Good Reads: November|December 2014

New books of interest to the Longhorn Universe

100 Things100 Things Longhorns Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die
By Jenna Hays McEachern, ’72, Life Member

This book of football trivia has a little of everything: profiles of coaches and players, historical overviews of each decade, stats, awards, even tips for how to make the most of OU weekend (“If you have even a touch of claustrophobia, don’t wait until the last minute to enter the stadium.”) Scattered throughout are “Longhorn Lore” boxes with quirky tales like the time Bevo almost wore earmuffs.




ModernArtWEbMidcentury Modern Art in Texas
By Katie Robinson Edwards, MA ’94, PhD ’06

You’ve heard of Jackson Pollock and Jasper Johns, but what about Robert Preusser or Stephen Rascoe? Midcentury Modernism is one of the most perennially beloved artistic styles, but Texas artists from the period—defined loosely in this case as the 1930s-60s—have received scant attention. This expansive collection from UT Press offers up almost 400 colorful pages of midcentury paintings and sculptures from the Lone Star State. Alongside the art (including a painting by Richard Hardin, BA ’71, Life Member), essays and short biographies make up a crash course in an artistic tradition that’s finally getting its due.



innocentwebInnocent Weapons: The Soviet and American Politics of Childhood in the Cold War
By Margaret Peacock, MA ’02, PhD ’08

“Thank you, Comrade Stalin, for our happy childhood!” That slogan is plastered on a 1950 Soviet poster featuring two beaming, cherubic children looking up at a grandfatherly Stalin. The poster is one of dozens of propaganda pieces that Margaret Peacock explores in this book on how images of children were manipulated during the Cold War. History buffs will be fascinated by Peacock’s argument that propagandists and politicians on both sides of the Iron Curtain had more in common than they would have liked to admit.



Grumberg_5364_comp.inddJean-Claude Grumberg: Three Plays
Translated by Seth Wolitz

French playwright Jean-Claude Grumberg is a big deal in his home country, where he’s won seven Moliéres (the French equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize). His plays are widely performed and taught in schools, and Grumberg’s portrayal of French Jews has advanced scholarly understanding of Jewish life and culture across Europe. Yet his work has never been available in English—until now. Seth Wolitz, of UT’s Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies, translates and introduces three of Grumberg’s plays.




JulyCreekWebFourth of July Creek
By Smith Henderson, MFA ’09

This much-heralded debut novel from Michener Center graduate Smith Henderson has been called “breathtaking” (Entertainment Weekly), “Faulknerian” (the New York Times), and “a hell of a novel” (Esquire). It doesn’t disappoint. The book follows Peter Snow, a social worker in Montana, as he tries to help a neglected young boy. In this dark, gritty world, no characters are black-and-white; instead, everyone struggles with their own demons.


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