. Nisbet, E.G., 1991, Leaving Eden: To protect and manage the Earth: Cambridge University Press, 358 pp. This is an excellent, readable book survey of the causes and consequences of global change, including political, economic, and historical issues that drive human activities that cause global change. It is by far the best book I have ever read on the subject. Cronon, W., 1983, Changes in the land: Indians, colonists, and the ecology of New England:Hill and Wang, NY, 241 pp. A discussion of how land use patterns changed with the arrival of Europeans in America. Clearly shows that Native Americans DID modify the landscape to suite their needs, but had a different concept of "property" than Eurpeans. Shows that natural ecosystems provide a context for human institutions. Hurst, J.W., 1956, Law and the conditions of freedom in the nineteenth-century United States: University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 139 pp. An excellent discussion of laws were used to increase personal freedom, and how this affected property rights and how laws were used to shape the environment. Hays, S.P., 1959, Conservation and the gospel of efficiency: the progressive conservation movement 1890-1920: Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 297 pp. Defines two conflicting political processes, the need for controlled development of ever shrinking resources (new land with the end of western expansion) vs. demand for a loose system based on personal rights to use (or abuse) the land. Covers topics such as range and water rights. Somewhat biased view of the conservation movement, but a useful overview of policy development.
Bob Wheeler, Cleveland State University:
My suggestions are John Demos The Unredemmed Captive and Mary Crow Dog Lakota Woman.
Wilbert H. "Bert" Ahern, University of Minnesota, Morris:
My first quick response[...]: two books related to the course I am currently teaching - Red, White, and Black; Race and Culture in Early America. John Demos, THE UNREDEEMED CAPTIVE [it has been mentioned several times on this list (H-SURVEY) in other contexts] The notes and explicit methodology join an intrinsically interesting story to make it unusually rich for one inclined toward history. Ian K. Steele, WARPATHS a well-written survey of European-Native American interaction, 1550-1765, that blends ethnohistory with political/military history quite effectively. Imaginative organization and good writing add interest to a markedly new way of looking at this era. It makes a good companion to the text which I use for the course [the best history text that I have read and used in many years] Gary Nash's RED, WHITE AND BLACK: THE PEOPLES OF EARLY AMERICA. Indeed my students have enjoyed that text enough to lead me to make it a third suggestion for summer reading.
George Sims, Belmont Univ., Nashville:
One book I hope every student will read: Garrett Mattingly, THE ARMADA.
I would like to suggest you include on your list Tim O'Brien's 1994 novel *In the Lake of the Woods.* It examines (in part) modern U.S. politics and the legacies of the Vietnam war. It is also a fantastic read with a mystery that has sparked lengthy debates among all I've known who read it.
My choices are far apart but at least they are all on US history. Elkins and McKitrick THE FEDERALIST ERA/AGE/? (one book for all summer); Seay ACHILLES IN VIETNAM: and Fujita, FOO A JAPANESE AMERICAN PRISONER OF THE JAPANESE IN WWII (or something like that), or Sharra KILLER ANGELS (an oldie but goodie) or just about any book about a Civil War battle. My criteria was reader interest not what I teach too. Personally I find military history fascinating to read but immpossible to teach in the survey course.
Jody Ross, Michigan State University
Actually, I believe the books I am going to suggest are "must reads" for everyone. _A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard_ Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (1990) a powerful story and a nice example of an historian practicing her craft. _Tobacco Culture: The Mentality of the Great Tidewater Planters on the Eve of Revolution_ T.H. Breen (1985) a different look at (at least I thought so) plantation culture and the connection/links between the colonists and the British. _The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America_ John Demos (1994) I have suggested this book several times and want to echo others - this book is very enjoyable to read and very instructive on the historians craft. _Imagining the Past: East Hampton Histories_ T.H. Breen (1989) historians at work (a real must for a methodology course) easy to read. _Coming of Age in Mississippi_ Ann Moody (1968) powerful first person account of the Civil Rights Movement. Undergraduates are usually fascinated by this book (and their parents were alive in the sixties so it takes on a different meaning) _And the Crooked Places Made Straight: The Struggle for Social Change in the 1960s_ David Chalmers (1991) a book that takes a rather honest look at the sixties - not as glamorous as many - more balanced. _No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt_ Doris Kearns Goodwin (1994)
A suggestion for Summer Reading: Peter Washington, "Madame Blavatsky's Baboon: A History of the Mystics, Mediums, and Misfits Who Brought Spiritualism to America," Schocken Books, 1995. Harvey Cox calls it "richly informative, vastly entertaining." So do I.