New Reads This Spring from Duke Authors

Explore economic insecurity, character, the science of a Carolina beach and the banjo

Part of the A Guide to Faculty Books Series

Harris Solomon book

Harris Solomon's new book, published by Duke Univerity Press, looks at nutrition in India. Courtesy Duke University Press

Bring on the warmer weather, pop open a lawn chair, and grab a title from this diverse stack of spring books representing the latest in scholarship and fiction from Duke faculty and staff. Here are the new and forthcoming releases, spanning anthropology, religion, global health, politics and statecraft. 

Many of the books, including new editions of previous titles, can be found on the "Duke Authors" display shelves near the circulation desk in Perkins Library. Some are available as e-books for quick download. Most can also be purchased through the Gothic Bookshop.

[Duke Today will provide similar updates in the future. If you are a member of the Duke faculty or staff who will be publishing a book of interest to a general audience, send us a message about it along with your publisher's brief description.]


Julie Tetel Andresen: “Knocked Out: An MMA-Inspired Romance” Forest Breeze Book 3. (Amazon)

In both novels and scholarship, Julie Tetel Andresen has written about language and love for more than 20 years. A professor of linguistics, Andresen has written more than 20 romance novels and novellas. Before moving to publish exclusively on the Amazon Kindle library, she was published by Fawcett Crest, Warner Books and Harlequin. Her latest novel tackles issues at the forefront in the fight against human trafficking.


Jonathan Anomaly, Geoffrey Brennan, ‎Michael C. Munger and Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, co-authors: “Philosophy, Politics, and Economics: An Anthology” (Oxford University Press)

This anthology provides a comprehensive overview of the central topics in this rapidly expanding field. Brennan is research professor of political science at Duke, professor of philosophy at UNC-Chapel Hill and professor of economics at the Australian National University. Munger is professor of political science and economics at Duke. All four authors teach in and are members of the Duke-UNC Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.


Dan Ariely, contributor: “A Fragile Balance: Emergency Savings and Liquid Resources for Low-Income Consumers” (Palgrave Macmillan)

The Duke behavioral economist is the co-author of “Refund to Savings: Creating Contingency Savings at Tax Time,” a chapter in this study of economic insecurity and search for innovative solutions.


Adrian Bejan, "The Physics of Life" (St. Martin's Press, May 24)

Bejan, chair professor of mechanical engineering at Duke and developer of the Constructal Law of design and evolution in nature, examines the deepest urges and properties of living things, both animate and inanimate: how to live longer, with food, warmth, power, movement and free access to other people and surroundings. “The Physics of Life” argues that the evolution phenomenon is much broader and older than the evolutionary designs that constitute the biosphere.




Hal Brands, co-editor: “The Power of the Past: History and Statecraft” (Brookings Institution Press)

Brands, a historian and an associate professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy, has both historians and policymakers address how history influences foreign policy and offer insights on how the study of the past can serve the present.


Linda Burton and Raymond D. Garrett-Peters, contributors: “Female Students and Cultures of Violence in Cities” (Routledge Studies in Education and Neoliberalism)

Burton, a professor of sociology and dean of social sciences, and Garrett-Peters, a sociology instructor at Duke, contribute to this volume, which focuses on the reality of violence in the lives of urban school girls and presents suggestions for change.


Stephen Chapman, “1 Samuel as Christian Scripture: A Theological Commentary” (Eerdmans Publishing Co., April 2016)

This work by Chapman, an associate professor of Old Testament, reveals the theological drama at the heart of 1 Samuel as it probes the tension between civil religion and vital religious faith through the characters of Saul and David.


Stephen Chapman, co-editor: “The Cambridge Companion to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament” (Cambridge University Press)

Providing an “snapshot” of contemporary scholarship on the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament, this introduction includes essays specially commissioned for this volume by 23 leading scholars. The volume covers the historical and religious contexts for the contents of the biblical canon, and critical approaches and methods, as well as newer topics such as the Hebrew Bible in Islam, Western art and literature, and contemporary politics.


Norman Christensen, co-author: “The Environment and You” Second edition. (Pearson)

Christensen, professor emeritus of environmental sciences & policy and the founding dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment, joins co-author Lissa Leege in giving a new generation of students reason to be hopeful about environmental challenges by emphasizing the role that science plays in environmental problem solving.



Charles T. Clotfelter, contributor: “The Pursuit of Racial and Ethnic Equality in American Public Schools: Mendez, Brown, and Beyond” (Michigan State University Press)

Clotfelter, a professor of public policy, economics and law, helps trace the history of school desegregation in the United States. He and the other contributors also reflect on possible remedies for the racial and ethnic disparities that continue in our public schools.


Dr. Thomas J. Cummings, contributor: “The Soul of Success Vol. 1: The World’s Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Reveal Their Core Strategies for Getting to the Heart of Health Wealth and Success” (CelebrityPress)

Cummings, a professor of pathology, contributed a chapter titled “How to Thrive in Medical School and Academia.”


Laurent Dubois: “The Banjo: America’s African Instrument” (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)

Attuned to a rich heritage spanning continents and cultures, Dubois, a professor of romance studies and history, traces the banjo from humble origins in Africa, revealing how it became one of the great stars of American musical life. Dubois told a Faculty Bookwatch audience that his inspiration for the book came out of his interests in Haitian and Caribbean history, and he explored the questions behind the banjo’s origins and traditions.


Bill Fick, co-author: “Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials & Processes” (Laurence King Publishing)

Fick is a printmaker and visiting assistant professor in the in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies who has exhibited his work internationally. He is also the director of Cockeyed Press, which specializes in the production of satirical linocut prints.


Owen Flanagan, contributor: “Developing Moral Sensitivity” (Routledge)

Flanagan, James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy and a professor of psychology and neuroscience, helps explore the concept of moral sensitivity and how it develops, beginning with a natural moral capacity for sensitivity toward others that is shaped in a variety of ways through relationships, forms of teaching and social institutions.


Owen Flanagan, contributor: “The Philosophical Challenge from China” (The MIT Press)

Flanagan joins leading scholars from East and West who are working at the intersection of traditional Chinese philosophy and mainstream analytic philosophy.


José M. González, editor: “Diachrony: Diachronic Studies of Ancient Greek Literature and Culture” (De Gruyter)

González, an assistant professor of classical studies, showcases how the study of changes in the Greek language are significant for the interpretation of ancient Greek literature and culture.


Dr. Jeffrey Guptill, Dr. Donald Sanders, contributors: “Bradley’s Neurology in Clinical Practice” Seventh Edition. (Elsevier)

Assistant Professor of Neurology Dr. Jeffrey Guptill and Professor of Neurology Dr. Donald Sanders wrote the “Disorders of Neuromuscular Transmission” chapter in this new edition, a resource for both practicing neurologists and trainees.



Aruna Gurumurthy: “DIYA: A Megawatt Approach to Change” (CreateSpace)

Born in Mumbai, Gurumurthy, a medical researcher, lived in different parts of India before she crossed continents to attend graduate school in Amherst, Mass. With candor and humor, she reflects in her first book on new beginnings, everyday challenges and expansive dreams, sharing her vision of a world brought together. She believes true change can happen when one immerses oneself in the community and empathizes with others’ minds.


Dr. John D. Hamilton: “The History of Infectious Diseases at Duke University in the Twentieth Century” (Lulu Press, Inc.)

Hamilton, a professor emeritus of medicine, draws upon his extensive experiences with other faculty members and staff to provide an insider’s account of some of the more prevalent and/or serious diseases, the physicians and researchers studying them, and the programs supporting them at Duke and the Durham VA Medical Center.


Jennifer Hawkins, Warren Kinghorn, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Jesse Summers, contributors: “Philosophy and Psychiatry: Problems, Intersections and New Perspectives” (Routledge)

The Duke faculty contributors draw from a variety of fields, including evolutionary psychiatry, biopsychosocial models, psychoanalysis, neuroscience, neuroethics and behavioral economics. The book’s structure consists of two parts: in the first, philosophers write five lead essays with replies from psychiatrists. In the second part, this arrangement is reversed.


Richard B. Hays, “Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels” (Baylor University Press, June 2016)

Hays, a former dean and currently professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School, chronicles the different ways the four Gospel writers interpreted Israel's Scripture and reveals that their readings were as complementary as they were faithful. In this sequel to his “Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul,” Hays highlights the theological consequences of the Gospel writers' distinctive hermeneutical approaches and asks what it might mean for contemporary readers to attempt to read Scripture through the eyes of the Evangelists.


L. Gregory Jones: “Christian Social Innovation: Renewing Wesleyan Witness” (Abingdon Press, May 2016)

Jones, a professor of Christian ministry and former dean in the Divinity School, says faith communities have their own need for innovation, demonstrated in a growing interest in starting new churches, developing fresh expressions for gatherings of community and discussions about how to cultivate a renewed sense of mission.


Lisa A. Keister, co-editor: “A Gedenkschrift to Randy Hodson: Working with Dignity” (Research in the Sociology of Work; Emerald Group Publishing Limited)

Randy Hodson was one of contemporary sociology's central figures in the study of work, occupations and inequality. This volume pays tribute to his important scholarly contributions. Keister, a professor of sociology, and other scholars contribute chapters building on his research in work conditions, worker resistance and social stratification.


Robin Kirk: “Peculiar Motion” (Finishing Line Press)

Kirk, a lecturer in the Department of Cultural Anthropology and co-chair of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, has published her first poetry collection -- 28 poems describing the arc of a life through first love to the encroaching realities of age. She named the collection after the astronomical term describing the motion of galaxies. “I came across the term when I was reading about how the universe is expanding,” Kirk says. “But a few galaxies are actually moving inwards, against what the theory predicts. I thought this was a lovely metaphor for life. Things don’t always go according to plan and that’s what this collection is about.”


Wesley Kort: “Reading C.S. Lewis: A Commentary” (Oxford University Press)

Kort, a professor emeritus of religion and author of “C. S. Lewis Then and Now,” examines Lewis' major works, investigating why and at what points he turns to religion -- and particularly to Christianity -- to advance his arguments.



Mark Leary, contributor: “Character: New Directions from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology” (Oxford University Press)

Leary, a professor of psychology and neuroscience, contributes to this collection containing new work being done on the subject of character. These papers stem from the work of the Character Project at Wake Forest University.


Randy Maddox, co-editor: “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, Annotated” (Beacon Hill Press)

Maddox, a professor of theology and Methodist studies in the Divinity School, and co-editor Paul  Chilcote have annotated this edition of John Wesley’s foundational text to identify Wesley's sources and clarify his citations and allusions. Wesley’s original notes are also included.


Melanie Manion: “Information for Autocrats: Representation in Chinese Local Congresses” Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics (Cambridge University Press)

Manion, a professor of political science who studied philosophy and political economy at Peking University in the late 1970s, investigates the new representation unfolding in China. Manion argues that representation in local congresses taps local knowledge for local governance, thereby bolstering the rule of autocrats in Beijing.


Thomas Nechyba: “Microeconomics: An Intuitive Approach, 2nd Edition” (Cengage Learning)

This new edition of the economic professor’s textbook offers flexibility in topical coverage and includes activities that build upon each other to foster connections among concepts. Microeconomic theory is presented as a way of looking at the world.


Orrin Pilkey, co-author: “Lessons from the Sand: Family-Friendly Science Activities You Can Do on a Carolina Beach” (UNC Press, April 25)

Pilkey, (above) professor emeritus of Earth and Ocean Sciences, has teamed with his son Charles, an artist and writer living in Mint Hill, N.C., to give families easy-to-do experiments for discovering the ways water, wind, sand, plants, animals and people interact to shape the constantly changing beaches we love to visit and the environmental issues that threaten them.


Luke A. Powery, co-author: “Ways of the Word: Learning to Preach for Your Time and Place” (Fortress Press)

Powery, the dean of Duke Chapel and an associate professor of the practice of homiletics at Duke Divinity School, and his co-author Sally Brown share a belief that preaching is a spirit-empowered event – “an embodied, vocalized, actively received, here-and-now witness to the ongoing work of God in the world.” In this book they offer support to students and preachers alike in contexts that are diverse religiously, culturally and ethnically, both inside and outside the church.


Alexander Rosenberg: “Philosophy of Social Science” Fifth edition (Westview Press)

For this new edition, the Duke philosophy professor retains from previous editions an illuminating interpretation of the enduring relations between the social sciences and philosophy, and reflects on developments in social research over the past two decades that have informed and renewed debate in the philosophy of social science. An expanded discussion of philosophical anthropology and modern and postmodern critical theory is new for this edition.


Gabriel Rosenberg, contributor: “Queering the Countryside” (NYU Press)

As part of this book’s journey into an unexplored slice of life in rural America, Rosenberg, an assistant professor in the Program in Women's Studies, focuses on how heterosexuality is reproduced at the 4-H Club. He is also author of “The 4-H Harvest: Sexuality and the State in Rural America.”


One True Life

C. Kavin Rowe, “One True Life: The Stoics and Early Christians as Rival Traditions,” (Yale University Press)

In this interdisciplinary work of philosophy and biblical studies, New Testament professor C. Kavin Rowe explores the promise and problems inherent in engaging rival philosophical claims to what is true.


Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, editor: “Finding Consciousness: The Neuroscience, Ethics, and Law of Severe Brain Damage” (Oxford Series in Neuroscience, Oxford University Press)

Sinnott-Armstrong, professor of practical ethics, addresses questions raised by new brain-scanning methods that are detecting consciousness in some severely brain damaged patients.


Harris Solomon: “Metabolic Living: Food, Fat, and the Absorption of Illness in India” (Duke University Press)

In “Metabolic Living,” Solomon, an assistant professor in the Department of Cultural Anthropology, studies obesity and diabetes in Mumbai, India, presenting a new narrative of metabolic illness in which it is less about the overconsumption of food than it is about the body's relationship to its environment and the substances it absorbs.


Brian Southwell, Elizabeth Doran and Laura Richman, editors: “Innovations in Home Energy Use: A Sourcebook for Behavior Change” (RTI Press)

Ideas for the book came from a summit at Duke sponsored by the Bass Connections in Energy program. As a participant in the program, Richman, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, co-led Project LIT HoMES with fellow editor Brian Southwell, who teaches with Duke’s Energy Initiative and a researcher at RTI International. Chapters are written by Christopher Galik, a senior policy associate at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions; Liz Doran, an environmental engineer and a doctoral candidate in Earth and Ocean Sciences; Duke alumnus Jordan Thomas; and Charles Adair and Jason Elliott, of the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative.


Eleanor Stevenson, co-editor: “Fertility and Assisted Reproductive Technology: Theory, Practice, Policy, and Research for Nursing and Health Care Professionals” First Edition (Springer Publishing Company)

The book presents the latest research from global experts at the forefront of fertility and assisted reproductive technology health care. Eleanor Stevenson is an assistant professor of nursing at Duke’s School of Nursing.


William Willimon: “Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love” (Abingdon Press, May 2016) and “Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry” Revised Edition. (Abingdon Press)

Willimon, Divinity School professor and former Duke Chapel dean, invites readers to discover the distinctively Christian way of engaging the “outsider” in “Fear of the Other.”  In “Pastor, Willimon says ordained ministry is a gift of God to the church -- but that doesn't mean that it is easy, especially with changes in society and the church in recent years. The book draws on great teachers of the Christian tradition to demonstrate that, while much about Christian ministry has changed, its core concerns -- preaching the word, the care of souls, the sacramental life of congregations -- remains the same.