Authors and Artists

Fall 2020


In May, Stanford University Press published the latest text by Grinnell’s Gertrude B. Austin Professor of Economics, Bill Ferguson, entitled The Political Economy of Collective Action, Inequality, and Development. This book examines how a society that is trapped in stagnation might initiate and sustain economic and political development.

Max Brzezinski ’01 of Carolina Soul Records, one of the world’s largest high-end record dealers, has written Vinyl Age, published by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. Brzezinski demystifies the record game and imparts the skills essential to modern record-digging — how to research, find, buy, evaluate, and understand vinyl in the 21st century.

Summer 2020


A Student Commentary on Plato’s Euthyphro, a new book by Charles Platter ’81, was published by the University of Michigan Press. The Euthyphro is important for understanding Plato’s presentation of the last days of Socrates, dramatized in four brief dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo. In addition to narrating this evocative series of events in the life of Plato’s philosophical hero, the texts can be read as reflecting on how a wise man faces death.

In Change Agent: A Life Dedicated to Creating Wealth for Minorities, a memoir Archway published in February, James Lowry ’61, life member of the Board of Trustees, delivers a personal, candid, and often humorous portrayal of his journey from Chicago’s South Side to Wall Street and life as a trailblazing entrepreneur.

This memoir illustrates the power of iconic mentors and pivotal opportunities, demonstrates how to achieve breakthroughs, and offers solutions to the widening wealth gap that plagues minority communities today. Lowry’s book delivers a plan to accelerate economic development in the black community and is designed to be a road map for the next generation of leaders.

Happiness by Design: Modernism and Media in the Eames Era by Justus Nieland ’96 was published in February by the University of Minnesota Press. The book offers a fresh cultural history of midcentury modernism through the film and multimedia experiments of Charles and Ray Eames and their peers. Nieland traces how Cold War designers engaged in creative activities that spanned disciplines and blended art and technoscience while reckoning with the environmental reach of media at the dawn of the information age.

In April, Loving Healing Press published Hiking the Grand Mesa: A Clementine the Rescue Dog Story, a children’s book written by Kyle Torke ’88. The book is second in a series of children’s adventures. It follows two young boys and their dog as they explore the unique environment of southern Colorado’s mesa country. Hiking the Grand Mesa is Torke’s seventh published book.

In April, Princeton University Press published How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons From a Renaissance Education by Scott Newstok ’95. In the book, Newstok cites great writers from the past and present and urges readers to think more deeply, learn more joyfully, and write more efficiently. The book stems from a convocation speech Newstok gave in 2016, in which he encouraged students to strive for “a level of precision, inventiveness, and empathy worthy to be called Shakespearean.”


Black and white triptich of figure walking through a wooded snow scape with red scarfGinny Olson Richardson ’68 held a one-person retrospective art show in Tucson, Arizona, in January. The 94 works featured were mostly figurative and included landscapes, people, and performance pieces. All proceeds benefited Parkinson Wellness Recovery Gym.

Cover of High LineIn November 2019, Pat Irwin ’77 released two records. The first, Wide Open Sky, is a series of duets with fellow composer and friend J. Walter Hawkes. Irwin’s second project, High Line, is by the band SUSS, an ambient country quintet of which Irwin is a member.

Spring 2020


Robert Sparks ’90 is the author of multiple episodes of the podcast 365 Days of Astronomy. This podcast was launched in 2009 as part of the International Year of Astronomy and posts daily content from its community of podcasters. Sparks’ recent episodes feature information on the National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory, where he is a science education specialist.