North­eastern fac­ulty mem­bers have written at length on a wide range of topics. Volume 10 of the fac­ulty reading list includes an array of schol­arly works penned by North­eastern Uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sors, such as pro­fessor of finance Harlan Platt’s explo­ration of how deci­sions — espe­cially by gov­ern­ment — can have unin­tended con­se­quences, and a book about the impor­tance of under­standing broader eth­ical issues of war in order to form morally cred­ible views of ter­rorism by pro­fessor of phi­los­ophy Stephen Nathanson.

Title: “Unin­tended Con­se­quences: How to Improve our Gov­ern­ment, our Busi­nesses, and our Lives”

Author: Harlan Platt, pro­fessor of finance

Descrip­tion: This book explores how every action and deci­sion made by gov­ern­ments, people, sci­ence, tech­nology, com­pa­nies, and med­i­cine can have unin­tended con­se­quences and affect people’s lives, hap­pi­ness, and fortunes.Platt argues that gov­ern­ment is one of the bodies most respon­sible for causing dam­aging unin­tended con­se­quences and explains how their impact can be controlled.


Title: “The Human Foot­print: A Global Envi­ron­mental History”

Author: Anthony Penna, emer­itus pro­fessor of history

Descrip­tion: Using the most recent research from a diverse range of fields—including geology, climatology,evolutionary biology, archae­ology, anthro­pology, his­tory, demog­raphy and the social and phys­ical sci­ences—Penna pro­vides a com­pre­hen­sive multi-​​disciplinary his­tory of the planet, from the Pale­olithic to the present era. The chap­ters touch upon single themes, including human evo­lu­tion, the inven­tion of agri­cul­ture and its global impact, pop­u­la­tion growth, urban­iza­tion, man­u­fac­turing, con­sump­tion, indus­tri­al­iza­tion, and energy use.


Title: “Tunnel Vision”

Author: Gary Gosh­garian (pen name Gary Braver), pro­fessor of english

Descrip­tion: This cre­ative work of fic­tion tells the story of how a Boston grad­uate student’s near-​​death expe­ri­ence stirs society’s fas­ci­na­tion with the after­life. The student’s expe­ri­ence leads a team of neu­ro­sci­en­tists to inves­ti­gate whether claims of seeing a tunnel of light while near death is evi­dence of the after­life or just neu­ro­bi­ology. The sci­en­tists hope such a dis­covery would rec­on­cile sci­ence and reli­gion, unite all of humanity and end reli­gious strife.


Title: “Ter­rorism and the Ethics of War”

Author: Stephen Nathanson, pro­fessor of philosophy

Descrip­tion: In this book Nathanson argues that we cannot have morally cred­ible views about ter­rorism if we focus on ter­rorism alone and neglect broader issues about the ethics of war. His book chal­lenges influ­en­tial views on the ethics of war,including the realist view that morality does not apply to war. It pro­vides a clear def­i­n­i­tion of ter­rorism, an analysis of what makes ter­rorism morally wrong, and illus­trates its point by pro­viding his­tor­ical context.