Books for Fall Semester 2018

As we have previously announced, MSC is no longer able to purchase books on behalf of students. Books that are required for a class are the student’s responsibility. Please read the following guidelines:

First, determine if a book is required or recommended/suggested for your course. Below you will find a list of fall term courses that have books assigned.

Books may be purchased through a local bookseller (leave ample time if it must be ordered), purchased online, downloaded, or borrowed from your local library.  Older out-of-copyright books are also available free or low-cost through Gutenberg and other sites.

A good way to start is to Google the book online to see what the possibilities are in both price and new or used condition. When you search for a book, use the author’s last name with the title. Note that instructors have provided ISBN numbers for their books. This is to ensure that all in the class obtain the same translation or edition of the book. (Having the same edition of a book may be important when a specific translation is preferred or where having the same edition may ease a class discussion.)

If you would like assistance in acquiring a book, please call the office (725-4900) or email

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Required Book: Mark Maslin, Climate: A Very Short Introduction, ISBN 9780199641130.

Suggested Book: Michael Bloomberg, Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet  ISBN 9781250142085.

American Literature:

Required Books:  Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, ISBN 9781604592320; Complete Poems of Whitman, ISBN 9781853264337; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, ISBN 9780553212266; Washington Square, ISBN 9780451416773; The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson, ISBN 9781593080501.

Instructor Recommendation: For those who prefer e-books, all but Douglass are available free at  Douglass is available for $2 at

Tall Ships:

Required Books: Sail Tall Ships! A Directory of Adventure and Education under Sail and The Voyages of Arthur Blackwell Mitchell (both books can be purchased from the instructor at reduced prices). 

Energy, Ecology, Economy:

Required Book: H.T. Odum and E.C. Odum,  A Prosperous Way Down: Principles and Policies, ISBN 9780870819087.

Japanese Culture:

Suggested (not Required) Reading:   Understanding Japanese Society (Fourth Edition) by Joy Hendry, published by Routledge  (Nissan Institute/Routledge Japanese Studies Series)  Fourth Edition published in 2013    ISBN:978-0-415-67914-5

The God Delusion:

Suggested (not Required) Book:  Richard DawkinsThe God Delusion, ISBN 0618680004 or 9780618680009.    

How the Great War Ended:

Required Book: Joseph Persico, Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour, ISBN 9780375760457.

The Era of Putin and Trump

Required Book:  L. Chukovsky, Sophia Petrovna, ISBN 9780810111509. 

Recommended Book:  Fyodor Dostoevsky (Author), David Patterson (Translator), Gary Saul Morson (Foreword), Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, 1st Edition,  ISBN  978-0810115187

Historical Hoaxes

Suggested Book: Kevin Young, Bunk, ISBN 9781555977917.

Thomas Mann: Magic Mountain

Required Book: Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain, transl. by John E. Woods, ISBN 9781400044214.

Story of Oil

Recommended Book: Daniel Yergin, The Prize, ISBN  9781439110126.   

Suggested Video:   A link to a 2016 eight-part NPR series based on Daniel Yergin’s “The Prize” and to other more recent programs on oil and energy is here.  Students who join the course may want to familiarize themselves with the series and other programs covered by the link on developments such as fracking that occurred after the second edition of The Prize was published in 2008.

As indicated above, there is no reading or viewing “requirement” for the course and thus no recommendation as to whether the  video should be substituted for, or replace, the book. It is up to you, the student, to decide if you would like to read the book, watch the video series, or do both or neither.

Louis XVI

Required Book: Alison Johnson, Louis XVI and the French Revolution (can be purchased from instructor at reduced price). 

Camus’ Literature of Revolt

Required Book: Albert Camus, The Plague (ed. Tony Judt), ISBN 9780141185132.

This edition of Camus’ The Plague can be ordered through Amazon – or, can be downloaded on Booktopia (

Neoliberalism and the Common Good

Required Book: Robert Reich, The Common Good, ISBN 9780525520498. 

Animal Behavior

Required Book: Tristram D. Wyatt, Animal Behavior: A Very Short Introduction, ISBN 9780198712152 


Suggested (but not Required) Book: Othello (ed. Alvin Kernan), ISBN 0451526856. 

Frances Perkins

Required Book: A Promise to All Generations: Stories and Essays about Social Security and Frances Perkins,  9780615417226 (can be bought from instructor at reduced price);  Kirstin Downey, The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins, ISBN 9781400078561. 

Supreme Court

Required Book: Michael G. Trachtman, The Supremes’ Greatest Hits, ISBN  9781454920779.    

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