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Summer reading titles by University of the Pacific authors

May 17, 2016

New books by University of the Pacific authors will enrich anyone's reading list this summer. Titles range from a young adult novel to a groundbreaking history of boy soldiers in the Revolutionary War. The list reflects the breadth and depth of faculty scholarship at Pacific and the exceptional ways that professors engage students in their scholarly work - including a food studies book edited by a graduate student and a highly acclaimed anthology of essays on race that stemmed from an assignment in an English class. 

Boy Soldiers of the American Revolution book cover
"Boy Soldiers of the American Revolution," by Caroline Cox, The University of North Carolina Press, $29.95, 232 pages. Caroline Cox, a professor of history at Pacific, was finishing this book when she died two years ago. Her husband and colleagues completed the final editing, and it was published posthumously this spring. Cox's research uncovered accounts of  boy soldiers from a time long before the nightly news featured stories of armed children fighting in Africa and elsewhere. Her book tells of boys as young as 9 fighting in the American Revolutionary War and offers a vivid account of what life was like for those boys on the battlefield and beyond.

The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind"The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind," co-edited by Claudia Rankine, Beth Loffreda and Max King Cap, Fence Books, $19.95, 256 pages. This award-winning collection of essays, poetry and imagery includes an introduction by Xiaojing Zhou, a professor of English at Pacific, and more than a dozen vignettes written by Pacific students in her Introduction to Ethnic Studies course. The book stemmed from a visit by poet Claudia Rankine to Zhou's class, during which Rankine challenged the students to write creatively about their everyday encounters involving race.

Building New China, Colonizing Kokonor: Resettlement to Qinghai in the 1950s"Building New China, Colonizing Kokonor: Resettlement to Qinghai in the 1950s," by Gregory Rohlf, Lexington Books, $95, 308 pages. Gregory Rohlf, an associate professor of history at Pacific, explores the social and political history of China's 1950s resettlement of more than 100,000 people to Qinghai province, known as Kokonor in Mongolia. Rohlf's book provides historical context to China's policies today. Hsiao-ting Lin, a research fellow and curator of the East Asia Collection at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, wrote of Rohlf's book: "A welcome addition to the study of modern China's ethnic and frontier issues, this volume is an important source for understanding the present-day Beijing government's strategy for developing China's far west."

At the Table book cover"At the Table: Food and Family Around the World," edited by Ken Albala, Greenwood, $89, 342 pages. Ken Albala, professor of history at Pacific and founding director of the Food Studies Program, provides insight into how dinner is defined around the world. The book looks at some 50 countries and focuses on present-day meal habits in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North America and South America, with commentaries covering everything from shopping for ingredients to etiquette and gender-based roles. The resulting work underscores how food culture relates to ethnicity, family and traditions.

Making sense of food cover"Making Sense of Food: Exploring Cultural and Culinary Identities," by Sally Baho, Inter-Disciplinary Press, $21.31-$28.88, 210 pages. Sally Baho, a graduate student in Pacific's Master of Arts in Food Studies Program, co-edited this book, which helps readers develop a better understanding of food by looking at the connections between culture and food identities, the effects of globalization on food practices, and the connection between food and aging. Through this multilayered look, the reader is able to take away a better understanding of a common activity central to all humans since the beginning of time.

Why Minsky Matters: An Introduction to the Work of a Maverick Economist cover"Why Minsky Matters: An Introduction to the Work of a Maverick Economist," by L. Randall Wray, Princeton University Press, $27.95, 288 pages. L. Randall Wray, an alum who earned his undergraduate degree and teaching credential at Pacific, is professor of economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and senior scholar and at the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. In his new book aimed at general readers, Wray examines the legacy of economist Hyman P. Minsky, who warned about the global financial crisis decades before other economists. Wray also explores why Minsky's ideas, such as "stability is destabilizing," are so important in understanding and preventing the next financial crisis.

Stone Field cover"Stone Field," Christy Lenzi, Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan, $17.99, 320 pages. Christy Lenzi, a staff member in Pacific's Residential Life and Housing Office, has written a Civil War-era love story for readers ninth-grade and up. Her debut novel tells of a tragic romance between a young Missouri woman and a man with amnesia torn apart amid the looming Civil War.


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