Every year, in consultation with Pardee RAND faculty, Dean Susan L. Marquis assigns summer reading to the incoming cohort of students. If you're looking for something thoughtful to broaden your horizons, look no further!
Dean's Reading List for 2017
This year, Dean Marquis is asking all incoming students to read Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, as well as one of the other four books she and the faculty recommended.
Penguin Random House, 2016, 432 pages
Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction
In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind...
From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn't What It Used to Be
Basic Books, 2013, 320 pages
Mark Zuckerberg's inaugural pick for his "Year of Books" challenge, The End of Power updates the very notion of power for the 21st century. Power, we know, is shifting: From West to East and North to South, from presidential palaces to public squares, from once formidable corporate behemoths to nimble startups and, slowly but surely, from men to women. But power is not merely dispersing; it is also decaying. Those in power today are more constrained in what they can do with it and more at risk of losing it than ever before. In The End of Power, award-winning columnist and former Foreign Policy editor Moisés Naím illuminates the struggle between once-dominant megaplayers and the new micropowers challenging them in every field of human endeavor.
Drawn and Quarterly, 2016, 304 pages
Cartoonist Sarah Glidden accompanies her two friends―reporters and founders of a journalism non-profit―as they research potential stories on the effects of the Iraq War on the Middle East and, specifically, the war’s refugees. Joining the trio is a childhood friend and former Marine whose past service in Iraq adds an unexpected and sometimes unwelcome viewpoint, both to the people they come across and perhaps even themselves.
Bloomsbury Press, 2016, 384 pages
In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America—addiction like no other the country has ever faced. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic.
W.W. Norton & Company, 2016, 368 pages
The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield—both had important careers in the Israeli military—and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Daniel Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn’t remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter.
This story about the workings of the human mind is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind’s view of its own mind.
Note: the links below go to Google Books or the publisher's website, where you can read an online excerpt and choose an online retailer if you're interested in purchasing a copy.
- The Age of Wonder: The Romantic Generation and the Discovery of the Beauty and Terror of Science, by Richard Holmes
- The Fires of Spring: A Post–Arab Spring Journey Through the Turbulent New Middle East — Turkey, Iraq, Qater, Jordan, Egypt, and Tunisia, by Shelley Culbertson
- Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, by Robert D. Putnam
- Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues, by Martin J. Blaser
- It’s Our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower, by Michela Wrong
- The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster (full text available online)
- Capital in the 21st Century, by Thomas Piketty
- The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor, by William Easterly
- Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World, by Tracy Kidder
- It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein
- The Sun, The Genome, and The Internet: Tools of Scientific Revolutions, by Freeman Dyson
- Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions, by John Hammond, Ralph Keeny, and Howard Raiffa
Pardee RAND faculty have also made summer reading recommendations in past years. In 2012, they recommended ten books to change the way you think. In 2013 they made more recommendations — some of which came from alumni and students, too.