Check out our new selection for 2015 - 2016!

Do It Anyway book cover

Do It Anyway
The New Generation of Activists

How can one person save the world? According to Courtney E. Martin, that is exactly what young people today have been asked to do. In her new book, Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists, Martin profiles the lives and motivations of eight activists under the age of thirty-five. The result is portrait of activism in the twenty-first century and a rallying cry for young people to rethink the good they can do in the world.

About the author:
Courtney E. Martin is a senior correspondent for the American Prospect and an editor of A 2002 recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics, she is the author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters and coauthor of The Naked Truth. Her work frequently appears in the Christian Science Monitor, Publishers Weekly, and on Alternet, among other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.

Western Reads 2014-15 Selection: The Boys in the Boat

The Boys in the Boat book cover

Brown’s non-fiction book details the story of the University of Washington crew team that won gold during the 1936 Olympics. The sons of dairy farmers, loggers, and fishermen, most had never rowed a day in their life and many were the first in their families to go to college. Suffice it to say, many of the boys couldn’t have attended and completed college without being on the crew team. Yet, this rag tag group went on to beat the privileged East Coast crews and the elite British clubs at Cambridge and Oxford. In the final race, they stunned the World by winning gold as Hitler looked on. Commentators suggested that the boys’ victory demonstrated, finally, that merit outweighed birthright; the boys also showed the U.S. the power of pulling together and the hope that the Nazis would not prevail. In short, the crew team personified grit, determination, and optimism—qualities that serve anyone well.

The story of one rower, Joe Rantz, is particularly moving as his family abandoned him at an early age. Finding his own way to complete his education, rowing became a way of believing in himself, of finding meaning in the world, and of creating his own sense of family. Set in the Great Depression and the 1936 Olympics, this story provides an in-depth look at the history of the period. The book is a fabulous read that many describe as a “page turner.” We hope you will read the book and take advantage of all the activities that will be happening in the year ahead.  Watch the Book's Trailer

Western Reads Interview with Daniel James Brown

Western Reads Presentation by Daniel James Brown

WWU Rowing

WWU Crew Commercial from Nathan Haase on Vimeo.

Western Reads serves Western's mission of promoting "Engaged Excellence" by bringing together teaching, scholarship, and community service in a liberal arts, student-centered context.
Page Updated 05.06.2015