Arts & Culture


Here’s the Deal
David Leonhardt ’94

Byliner, $1.99; Kindle edition

If you’re confused and concerned about the federal deficit’s causes, economic impact, and long-term solutions, this little e-book by the New York Times Washington bureau chief offers enlightenment. Leonhardt deftly skewers myths and identifies ways to eliminate the revenue shortfall, spur growth, and, above all, reverse what he terms this country’s “investment-deficit disorder.”


The Black Russian
Vladimir Alexandrov, B. E. Bensinger Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Atlantic Monthly Press, $25

With the Bolsheviks overrunning Odessa in 1919, the American consul loaded his countrymen on a ship and fled to Turkey. Among them was Frederick Bruce Thomas, an African American from Mississippi who’d left racism behind to become a wealthy entrepreneur in Russia—and a Russian citizen. Thomas’s remarkable tale—rags to riches to rags to prison—is compellingly told by Alexandrov.


Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts
Emily Anthes ’05

Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26

Cats and fish that glow in the dark. Customized mutant mice. Remote-controlled beetles. “Science has given us a whole new toolbox for tinkering with life, and we have the power to modify animals in profound new ways,” writes science journalist Anthes. In a fascinating guided tour, Anthes explores bioengineering’s “great promise” and perils for all species, including our own.


From a Polish Country House Kitchen: 90 Recipes for the Ultimate Comfort Food
Anne Applebaum ’86 and Danielle Crittenden

Chronicle Books, $40

When Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Applebaum and her husband restored a “falling-down Polish manor house,” she learned to cook with local ingredients. The recipes Applebaum and her food buddy Crittenden developed offer lighter and more modern takes on such classic fare as pierogies, beet soup, and roast loin of wild boar with sour cherries.


Rock Prodigy
Richard Gard ’02MusM, ’07MusAD, Lecturer, Hearing and Analysis, School of Music, and colleagues

The Way of H, $49.99; at iTunes

So you want to be a rock star? Getting the guitar, of course, is easy, but then comes the trickier part: learning how to play. If Eric Clapton isn’t available, this app, for iOS and Windows devices, will show you where to put your fingers, correct your mistakes, and reward your successes with game-style points. Rock on.


A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home: Lessons in the Good Life from an Unlikely Teacher
Sue Halpern ’77

Riverhead Books, $26.95

Facing an empty nest, writer Halpern and her dog Pransky trained to become a therapy team and work with the residents of the local county nursing home. Halpern’s memoir is a moving story about the people she and Pransky met there, and the seven classic virtues they discovered.


Engineers of Victory: The Problem Solvers Who Turned the Tide in the Second World War
Paul Kennedy, Dilworth Professor of History

Random House, $30

Instead of battles, soldiers, or weaponry, historian Kennedy here focuses on the middle managers and how they and the organizations they ran “got things done” to ensure that convoys could cross the Atlantic, the blitzkrieg could be stopped, and the Axis powers could be defeated.

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