May|June 2017 Good Reads

New books of interest to the Longhorn Universe


Rewrite Man: The Life and Career of Screenwriter Warren Skaaren
by Alison Macor, MA ’91, PhD ’00

Rewrite Man follows the ups and downs of Hollywood screenwriter Warren Skaaren, the man behind some of the most iconic films of the 1980s. As one of the highest-paid writers in Hollywood, the late Austin-based Skaaren worked on blockbusters like Top Gun, Beetlejuice, and Batman. The book details his struggle with conflicting agendas in Hollywood and his constant battle for screen accreditation, a problem still faced by today’s screenwriters.


The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office
by Jeremi Suri

Since the Founding Fathers created the American presidency, the position has been ever-changing, from a limited role to its current status as the most powerful job in the world. LBJ School of Public Affairs professor Jeremi Suri documents the evolution of the office, helping readers understand the nation’s disenchantment with modern administrations and America’s distraught political climate.



All the Agents and Saints: Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands
by Stephanie Elizondo Griest, BA, BJ ’97

When Stephanie Elizondo Griest returned to her South Texas home after a decade away, it was unrecognizable. Her land had been ravaged by drug wars, intruded by an 18-foot steel wall, and become a crossing ground for undocumented workers who were dying at an unprecedented rate. Having spent years meeting Mohawks of the Akwesasne Nation on the borderlands between the U.S. and Canada, Griest saw the parallels between life for Native Americans and Tejanos. In her book, she maps the lasting effects of colonialism, the impact of international borderlines, and the people working to preserve these indigenous cultures.


High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic
by Glenn Frankel

Hollywood in the late 1940s and early 1950s was a world rife with paranoia and anti-communist sentiment. Some of the nation’s most talented actors and filmmakers  found themselves blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee for possibly being communists or communist sympathizers. Using Carl Foreman’s classic 1952 western High Noon, former journalism school director Glenn Frankel writes about the nation’s fear of being seized by outsiders during the Cold War and the similar feelings that resonate today.




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