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Why Football Matters: My Education in the Game
Mark Edmundson ’85PhD

Penguin Press, $26.95

“I grew up watching football with my father,” says the author of this soul-searching memoir. Edmundson writes about the sport and the way it shaped him, about his relationship with his football-playing son, and about how “knowingly or not we take what we’ve learned from the game out into the world.” Plato would have called football a pharmakon, an elixir and a poison, notes Edmundson in his exploration of what America’s Game gives and takes away.


The Architecture of Paul Rudolph
Timothy M. Rohan ’91

Yale, $65

Build, Memory
James Stewart Polshek ’55MArch

Monacelli, $60

Two compelling new monographs trace the careers of two very different architects whose working lives overlapped by decades: a solitary, uncompromising artist (Rudolph) and a gregarious team player willing to design structures that engaged with existing buildings (Polshek). Timothy Rohan examines the complicated legacy of the late former Yale architecture chair Rudolph, highlighting many of his enlightened ideas about urbanism and human scale, ideas that are easy to overlook given the severity of his concrete buildings. Polshek tells his own stories, describing in a memoirist’s voice 16 of his projects—including the restoration of Carnegie Hall, the planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, and the Clinton presidential center—built over five decades.


Invisible City: A Novel
Julia Dahl ’99

St. Martin’s Press, $24.99

On a frigid midwinter day in a Brooklyn scrap yard, young journalist Rebekah Roberts is looking at a mountain of old metal, out of which protrudes a foot: a foot attached, she will learn, to a naked, bald female who happens to have been, in life, a Hasidic Jew. In this fast-paced page-turner, Rebekah investigates the murder—drawn to it partly out of a wish to find her mother, who had abandoned her baby daughter and Christian boyfriend to return to her Hasidic community in Brooklyn. Along the way, Rebekah will confront New York cronyism, personal risk, and her own past.


Lost and Found in Johannesburg: A Memoir
Mark Gevisser ’87

Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $27

When the author was a young boy growing up in apartheid South Africa (where he still lives part-time), he invented a game in which he traced routes through the street guide to Johannesburg. Gradually, he realized that the guide had gaps where black townships should have been and that those gaps implied something very strange. Inevitably, the game “took me to places I was not meant to go,” writes Gevisser in a poignant examination of race, sexuality, and family history.


The Origins of Western Law from Athens to the Code Napoleon
John E. Ecklund ’38, ’41LLB; Constance Cryer Ecklund ’65PhD, editor

Talbot Publishing, $185

In a two-volume book for which the word magisterial is entirely appropriate, Ecklund, a prominent New Haven attorney who also served as Yale’s treasurer from 1965 to 1978, and his wife Constance, who edited the work after her husband’s death in 2000, provide a comprehensive and readable look at the history and philosophical underpinnings of our legal system.


Yael Ben-Zion ’01LLM, ’04JSD

Kehrer, $50

Ben-Zion is a New York City–based photographer who veered away from a legal career when she took a photography course at the Yale School of Art. Her work often explores the relationship between the personal and the political; this collection of luminous and subtly revealing photographs of mixed-heritage couples—different races, different countries of origin, or different religions—and their children offers an intimate look at how these differences play out.

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