Magazine article Times Higher Education

What Are You Reading?: Books

Magazine article Times Higher Education

What Are You Reading?: Books

Article excerpt

A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers.

David Bell, vice-chancellor, University of Reading, is reading Michael Bracewell's Re-make/Re-model: Art, Pop, Fashion and the Making of Roxy Music, 1953-1972 (Faber, 2007). "Roxy Music were 'cool' epitomised, and two universities helped to shape that identity. Bryan Ferry studied at avant-garde Newcastle, and saxophonist Andy Mackay was part of the circle around Reading's 'creatively progressive, actively trans-media' fine art department. A great book that left me wondering whether academic departments still have such a role in influencing popular culture."

David Eastwood, vice-chancellor and principal, University of Birmingham, is reading Johannes Brahms Complete Symphonies in Full Score (Dover Publications, 1974), edited by Hans Gal. "Scores speak to us in the profoundest language. Few can read them as the great conductors do, but I glimpse their profundity. None more so than Brahms' great four symphonies, from the searing striving of the opening to the first, through the autumnal beauty of the Poco Allegretto of the third, to the remarkable passacaglia that ends the fourth. On the page you see the composer's art at the most self-disciplined and hear music of ineffable stoicism that sees all and never flinches."

Pat Hudson, honorary research professor, London School of Economics, and professor emeritus of history, Cardiff University, is reading Philip Mirowski's Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown (Verso, 2013). …

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