Selected by the chairs of various departments

Souls of Black Folk 
W.E. DuBois
New American Library, 1982
"A classic text on African Americans which was first published in 1903. It was DuBois who correctly predicted that the "color line" would be the major issue of the 20th century. DuBois, an early Black scholar, was the father of empirical research in sociology, and in this definitive study combined the approaches of the humanities and social sciences in a effort to capture the complexities of African American life in the United States. His language is eloquent and his grasp of the subject matter brilliant. It is required reading for the informed college student."
Margaret B. Wilkerson, Afro-American Studies

The Double Helix
James Watson
Norton, 1980
"The race to discover the structure on DNA, the 'stuff of life,' as told by Nobel Laureate James Watson who, together with Francis Crick, achieved this remarkable feat. This slim volume embodies the creative spirit of scientific inquiry, the excitement born of intellectual curiosity, the results of purposeful dedication and determination; and, yes, the all-too-human qualities of not-so-friendly competition among equals."
Herbert H. Srebnik, Biology

Cuentos:  Stores by Latinas
Edited by A. Gomez, C. Moraga, and M.R. Carmona
Kitchen Table, 1983
"This collection of short stories deals with Chicano issues. One story in particular is about a young woman in her first year of college. Readers will gain insight into what it is like to be a Chicano in the majority society."
Margarita Melville, Ethnic Studies

The Golden Gate: a novel in verse
Vikram Seth
Random House, 1986
"An engaging and considered view on life in the Bay Area written in verse. The manipulation of the verse form, which is influenced by the Penguin translation of Pushkin's Evganii Onegin is surprisingly fluent. But it is the depth Seth gives to his characters, their involvement with each other, and in the peace movement, against a backdrop of Bay Area life that is so wonderful. This is a book from which readers of every age can learn. Seth's biography in verse shows clearly that he shares students' experiences."
Philip Brett, Music

The Bluest Eye
Toni Morrison
Washington Square Press, 1972
"This book is about a young black woman who moves from the South to the Northeast and who believes that if she only had blue eyes she would be accepted. The story probes stereotypes and identity and gives the readers an understanding of what it means to be African American."
Margarita Melville, Ethnic Studies

Ishi in Two Worlds: a biography of the last wild Indian in North America
Theodora Kroeber
University of California Press, 1972
"Ishi was the last California Indian to continue the ancient ways of living off the land, long after whites had settled throughout California. This is the story of experience. It is a true story and helps one to understand the transition that American Indians made from their ancestral way of life to that of other Americans."
William Simmons, Anthropology

Chaos: making a new science
James Gleick
Vicking, 1987
"This is an exceptionally well written popular account of a new field of applied mathematics that cuts across physics, biology, economics, weather prediction and more. It explains snowflakes, market fluctuations, cloud formation, coast lines, complex magnetic fields, population growth and many other topics of everyday life in terms of a remarkable new mathematical framework made understandable to a lay audience. The illustrations are marvelous and startling. It is by far the best popular science book out in years."
T. Kenneth Fowler, Nuclear Engineering

A Sand County Almanac
Aldo Leopol
Oxford University Press, 1987
"A Sand County Almanac recounts the experiences of Aldo Leopold on a small abandoned farm in Wisconsin. Leopold paints a picture of the changing seasons and the wildlife on this old farm to develop an environment ethic. His writing is at times poetic and always forceful with regard to our responsibility for the environment. I first read this book as a student and since have come back to it many times for inspiration and a rededication to the wise use of natural resources and the protection of our environment."
Joe R. McBride, Forestry and Resource Management

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