Faculty Summer Reading: G.W. Carlson

Today we’ll start an occasional June series with summer reading recommendations from Bethel’s history professors. We’ll start — where else? — with the famously bibliophilic G.W. Carlson.

Considering how voraciously GW read while teaching full-time, it’s scary to think how many books might be consumed now that he’s retired. But he limited himself to just a few suggestions for this post, understanding that most of us can’t keep up his pace. Prices listed refer to the hardcover copy of the book available at or through one of GW’s favorite St. Paul bookstores, Common Good Books. (No Kindle, no Amazon or Barnes & Noble, naturally!)

John Grisham, Calico Joe ($24.95)

“A short novel which explores the issues of forgiveness and reconciliation about an obnoxious professional baseball playing father who beans an up and coming young star. The young player is seriously injured. Can the two reconcile is the objective of the baseball player’s son.”

Unsworth, A Portrait of Pacifists

John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change ($22.99)

“A short reflection by a major figure of the civil rights movement and long-time congressman from Georgia. He defines the values behind the civil rights movement and the continued search for the ‘beloved community.’ It illustrates well why some are angry at today’s efforts to disenfranchise voters by measures which ‘suppress the vote.'”

Robert A. Unsworth, A Portrait of Pacifists: Le Chambon, the Holocaust and the Lives of André and Magde Trocmé ($29.95)

“A new biography of some courageous Christian dissenters (‘righteous Gentiles’) who played a significant role in challenging the Holocaust by hiding Jews as they came into the French town of Le Chambon.”

Martin Marty, Building Cultures of Trust ($23.00)

“A preeminent church historian who attempts to suggests ways in which the religious communities can play a role in helping America reduce political and religious incivility and search for the common good.”

Angus Roxburgh, The Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the Struggle for Russia ($28.00)

“BBC Moscow correspondent who writes an intriguing analysis of the politics of Russia. A solid reflective essay on the new ‘authoritarianism’ in Russia.”

Read the next entry in this series>>

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