It’s Spring Break for Gettysburg College, which means I have jetted off to somewhere it decidedly does not look like Spring. Well, perhaps at least in the conventional definition. I’m quite happy to see snowflakes my entire break, but many of my students were appalled that I wasn’t heading south for warmer weather. Oh, well.
A break from classes means work with new data, getting caught up with student blog posts, and of course books. Below is a peek into what I’m reading this week, though it likely won’t be the last you hear from me about these books.
- The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration I wish I’d had this book when I taught labor last semester. We talked about the Great Migration, mainly in the context of a lesson on labor mobility and this article by Leah Platt Bouston. It’s clear from Wilkerson’s meticulous, intense research that there remain many stories to be told about the migration of Black people from South to North throughout the 20th century. The storytelling is incredibly compelling, as well.
- Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for IdentityThis is another behemoth of a book that has totally captivated me after only two chapters. The first is intensely personal and really beautifully written; I’m excited for more.
- Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women (NBER Series on Long-Term Factors in Economic Development)I consider all of these books “work,” which is why I love my job, but this is really work that might lead to a publishable, scholarly work. After reading Wilkerson’s book, I had a paper idea, so I’m brushing up on my working women history in America. It’s a must-read (or re-read in my case) for anyone who cares about gender and work, even if it lacks some of the artistry of the above books.