Book Club Meeting Schedule

The Book Club will meet on August 14 from 10:30 am - Noon in University Hall, Room 198.

For the next extra book group meeting, we'll discuss 2 books, to sort of wrap up the discussion of the Depression era, bring it right home to Berkeley, and continue the issues brought up by Hofstadter as they relate to current politics. The first book is "Berkeley and the New Deal" by Harvey L. Smith (127 pp), which illustrates many of the New Deal projects carried out in Berkeley in the thirties and forties, from the Berkeley High sculptures and friezes to the Rose Garden to the main post office​ and much more​. The photo captions and introductory essay give insight into Berkeley's "hidden history. It's available from Amazon.

The second book is "The New Deal & Modern American Conservatism: A Defining Rivalry" by Gordon Lloyd & David Davenport (108 pp), a right-wing perspective of modern American Conservatism and its roots in the rivalry between Hoover and Roosevelt. The book is available at Half Price Books on Shattuck for around $8, and from Amazon.


The Book Club will meet on September 14 from 10:30 am - Noon in University Hall, Room 198.

The selections are Eric Foner, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad (Norton, paperback); and Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, An American Slave Written by Himself (Benjamin Quarles, editor, Harvard Paperback). There are other editions that may be used.

For questions on these reading please contact Bob Middlekauff at

About the UCBRC Book Club

The UCBRC book club meets on campus several times per year. To join the UCBRC book club, send an email to and ask to be placed in the group. All book club members receive email announcements and reminders when book club meetings are scheduled.

Books are chosen by Professor Emeritus Robert Middlekauff, who also leads the book club discussion.  Thank you, Bob, for your wonderful service to UC retirees!

Book club members at a reception

Book club members Larry Waldron, Bob Middlekauff, Marian Gade, Joyce Burks and Mary MacCready at a LIR reception in May, 2015.

Books We've Read (an incomplete list)

  • The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays by Richard Hofstadter
  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee and Walker Evans
  • Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression by Studs Terkel
  • Eleanore Roosevelt: The Defining Years 1933-1938, by Blanche Wiesen Cook
  • A Mercy by Toni Morrison
  • A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony by John Demos
  • The Hedgehog and the Fox by Isaiah Berlin
  • The Puritan Family by Edmund Morgan
  • Peculiar Institution by Kenneth Stampp
  • The Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman
  • Abraham Lincoln: A Biography by Benjamin Thomas
  • Benjamin Franklin and His Enemies by Robert Middlekauff
  • Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England by William Cronon
  • Boston’s Immigrants, Oscar Handlin
  • The Way of Duty: A Woman and Her Family in Revolutionary America, Joy and Richard Buel
  • The Warden by Anthony Trollope
  • The Minutemen and Their World by Robert Gross
  • American Diplomacy, 1900-1950 by George Kennan
  • The Armada by Garrett Mattingly
  • Ferling, John, Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800
  • Professor Gene Brucker’s Giovanni and Lusanna: Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence
  • Marion L. Starkey, The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Inquiry into the Salem Witch Trials
  • C. Vann Woodward's The Strange Career of Jim Crow
  • John Kenneth Galbraith, The Great Crash
  • American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia by Edmund S. Morgan