Social Sciences division launches first annual summer reading list

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The reading list includes diverse titles selected by faculty, students, staff, and even the chancellor.

What happens when you ask UC Santa Cruz faculty, staff, alumni, and students from the Division of Social Sciences - and even the Chancellor - for book recommendations related to themes of social justice, citizenship, ethics, and social responsibility?

You get the First Annual Division of Social Sciences Summer Reading List – a diverse selection that will inspire those who challenge the status quo and question authority.

From politics to psychedelics, the reading list takes you on vicarious journeys from the heart of the UCSC campus to the corners of China and Chile, Nicaragua and New Mexico. You could go deep sea fishing or deep mountain mining. You could explore ancient medicine in contemporary culture and then learn more about the modern healthcare crisis. You can find out the myths and misconceptions of organic agriculture and then consult the manual that champions better organic farming practices.  

Chancellor Blumenthal’s contribution takes you from war to peace through the lens of Leon Panetta’s recently published autobiography about his experiences as the nation’s defense secretary and CIA director.

Additional topics on the list explore financial markets and morals, gay and lesbian rights, gender and governance, as well as one book that offers practical and positive advice for creating social and political change. In sum, the list is a reminder about the power of interdisciplinary research and learning – a founding principle of the UC Santa Cruz campus.

Between a political memoir, 22 works of nonfiction, and a novel, the First Annual Division of Social Sciences Summer Reading List is an impressive range of titles that will undoubtedly carry avid readers into fall, winter, and spring. Perhaps, in true Santa Cruz style, it should be called the Endless Summer Reading List?