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THE BARON’S CLOAK: A History of the Russian Empire in War and Revolution By Willard Sunderland C’87 (Cornell University Press, 2014, $35.) The Russian Empire’s final decades are viewed here through the far-flung life of Baron Roman Fedorovich von Ungern-Sternberg, a Baltic German aristocrat and tsarist military officer who fought against the Bolsheviks in Eastern Siberia during the Russian Civil War. From his base in Outer Mongolia, he hatched a fantastical plan to restore the Russian and Chinese empires. Sunderland is an associate professor of history at the University of Cincinnati. Buy this book

arts_briefly02MIMI’S TRAPEZE By J. Allyn Rosser G’88 Gr’91 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014, $15.95.) The fourth book of poetry by Rosser, associate professor of English at Ohio University, explores some of the darker corners of the human panorama in a wide range of forms. Buy this book

arts_briefly03THE POLITICAL FORCE OF MUSICAL BEAUTY By Barry Shank G’87 Gr’91 (Duke University Press, 2014, $25.95.) Musical performances have the ability to create a political force that establishes a momentarily shared sense of the world among otherwise diverse listeners. Analyzing a variety of “beautiful music” across genres—from the Velvet Underground to Takemitsu Toru, and Yoko Ono to hardcore punk and Riot grrrl post-punk—Shank, professor of comparative studies at Ohio State University, explores the role of musical beauty in reorganizing social relations and producing communities that recognize meaningful difference. Buy this book

arts_briefly01ACHIEVING DEMOCRACY: The Future of Progressive Regulation By Sidney A. Shapiro W’70 L’73 and Joseph P. Tomain (Oxford University Press, 2014, $29.75.) While political progressivism has theoretically allowed all Americans to participate equally in the nation’s political and economic affairs, Shapiro (professor of law at Wake Forest) and Tomain argue that by focusing on small government and free markets, America has become stymied by partisan gridlock and a redistribution of wealth to the richest one percent. They explore the history of neoliberalism as well as solutions for restoring democratic losses within the framework of a progressive government. Buy this book

THE WINTER GUEST By Pam Jenoff L’01 (Harlequin, 2014, $14.95.) During the Nazi occupation of Poland, the 18-year-old Nowak twins struggle to support three younger siblings, and when Helena takes in a wounded American paratrooper, their lives become infinitely more precarious. Jenoff, the author of six other novels, worked at the US Consulate in Krakow in the 1990s and now teaches law at Rutgers. Buy this book

GATHERING TIME: When One Door Closes … By Stuart Markus C’86, Gerry McKeveny, and Hillary Foxsong. (2013, Treble-G Records, $15.) The folk trio Gathering Time’s CD includes original songs as well as traditional numbers like “Rain and Snow” and covers of work by Phil Ochs and Stephen Stills. Buy this CD

DEATH IN THE CONGO: Murdering Patrice Lumumba By Emmanuel Gerard and Bruce Kuklick C’63 G’65 Gr’68, faculty (Harvard University Press, 2015, $29.95.) The 1961 murder of Patrice Lumumba, prime minister of the first democratically elected Congolese government, continues to resonate with scholars and cause political unease. Using new material from American and European archives, Gerard and Kuklick (the Nichols Professor of American History Emeritus) examine the assassination from various perspectives. Buy this book



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