Common Reading Program 2017

The Common Reading Program gives all incoming first-year and transfer students a shared intellectual experience and an opportunity to reflect on civic life and engagement as a member of the Tufts community. Each year, a committee of students, faculty and staff selects a book for all incoming Jumbos to read. The goal is to foster conversation and engender a sense of community to help ease the transition to college life. The program is co-sponsored by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, which is committed to helping every Tufts student nurture a civic life. Tisch College offers multiple opportunities to develop and practice civic skills, guided by a belief in the power of young people to build a better future.

The Common Reading book for 2018 will be announced early in summer 2018. Get a preview of the program by reviewing last year's selection below!

Common Reading 2017

The 2017 book examines "outrageous rhetoric" and asks how the language of outrage is shaping public and private life in the 21st century. This will be the first of many opportunities for you to discuss political and social issues inside and outside of the classroom.

The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility by Professors Jeffrey M. Berry and Sarah Sobieraj

Jeffrey BerrySarah Sobieraj
In The Outrage Industry, Professors Berry and Sobieraj explore outrage rhetoric, including conspiracy theories, mockery, and flattery. They discuss the impact of outrage rhetoric on a contemporary political landscape that features frequent straight-party voting in Congress. We might assume from the sheer number of incendiary political opinion shows that vitriol on the airwaves is fueled by an increasingly partisan political system. But in The Outrage Industry, Jeffrey M. Berry and Sarah Sobieraj argue that the escalation of outrage in public discourse is actually a result of regulatory, technological, and cultural change, not our current political inclinations. Drawing from a rich base of evidence, The Outrage Industry forces readers to consider the negative consequences that flow from our increasingly hyper-partisan political media.

Questions about the program?

Contact Robert Mack, Associate Dean for Student Success and Advising

Previous Selections Have Included

  • Lives in Limbo (by Roberto G. Gonzales)
  • Acts of Faith (by Eboo Patel)
  • The Other Wes Moore (by Wes Moore)
  • Whistling Vivaldi (by Claude Steele)
  • Zeitoun (by Dave Eggers)
  • This I Believe (edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gedimen)
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains (by Tracy Kidder)
  • All Souls (by Michael Patrick MacDonald)
  • The Blue Death (by Robert Morris)
  • Brother, I'm Dying (by Edwidge Danticat)
  • The Story of Stuff (by Annie Leonard)