Vanderbilt Writers

Recent Books for Your Fall Reading


Lauren P. Della Monica, BA’95, Painted Landscapes: Contemporary Views (2013, Schiffer Publishing)

Della Monica explores American landscape painting today, its relevance in the contemporary art world and its historic roots. Trends from realism to abstraction and nonobjectivity are explored in the work of 60 living artists who best exemplify contemporary styles and whose contributions distinguish important aspects of the genre, addressing land use, nature appreciation and ecology through landscape painting.


Scott Elliott, BA’93, Temple Grove (2013, University of Washington Press)

Deep in Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula lies Temple Grove, one of the last stands of ancient Douglas firs not under federal protection from logging. Bill Newton, a gyppo logger desperate for work and a place to hide, has come to Temple Grove for the money to be had in the timber. There to stop him is Paul, a young environmentalist who will break the law to save the trees. A dangerous chase into the wilds of Olympic National Park ensues, revealing a long-hidden secret that inextricably links the two men and creates a gripping tale of suspense.


Richard J.M. Blackett, Andrew Jackson Professor of American History, Making Freedom: The Underground Railroad and the Politics of Slavery (2013, University of North Carolina Press)

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which mandated action to aid in the recovery of runaway slaves and denied fugitives legal rights if they were apprehended, quickly became a focal point in the debate over the future of slavery and the nature of the union. In Making Freedom, Blackett uses the experiences of escaped slaves and those who aided them to explore the inner workings of the Underground Railroad and the enforcement of the fugitive slave laws, while shedding light on the political effects of slave escape in Southern states, border states and the North.

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