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THE POPE OF PHYSICS: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age By Gino Segrè, faculty, and Bettina Hoerlin (Henry Holt, 2016, $30.00.) A major biography of Enrico Fermi, who fled from fascist Italy to the United States and became a leading architect of the Manhattan Project. His work on the world’s first nuclear chain reaction would change the world, paving the way for weapons of mass destruction as well as life-saving medical interventions. Segrè, emeritus professor of physics at Penn and author of Faust in Copenhagen, Ordinary Geniuses, and A Matter of Degrees, joins with his wife, former Philadelphia health commissioner (and Penn adjunct professor) Bettina Hoerlin, to bring the great Nobel Prize-winning physicist to life. Buy this book

COMMITTED: The Battle Over Involuntary Psychiatric Care By Dinah Miller C’84 MD & Annette Hanson MD (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016, $22.95.) Involuntary treatment is a highly charged subject, with passionate advocates on both sides of the issue. Using first-hand accounts from patients, clinicians, advocates, and opponents, Miller (a psychiatrist and instructor in psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine) and Hanson examine such practices as seclusion and restraint, involuntary medication, and involuntary electroconvulsive therapy—and their role in preventing violence. Buy this book

MEXICAN MELODRAMA: Film and Nation from the Golden Age to the New Wave By Elena Lahr-Vivaz G’02 Gr’08 (University of Arizona Press, 2016, $50.00.) From the 1930s to the 1950s, Mexican directors often turned to the tropes of melodrama and allegory to offer audiences an image of an idealized Mexico. Lahr-Vivaz, an assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese studies at Rutgers, analyzes box-office hits and lesser-known successes to explore how and why directors of different generations employ similar cinematic tropes. Buy this book

THE ULTIMATE AMBITION IN THE ARTS OF ERUDITION: A compendium of Knowledge from the Classical Islamic World By Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri, Edited and Translated by Elias Muhanna G’04 Gr’05 (Penguin Books, 2016, $18.00.) The original Arabic text from the Islamic Golden Age spanned over 9,000 pages and 30 volumes, comprising a complete encyclopedia of 14th-century Egyptian existence. In its first English translation, Muhanna, an assistant professor of comparative literature at Brown, has abridged this vast work to a single volume, giving Western readers a new window into medieval Islamic thought. Buy this book

THE BEST OF FAMILIES By Harry Groome C’63 (Connelly Press, 2016, $14.99.) Set during the decline of American high society in the mid-20th century, Groome’s novel follows Philadelphia socialite Francis Hopkinson Delafield as he struggles to free himself from family and tradition. Buy this book

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