September|October Good Reads

New books of interest to the Longhorn Universe.

The NeighborsThe Neighbors

By Ahmah Mahmoud, translated by Nastaran Kherad

Published in 1974, The Neighbors tells the story of a young man coming of age amid Iran’s oil nationalization crisis in the early 1950s. After growing up in poverty, protagonist Khaled has his eyes opened to a new world when he becomes involved in Iran’s attempt to secure its oil industry from the British. Nastaran Kherad, a doctoral candidate in UT’s Department of Middle Eastern Studies, provides the first-ever English translation of the acclaimed novel.




Arguing for our LivesArguing for Our Lives: A User’s Guide to Constructive Dialog

By Robert Jensen

The ever-controversial Robert Jensen, a UT journalism professor, is back with Arguing for Our Lives, a treatise on public discourse. We’re in the “Age of Anxiety,” he says. Trust in elected officials and the media is at an all-time low, and we’re afraid of the depth of the world’s problems. Jensen’s proposed solution: employ critical thinking and buck conventional wisdom to help solve society’s current ecological and economic crises. Starting a conversation is the first step.



Gingrich SenatorsThe Gingrich Senators: The Roots of Partisan Warfare in Congress

By Sean Theriault

In the last 30 years, the U.S. Senate has become a battleground of partisan warfare. In The Gingrich Senators, author and UT government professor Sean Theriault points to a certain group of senators—Republicans who served in the House after 1978, the year of Newt Gingrich’s first election—as the catalyst. Drawing from analysis of roll call votes, Theriault explains these “Gingrich senators” are more likely to oppose Democratic presidents than their fellow Republican peers, therefore hindering the legislative process. And if it continues, Theriault says, the fate of the U.S. Senate looks bleak.


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