July|August Good Reads

Need a compelling summer read? Dive into one of these new books of interest to the Longhorn Universe.

the sonIf you’re a fan of the Old West…

The Son
By Philipp Meyer

In his second novel, Michener Center alumnus Philipp Meyer, MFA ’08, tackles the American South and the story of the McCulloughs, an unforgettable Texas family entrenched in generations of blood, power, and oil. Thirteen-year-old Eli, the first male born in the Republic of Texas, is captured by Comanches and assimilated into their culture. When disease and starvation decimate the tribe, Eli is left alone to struggle with where he belongs. Juxtaposing this story with those of Eli’s son and great-granddaughter, Meyer—the acclaimed author of American Rust—investigates how Eli’s background affects the family’s ascent to one of the richest ranching and oil powers in Texas.


Habits of LeadershipIf you want a little self-help…

Habits of Leadership
Discover and Use the Remarkable Connection Between Personality and Habits to Become an Outstanding Manager
By Art Markman

Not a natural-born leader? No problem, says UT psychology professor Art Markman. With some valuable insights into your own personality, you can still be an effective one, regardless of your predisposition. In this follow-up to last year’s Smart Thinking, Markman explores how the big five personality traits—extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness, and emotional stability—can affect your management potential. Habits of Leadership starts with a personality profiler to help identify key strengths and weaknesses, then introduces tailored, easy-to-understand strategies for creating good leadership habits. Bonus: You can buy this e-book for $3.


Ainslie_Cover_comp_revIf you want to understand life on the border…

The Fight to Save Juárez
Life in the Heart of Mexico’s Drug War
By Ricardo C. Ainslie

With more than 60,000 deaths since 2007, Juárez is ground zero for the bloody drug war that rages on in Mexico. Educational psychology professor Ricardo Ainslie knows its horrors—he’s seen them firsthand. For The Fight to Save Juárez, Ainslie traveled to the heart of one of Mexico’s most broken cities, plagued by powerful cartels, corrupt police forces, and a government that is trying desperately to turn the tide. Using four different perspectives, Ainslie contrasts the view from the ground with the bird’s-eye outlook of the officials who are trying to gain the upper hand. Will the violence ever end? Whatever happens in Juárez, Ainslie says, will have a tremendous impact on both Mexico and the United States.


 Cronkite's WarIf Walter Cronkite is your UT hero… 

Cronkite’s War
His World War II Letters Home
Walter Cronkite IV and Maurice Isserman

Even “the most trusted man in America” needs a little love. In 1942, Walter Cronkite, ’33, was just a 23-year-old cub reporter setting off on a journey to cover World War II overseas. He and his young wife, Betsy, wouldn’t be reunited until after the war’s end—nearly three years later. Cronkite’s War is a collection of more than 100 of his letters to her, edited by their grandson. During his time in England and North Africa, Cronkite shared his observations of wartime and his longing for his wife, often writing her up to five days a week. Featuring a forward by Tom Brokaw, Cronkite’s War tells the story of a great war and an even greater love through family photos and Cronkite’s own daily musings. Hundreds of Cronkite’s letters like the ones in this book are archived at UT’s Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.


coming-political-age If you’re interested in education…

Coming of Political Age
American Schools and the Civic Development of Immigrant Youth
By Rebecca M. Callahan and Chandra Muller

One of the fastest-growing segments of the American population, children of immigrants are poised to totally reshape our country’s political future. How can we make sure they grow to be civically engaged citizens? Callahan, an assistant professor of education, and Muller, a sociology professor, believe the answer lies in the U.S. school system. Drawing from extensive data analysis, the co-authors have discovered that social sciences play a central role in integrating youth into the political system. Slashing social science programs, Callahan and Muller say, could significantly hurt the engagement of the next generation of voters.


 Draper Comp 1.inddIf you want to go behind the scenes…

Front Row Seat
A Photographic Portrait of the Presidency of George W. Bush
By Eric Draper

From public to private, dramatic to relaxed, the more than 100 images featured in Front Row Seat will give you an insightful look into George W. Bush’s time as president. The never-before-published photos were taken by former chief White House photographer Eric Draper, the longest-serving White House photographer and the first to document two full presidential terms. Part of UT’s Dolph Briscoe Center’s Focus on American History series, the book juxtaposes images of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 with relaxed family gatherings. Published to coincide with the opening of the new George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Southern Methodist University, Front Row Seat is a fascinating look at a leader we thought we already knew.


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