March|April Good Reads

New books of interest to the Longhorn Universe.

Mariposa’s Song
By Peter LaSalle

The author of several works of fiction, UT English professor Peter LaSalle tells the haunting stories of the lives of undocumented workers in the United States in his latest novel. Twenty-year-old Mariposa came from Honduras and is now getting her start in America by working at a nightclub in East Austin, where she encounters a shadowy stranger with his own set of secrets. Written as a single book-length sentence, Mariposa’s Song takes a look at the dangers and difficulties those without papers face on American soil.




The Cult of Pythagoras
Math and Myths

By Alberto Martínez

Did Pythagoras really prove the hypotenuse theorem? Can the Golden Ratio really be found in ancient architecture? In The Cult of Pythagoras, associate history professor Alberto Martínez tackles these popular myths from mathematics history—revealing some to be partially true, others entirely false. Martínez also delves into the differences between invention and discovery, looking to the past to see if concepts like zero and infinity were created or found. A true account of history, Martínez says, will allow today’s math students to be more creative.



Nuclear Statecraft
History and Strategy in America’s Atomic Age
By Francis Gavin

Drawing from recently declassified documents, Francis Gavin—director of UT’s Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law—dives into the past and present of nuclear strategy, now one of the top issues on the global-policy agenda. From the current fear of a nuclear Iran to the role of nuclear weapons during the Berlin Crisis, Nuclear Statecraft makes the bold claim that we don’t know as much as we think we do about our nuclear history.




The Devil Within
Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West
By Brian Levack

During the era of Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries, exorcists had their work cut out for them. Thousands were thought to be possessed by demons, suffering from violent convulsions, abnormal strength, vomiting of foreign objects, and more.  In The Devil Within, UT history professor Brian Levack challenges the idea that apparent demonic possession is a symptom of mental or physical illness. Drawing from both the past and present, Levack concludes that demonaics and exorcists can only be understood in a religious context.



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