Four book jackets

Loving in the Grown Zone: A No-Nonsense Guide to Making Healthy Decisions in the Quest for Loving, Romantic Relationships of Honor, Esteem, and Respect (Balboa Press, 2014) by Alfred A. Edmond Jr. RC’83 (a Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni inductee) and Zara D. Green. The authors argue that although “there may be no such thing as a perfect relationship, that is not justification for accepting anything less than healthy relationships,” one in which married couples or romantic partners recognize that “healthy, loving, resilient relationships are not a matter of luck or chance but of intention, learnable skills and practices, and commitment to personal growth.” The authors know of what they speak: they were deemed one of the 14 “most inspiring black couples” in 2014 by the website Black Love Forum.

Reluctant Witnesses: Survivors, Their Children, and the Rise of Holocaust Consciousness (Oxford University Press, 2014) by Arlene Stein. Even though the Holocaust is openly discussed these days and is an important instructional tool in schools, the topic went largely unaddressed during the two decades following World War II. Stein—a professor in the Department of Sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences and the daughter of a Holocaust survivor—presents part memoir, part history, and part analysis in charting the rise of consciousness as Jews have reclaimed their family histories surrounding the Holocaust, which has come to serve as a moral touchstone for the American public.

Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion, and the Search for Transformation (Rutgers University Press, 2014) by Robert Curvin. A visiting scholar at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and a native of Newark, New Jersey, Curvin NCAS’60, SSW’67 (a Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni inductee) traces the highs and lows of the city, from the prosperity of the 1950s through the tumultuous ’60s to the mayoralty of Cory Booker, and he cites a history of elected officials failing to rise to the challenges facing the city.

Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City (Cornell University Press, 2014) by Robert W. Snyder LC’77. The author, the director of the graduate program in American studies at Rutgers University–Newark, explains how disparate ethnic groups overcame their mutual suspicions and differences in the wake of the tumult of the 1970s to rehabilitate housing, build schools, and cooperate with the police to resuscitate the streets in this region of northern Manhattan once plagued by crime.

With Light Steam: A Personal Journey Through the Russian Baths (Northern Illinois University Press, 2014) by Bryon MacWilliams. For many in the West, Russia and its people still remain a mystery, but this memoir by MacWilliams CCAS’89 provides an illuminating take on the Russian psyche and the nation’s culture through his observations gleaned from 12 years of visiting Russian steam baths, or banyas, while reporting on the former Soviet Union for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Here, amid the rising steam, people take their clothes off and let their hair down before strangers, bidding their farewells “with light steam.”

Gifted: An Extraordinary Journey Through Illness and Liver Transplantation (Two Harbors Press, 2011) by Dan Bonner. The author relives the emotional, inspiring saga of his battle with primary schlerosing cholangitis, a life-threatening disease that prompted the need for a liver transplant, an experience that proved to bring out the best in Bonner RC’95, his family, and caregivers, and underscored the role that hope, faith, and courage played in his recovery.