Columbia Ink

March 21, 2014Bookmark and Share

Maximalist book cover
Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama
Sestanovich, who is currently a leading voice in parsing the situation in the Ukraine, has a long history of experience within the U.S. government. In his new book, the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor for the Practice of International Diplomacy, offers a provocative reassessment of America’s global dominance. We may think there was a time when America’s international role reflected bipartisan unity, but Maximalist tells a different story. Who knew, for instance, that Lyndon Johnson fought hard to stay out of Vietnam and that Henry Kissinger ridiculed the idea of visiting China? Or that the elder George Bush found Ronald Reagan’s diplomacy too passive while the younger Bush considered Bill Clinton’s too active? Sestanovich finds fresh lessons in the past that clarify our chaotic present. For video of Sestanovich discussing Maximalist, visit
Rebel Music book cover Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture
This timely book on the connections between music and political activism among Muslim youth around the world looks at how hip-hop, jazz and reggae, along with Andalusian and Gnawa music, have become a means of building community and expressing protest. Aidi, a lecturer in International and Public Affairs, interviews musicians and activists, and reports from music festivals and concerts worldwide, to convey an intimate sense of today’s urban Muslim youth. He explores how the current cultural and political turmoil in European cities echoes that moment in the 1910s when Islamic movements began appearing among African-Americans in northern American cities. He also shows how the United States and its allies have used hip-hop and Sufi music to try to deradicalize Muslim youth abroad.
Beyond Gibraltar book cover Beyond Gibraltar
Pegasus Press
Beyond Gibraltar is the second volume of a planned trilogy of memoirs by Lorch, professor emerita of Italian and medieval and Renaissance studies at Barnard College. In it she offers a semi-fictionalized account of her experiences in Fascist-controlled Italy during World War II, her immigration to the United States as a war bride, and her subsequent development as an academic humanist, wife and mother. The first book, Mamma in her Village, was published in 2005, and she is currently working on the third volume, The Other Shore. Beyond Gibraltar serves as a historical document of life during the first half of the 20th century as seen from both sides of the Atlantic.
Inferno book cover Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment
Harvard University Press
The United States punishes at a higher per capita rate than any other country in the world. In the last 20 years, incarceration rates have risen 500 percent. Sentences are harsh, prisons are overcrowded, life inside is dangerous, and rehabilitation programs are ineffective. Ferguson, the George Edward Woodberry Professor in Law, Literature and Criticism at the Law School, looks to court records as well as works of philosophy, history and literature to illuminate this system of punishment and ask the American people: Do we want our prisons to be this way? Or are we unaware, indifferent or misinformed about what is happening? By acknowledging the suffering of prisoners, he seeks to move the country toward a more just system of incarceration.



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Brown Institute for Media Innovation Grand Opening

In Memoriam: Joseph F. Traub

Professor Joseph F. Traub, founder of the Computer Science department, died Monday, August 24, 2015 in Santa Fe, NM. He was 83. Most recently the Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Computer Science, Traub was an early pioneer in the field.

Traub's work on optimal algorithms and computational complexity applied to continuous scientific problems. 

Read more about Professor Traub.

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