On The Shelf

The Magazine publishes a selection of general-interest books by alumni authors. For additional alumni books, see “In Their Own Words” at magazine.uchicago.edu/books.

Paper CitizensPaper Citizens: How Illegal Immigrants Acquire Citizenship in Developing Countries, Kamal Sadiq, PhD’03, Oxford University Press, 2008. Sadiq examines the often-ignored phenomenon of illegal immigrants who settle in developing countries, frequently governed by inconsistent bureaucracies that lose track of their own citizens. Identification documents can easily be faked or obtained, and Sadiq examines the problem of counterfeit papers in a world where citizens are defined by paper trails. He examines the practices of achieving practical citizenship for these millions of people and the implications for both global security and what our concept of “citizenship” should be.

America's Worst Family

Inventing America’s “Worst” Family: Eugenics, Islam, and the Fall and Rise of the Tribe of Ishmael, Nathaniel Deutsch, AB’88, AM’89, PhD’95, University of California Press, 2009. In this bizarre story, Deutsch documents the history of a white Christian family, the Ishmaels, who settled in the Indianapolis slums in the mid-1800s. The poverty-stricken clan was labeled America’s “worst” family by the eugenics movement in the early 20th century—they were considered unemployable, diseased degenerates—and became a symbol for the moral depravity of the urban poor. In the 1970s the family was reinvented and celebrated as the founders of the first African American Muslim community.

The Integrity Dividend: Leading by the Power of Your Word, Tony Simons, AB’83, Jossey-Bass, 2008. In this handbook, leadership expert Simons extols the virtues of honest executives. Many leaders, he argues, fail to follow through on their promises to employees and customers. He presents case studies, interviews, and insight from managers in different fields, who all assert that keeping one’s word leads to increased productivity, service, and ultimately to increased profitability.

Faulkner and Love

Faulkner and Love: The Women Who Shaped His Art, Judith L. Sensibar, PhD’82, Yale University Press, 2009. Delving into William Faulkner’s biographical archive, Sensibar investigates three women in his life—his mother, his black nurse, and the childhood friend who later became his wife—arguing that they inspired him to create his brilliant fiction. Connecting his life to his work, she notes how themes of race, love, and addiction in his writing can be traced to these relationships.

Teens in Crisis: How the Industry Serving Struggling Teens Helps and Hurts Our Kids, Frederic G. Reamer, AM’75, PhD’78, and Deborah H. Siegel, AM’74, PhD’82, Columbia University Press, 2008. Reamer and Siegel analyze Americans’ perceptions of troubled teens and address the array of recent programs to help them—alternative schools, wilderness therapy, mentoring programs—some of which are not licensed or accredited. The authors examine reputable organizations and provide a blueprint for best practices.

Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan, Kim Phillips-Fein, AB’97, W. W. Norton, 2009. Tracing the roots of conservatism from the Liberty League, founded to combat New Deal bureaucracy, to the Reagan era, Phillips-Fein asserts that big business and wealthy businessmen have shaped free-market politics. She focuses on those whose support and promotion of the free market helped it grow, and explains the origins of the ideology that fueled Wall Street’s deregulation.

In Defense of Religious Liberty, David Novak, AB’61, ISI Books, 2009. Novak uses the canonical philosophers of the West and the classical religious and philosophical texts of the Jewish tradition to argue that, paradoxically, divine law is a strong foundation for securing a secular, multicultural contemporary democracy. Grappling with the task of taking theologically informed positions in a secular society, he asserts that divine law is akin to natural law, and that the most essential formations of human and civil rights come from recognition of religious power, not from arbitrary human power.

Imperial Subject As Global CitizensImperial Subjects as Global Citizens: Nationalism, Internationalism, and Education in Japan, Mark Lincicome, AM’79, PhD’85, Lexington Books, 2009. Throughout the past two centuries, Japanese educational-reform debates have focused on what it means to be a “Japanese citizen of the world.” Analyzing Japan’s 20th-century attempts to internationalize education while still incorporating traditional principles of individual and national identity, Lincicome argues that the Japanese education system reveals intricacies that correspond to the Japanese citizen’s negotiation of multiple identities.

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