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Books & Recordings is a compilation of recent work by University alumni, faculty, and staff. For inclusion in an upcoming issue, send the work’s title, publisher, author, or performer, a brief description, and a high-resolution cover image to Books & Recordings, Rochester Review, 22 Wallis Hall, Box 270044, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0044; or by email to


Thinking In and About Music: Analytical Reflections on Milton Babbitt’s Music and Thought

Zachary Bernstein explores the “idiosyncratic synthesis” of analytic philosophy, cognitive science, and the ideas of Viennese theorist Heinrich Schenker that Babbitt brought to bear on his music and writings. Bernstein is an assistant professor of music theory at Eastman. (Oxford University Press)

Isle of Devils, Isle of Saints: An Atlantic History of Bermuda, 1609–1684

Michael Jarvis, an associate professor of history at Rochester, shows how Bermuda—free of humans when Europeans encountered it in 1505—became the nexus of English colonial expansion, “the first of England’s colonies to produce a successful staple, form a stable community, turn a profit, transplant civic institutions, and harness bound African knowledge and labor.” (Johns Hopkins University Press)

10 Days that Shaped Modern Canada

Aaron Hughes, the Philip S. Bernstein Professor of Religious Studies and Dean’s Professor of the Humanities at Rochester and a native of Canada, selects and explains 10 one-day events that shaped the political, social, cultural, and demographic circumstances of modern Canada. (University of Alberta Press)

Music and Performance in the Book of Hours

Michael Anderson, an associate professor of musicology at Eastman, uncovers the musical foundations and performance suggestions of popular guides to prayer in the late Middle Ages. (Routledge)

How Covid Crashed the System: A Guide to Fixing American Health Care

David Nash ’81M (MD) coauthors an analysis of the problems of the American health care system that led the US to have one of the worst COVID-19 outcomes of any modern industrialized nation. Nash is the founding dean emeritus and the Dr. Raymond C. and Doris N. Grandon Professor of Health Policy at Thomas Jefferson University’s Jefferson College of Population Health in Philadelphia. (Rowman &Littlefield)

The Bitter End: The 2020 Presidential Campaign and the Challenge to American Democracy

Lynn Vavreck ’97 (PhD) coauthors an analysis of the 2020 US presidential campaign that identifies it as a turning point in the calcification of presidential outcomes. Vavreck is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics and Public Policy at UCLA. (Princeton University Press)

Pain Is Weakness Leaving the Body: A Marine’s Unbecoming

Historian and Afghan War veteran Lyle Jeremy Rubin ’20 (PhD) offers “an honest reckoning with the war on terror, masculinity, and the violence of American hegemony abroad, at home, and on the psyche, from a veteran whose convictions came undone.” Rubin’s writings have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, the Guardian, and the journal n + 1. (Bold Type Books)

Inventing Philosophy’s Other: Phenomenology in America

In the first systematic study of the phenomenological movement in the US, historian Jonathan Strassfeld ’20 (PhD) explores the analytic-Continental schism within academic philosophy, demonstrating the way in which it has obscured the significant influence phenomenology has had on 20th-century American intellectual discourse, and the promise that it holds. (University of Chicago Press)

The Brain: Discover the Ways Your Mind Works

Julia Sklar ’14 authors a National Geographic Magazine single-topic “bookazine” incorporating the latest research on the human brain. (Meredith Corporation)

Right for the Role

John Levey ’69 traces his rise from novice casting director to four-time Emmy Award winner for his role in casting the drama series ER and The West Wing. (Legacy Launch Pad Publishing)

Tales of a Distance: Poems

Andrew Gottlieb ’92 presents his first book-length collection of poems. His work has appeared in American Fiction, Arts &Letters, Best New Poets, and other journals. (Trail to Table Books)

The Musician’s Guide to Digital Marketing

Kevin Carr ’15, a digital marketer and writer based in California, offers practical digital marketing strategies for musicians. (Self-published)

The French Monarchical Commonwealth, 1356–1560

James Collins ’72, a professor of history at Georgetown University, explores the relationship between everyday politics and political theory in France from the Hundred Years’ War through the beginning of the early modern period. (Cambridge University Press)

Taking Sides in Revolutionary New Jersey: Caught in the Crossfire

Maxine Lurie ’63 (MA), a professor emerita at Seton Hall University, explores the bitter conflicts among New Jersey colonists during the Revolutionary War. (Rutgers University Press)

Rape in Period Drama Television: Consent, Myth, and Fantasy

Julie Taddeo ’87, ’97 (PhD), a research professor of history at the University of Maryland, coauthors an exploration of the representation of rape and rape myths in recent period dramas. (Rowman &Littlefield) Taddeo also coedited the essay collection Diagnosing History: Medicine in Period Drama Television. (Manchester University Press)

POLL-ARIZED: Why Americans Don’t Trust the Polls—and How to Fix Them Before It’s Too Late

John Geraci ’87, ’89S (MBA), founder and president of Crux Research, blends data and interviews with leading pollsters in a critique of the American polling system. (Houndstooth Press)

Laughing Histories: From the Renaissance Man to the Woman of Wit

Joy Wiltenburg ’76, ’78 (MA), a professor emerita of history at Rowan University, presents a history of laughter in early modern Europe, showing how laughter was inflected by gender and social power. (Routledge)

Inclusalytics: How Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leaders Use Data to Drive Their Work

Allison Goldstein ’08 coauthors a guide for leaders of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives to gather, measure, track, and use data to determine strategy. (Independently published)


Chopin: Sonatas

Alexander Kobrin, an associate professor of piano at Eastman, performs all three of Chopin’s piano sonatas in a two-CD set. (Quartz)

The Paper-Lined Shack

Composer Jeff Beal ’85E presents a narrative song cycle based on the diary of his great-grandmother, with a libretto composed by Joan Beal ’84E. The work is performed by soprano Hilaa Plitmann with the Eastman Philharmonia conducted by Leonard Slatkin. The recording includes a second work, Things Unseen, originally written for Eastman’s Ying Quartet and performed by the New Hollywood String Quartet. (Supertrain Records)

The New Black: Darrell Grant Live at Birdland

Jazz composer and pianist Darrell Grant ’84E leads a quartet in a two-night performance at New York City’s Birdland in 2019, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of his seminal debut album, Black Art. (Lair Hill Records)

Music for Film / Volume 1

The BQE Project, led by Tom Nazziola ’88E, features excerpts from Nazziola’s original scores for silent films and early talkies. The BQE Project also includes Dan Willis (Daniel Wieloszynski) ’90E, Bill Hayes ’84RC, Conrad Harris ’91E, Gregg August ’87E, Joe Tompkins ’92E, and Greg Chudzik ’06E. (Goju Records)

Steve Reich

Percussion ensembles Nexus and Sō Percussion perform several early and one late work by the legendary minimalist composer Reich. Nexus includes Bill Cahn ’68E and Bob Becker ’69E, ’71E (MM); Jason Treuting ’99E is a member of Sō Percussion. (Nexus)

A Broken Anthology of Western Music

The classically trained, multigenre, and comedic group Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet presents “a whirlwind tour of the history of Western music, finally restoring all those bassoon parts that composers forgot to write!” Founded at Eastman, “BWBQ” includes Brittany Harrington-Smith ’10E, Yuki Katayama Poole ’11E, Kara La Moure ’10E, and Lauren Yu Ziemba ’11E. (Trevco Music)

Orchestra And . . .

Composer and conductor Joel Suben ’69E—founder, executive vice president, and artistic director of Save the Music—presents a collection of his orchestral works from 1976 to 2008. The works are performed by the Moravian Philharmonic, the Slovak Radio Symphony, and the Žerotín Choir, and are conducted by Suben. (Coeles)

Das stille Leuchten

Clara O’Brien ’86E (MM) performs songs by Swiss composer Othmar Schoeck. O’Brien is a voice professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. (Ablaze Records)

Dark Matters: Carillon Music of Stephen Rush

Tiffany Ng ’08E (MM), chair of the University of Michigan’s organ department and the university’s carillonist, performs a recital in Ann Arbor of works by the University of Michigan pianist, composer, and author Stephen Rush ’85E (DMA). (Innova Records)