Book Club

Recently published books by alumni

Writer: 

We asked Maureen Farrell ’01 about The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion (Crown), which she cowrote with Eliot Brown—the saga of the rise and fall of one of the most-valuable and most-hyped start-ups and its unusual leader.

Duke Magazine: What struck me in this book is that there’s something about the idea of a visionary that really captures people and that was a big driver in this story.

We can discover our shared humanity (with some help from Harper Lee)

Writer: 

On March 16, 2021, a gunman opened fire in an Asian-owned business in metro Atlanta, killing four people. He then drove about thirty miles south targeting another Asian business, where he killed three more people. And then, he crossed the street to a third Asian business and killed another person. In the span of an hour, eight people were fatally shot, six of whom were Asian women. Two days after the shootings, my favorite teacher from high school, a man I admired, took to social media and declared that race had nothing to do with the crimes.

Recently published books by alumni

Writer: 

We asked Monica West ’99 about Revival Season (Simon & Schuster), a coming-of-age story about the daughter of an evangelical preacher who each year takes his family on the road to heal souls and bodies.

On her not-straight-path to becoming a novelist

Recently published books by alumni

Writer: 

WE ASKED

Theodore D. Segal ’77, a lawyer, Center for Documentary Studies board member, and author of Point of Reckoning: The Fight for Racial Justice at Duke University (Duke University Press), about his deep dive into the university’s history.

On finishing a project that started as a master’s thesis, after a forty-year pause

Recently published books by alumni

Writer: 

WE ASKED Marjoleine Kars ’82, Ph.D. ’94, an associate professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and author of Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast (The New Press), about how she found this untold story and what compelled her to write about it.

I realized...the solace of books

Writer: 

On October 3, 2009, more than 300 Taliban fighters overran Combat Outpost Keating, the outpost held by my reconnaissance troop of seventy-six cavalry scouts. During the eighteen-hour battle, the Taliban killed eight soldiers, wounded nineteen more, and burned our base to the ground. Describing my unit’s mission, President Obama asserted we had to “defend the indefensible.” This was the longest day of my life, but it only prefaced a struggle that has lasted for years.

I realized...I needed to write

Writer: 

When I walked out of my law job for the last time onto bustling Madison Avenue in 2011, I knew I was taking a risk. The 80 percent pay cut didn’t fully capture it; I was giving up a set salary for the precarious, gig-to-gig life of a tutor, the same one I had lived in my twenties before law school. I would be without health insurance; I still had six figures of student loan debt; my Visa was maxed out from re-furnishing my entire apartment because of a bed-bug scare.

The Common Wind

Alumnus' underground history sensation gets its due

Writer: 

Even when published in book form, academic dissertations rarely get much attention. But “The Common Wind: Afro-American Currents in the Age of the Haitian Revolution,” which earned Julius S. Scott Ph.D. ’86 his doctorate, is the rare exception. After its completion in 1987, “The Common Wind” attracted interest from a few publishers. But Scott was not prepared to undertake the revisions that publishers and he himself felt were necessary.

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