What We're Reading This Summer 2015

So many books, so little time! We wanted to share some of the books in our first annual What We're Reading this Summer list from our faculty and staff. We hope they inspire you and keep your brain stimulated over the summer.

june Children Missoula
Nudge Shadow evidence
innov Beast Labor

 More about the books:

  • To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care by Cris Beam - Who are the children of foster care? What, as a country, do we owe them? Cris Beam, a foster mother herself, spent five years immersed in the world of foster care looking into these questions and tracing firsthand stories. She shows the intricacies of growing up in the system—the back-and-forth with agencies, the rootless shuffling between homes, the emotionally charged tug between foster and birth parents, the terrifying push out of foster care and into adulthood. -- summer pick by Anna Lipton Galbraith, Senior Research Associate
     
  • How Children Succeed by Paul Tough - Why do some children succeed while others fail? The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter more have to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control. -- summer pick by Allison Dubin, Research Associate
     
  • Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer - From bestselling author Jon Krakauer, a stark, powerful, meticulously reported narrative about a series of sexual assaults at the University of Montana ­ stories that illuminate the human drama behind the national plague of campus rape. The Department of Justice investigated 350 sexual assaults reported to the Missoula police between January 2008 and May 2012. Few of these assaults were properly handled by either the university or local authorities. In this, Missoula is typical.  -- summer pick by Dr. Kaeley Bobbitt, Senior Policy Associate
     
  • Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard Thaler - Nudge is about choices - how we make them and how we can make better ones. Drawing on decades of research in the fields of behavioral science and economics, Thaler and Sunstein offer a new perspective on preventing the countless mistakes we make—ill-advised personal investments, consumption of unhealthy foods, neglect of our natural resources—and show us how sensible “choice architecture” can successfully nudge people toward the best decisions. -- summer pick by Kyle Bradbury, Research Associate
     
  • The Long Shadow by Karl L. Alexander, Doris Entwisle, and Linda Olson - West Baltimore stands out in the popular imagination as the quintessential inner city gritty, run-down, and marred by drugs and gang violence. But in stark contrast to the image of a perpetual urban underclass depicted on television, authors present a more nuanced portrait of Baltimore’s inner city residents that employs important new research on the significance of early-life opportunities available to low-income populations. For 25 years, they tracked the life progress of a group of almost 800 predominantly low-income Baltimore school children. -- summer pick by Dr. Cynthia Osborne, Director
     
  • Fighting for Reliable Evidence by Judith Gueron and Howard Rolston - Once primarily used in medical clinical trials, random assignment experimentation is now accepted among social scientists across a broad range of disciplines. The technique has been used in social experiments to evaluate a variety of programs, from microfinance and welfare reform to housing vouchers and teaching methods. How did randomized experiments move beyond medicine and into the social sciences, and can they be used effectively to evaluate complex social problems?  -- summer pick by Cynthia Osborne, CFRP Director
     
  • The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson - Isaacson tells a revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail? It’s also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative. -- summer pick by Wendy Gonzales, Communications Director
     
  • The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail by Óscar Martínez - One day a few years ago, 300 migrants were kidnapped between the remote desert towns of Altar, Mexico, and Sasabe, Arizona. A local priest got 120 released, many with broken ankles and other marks of abuse, but the rest vanished. Óscar Martínez gives an account of the migrant disappearances and other harrowing stories he garnered from two years spent traveling up and down the migrant trail from Central America and across the US border. -- summer pick by Anna Lipton Galbraith, Senior Research Associate
     
  • Labor’s Love Lost: The Rise and Fall of the Working-Class Family in America by Andrew Cherlin - Two generations ago, young men and women with only a high-school degree would have entered the plentiful industrial occupations which then sustained the middle-class ideal of a male-breadwinner family. Such jobs have all but vanished over the past forty years, and in their absence, ever-growing numbers of young adults now hold precarious, low-paid jobs with few fringe benefits. -- summer pick by Dr. Cynthia Osborne, Director

Click for PDF