Arts & Culture


Works by Yale alumni and faculty

Akhil Reed Amar ’80, ’84JD, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science
America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By
Basic Books, $29.99

There are only about 8,000 words in the written US Constitution, and many of our most cherished principles, from the inherent inequality of racial segregation to one person, one vote, are not found in the text. The “ground rules that actually govern our land” are all laid out in the unwritten Constitution—the “judicial opinions, executive practices, legislative enactments, and American traditions” that fill in the gaps. Amar provides a fascinating review of the nation’s two operating manuals.


James Gustave Speth ’64, ’69LLB
America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy
Yale University Press, $30

“We have let conditions of life in America deteriorate across a broad front and are headed straight to a place we would not want for our children and grandchildren,” writes Gus Speth, former dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a prominent environmentalist. From the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street, there’s broad agreement that “system change” is absolutely necessary, Speth notes. In this provocative and ultimately hopeful analysis, he proposes a new progressive course “from today’s decline to tomorrow’s rebirth.”


Stephen L. Carter ’79JD, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law
The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln: A Novel
Alfred A. Knopf, $26.95

What if Lincoln had survived the assassination attempt? That’s the intriguing premise of Carter’s latest novel, a historical and political page-turner that opens almost two years after the Civil War ends. In a capital plagued with backbiting and gridlock (imagine that), Lincoln—rather than Andrew Johnson, who in this world was the one murdered—faces impeachment. The fate of the president may depend on one Abigail Canner, a young black woman whose “ambition would carry her to the center of great events.”


Tanya Wexler ’92, director
DVD, Sony Home Pictures Entertainment, $30.99

In Victorian England, many upper-crust women were thought to suffer from a nervous ailment, hysteria, caused by a “wandering uterus”—which doctors could relieve by using manual genital stimulation to induce, yes, healthful “paroxysms.” To make the process easier, the vibrator was born. From this ludicrous historical moment, Wexler has created a romantic farce of a film (starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy, released to theaters in May and available on DVD September 18) that never uses the word “orgasm” but includes several of them, strictly therapeutic and properly veiled, in a doctor’s office.


Jacqueline Austin ’75, coproducer, sound director, and co–interface designer
Treasure Island
Cyberia Media, $3.99

In an iPad app downloadable from iTunes, Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic adventure story has been transformed into a kind of digital pop-up book for children. There’s plenty of text to read, but there are also music, sound effects, and animated illustrations. With a swipe of the screen, kids can fire cannons, bring a spyglass into focus, or turn day into night. Grown-ups might enjoy it, too.


More works by Yale authors

Michael Apuzzo ’05
Flying Threw Yellow: A Drive Through Life without Breaking
Factcar Publishing, $26

Michael Astrue ’78
Tibullus’ Elegies
Oxford University Press, $14.95

Leslie Brody ’83
The Last Kiss: A True Story of Love, Joy, and Loss
TitleTown Publishing, $22.95

Pauline A. Chen ’90JD
The Red Chamber
Knopf Books, $26.95

Robert M. Cipes ’57
Harvard Unleashed
Inkwater Press, $25.95

David M. Darst ’69
Voyager 3: Fifty-Four Phases of Feeling
Seapoint Books, $24

Abigail L. Donovan ’98, ’03MD, and Laura M. Praeger MD
Suicide by Security Blanket and Other Stories from the Child Psychiatry Emergency Service: What Happens to Children with Acute Mental Illness
Praeger, $37

Aaron M. Ellison ’82, Nicholas J. Gotelli, Elizabeth J. Farnsworth, and Gary D. Alpert
A Field Guide to the Ants of New England
Yale University Press, $29.95

Robert E. Galloway ’73MD
Unity of Woman: Naturally African: The Unity of Woman, Nature, and African Sculptured Form, $14.95

Warren Meredith Harris ’71MDiv
The Night Ballerina
Brickhouse Books, $12

Gary Hart ’61Div, ’64Law
Fulcrum Publishing, $15.95

Gretchen Heefner ’09PhD
The Missile Next Door: The Minuteman in the American Heartland
University of Harvard Press, $35

Michael Henle ’70PhD
Which Numbers are Real?
Mathematical Association of America, $53

Seth Jacobs ’86
The Universe Unraveling: American Foreign Policy in Cold War Laos
Cornell University Press, $35

Sarah S. Kilborne ’90
American Phoenix: The Remarkable Story of William Skinner, a Man Who Turned Disaster into Destiny
Free Press, $28

E. J. Levy ’86
Amazons: A Love Story
University of Missouri Press, $24.95

Helen Phillips ’04
Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green
Delacorte Press,$17.99

Carlin Romano ’77
America the Philosophical
Knopf Books, $35

Andrew Rosenheim ’76
Fear Itself: A Novel
Overlook Press, $25.95

Lori Rotskoff ’99PhD
When We Were Free to Be: Looking Back at a Children’s Classic and the Difference It Made
University of North Carolina Press, $30

James Salzman ’85
Drinking Water: A History
Overlook, $27.95

Andrew Solomon ’85
Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
Scribner, $35

Deanna A. Thompson ’92Div
Hoping for More: Having Cancer, Talking Faith, and Accepting Grace
Cascade Books, $19

Lanny Vincent ’78MDiv
Prisoners of Hope: How Engineers and Others Get Lift for Innovating
Westbow Press, $19.95


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