100 Top Books By 100 UW Authors Print
Written by Tom Griffin & Eric McHenry   
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100 Top Books By 100 UW Authors
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ImageThe UW loves books—as does the region that surrounds our campuses. The University has the largest library collection north of San Francisco and west of the Mississippi. Seattle buys more books per capita than any other city in the nation. So it’s no surprise that UW authors have produced many significant books over the last 100 years. To celebrate the literary achievements of our UW community, the editors of Columns asked 15 faculty, alumni and book publishing professionals to help choose 100 outstanding books by 100 UW authors. Both alumni and faculty authors are on the list, but we excluded texts that are aimed principally at academic markets (see page four for how we came up with the final cut). What follows, in alphabetical order, are our top 100 selections. You may find some of your favorite titles missing, so write to us at and tell us where we went wrong—or where we hit the mark. We’ll post your comments on our Web site.—Tom Griffin and Eric McHenry

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ImageAjami, Fouad, ’69, ’73
The Foreigner’s Gift: The Americans, the Arabs and the Iraqis in Iraq
This Johns Hopkins professor’s analysis of the Iraq War and its aftermath is both a defense of the occupation and an account of the many obstacles it faces. “An important voice in the Iraq debate but far from a typical one.”—Washington Post
ImageAmes, William
Unionism or Hearst: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer Strike of 1936 (with Roger Simpson, ’59, ’73)
Two UW communication professors tell the story of how fewer than 35 newspaper employees (with the help of Teamsters boss Dave Beck) forced William Randolph Hearst’s empire to recognize its first Newspaper Guild union.
ImageAmmirati, Joseph
The New Savory Wild Mushroom (with Margaret McKenny & Daniel E. Stuntz)
A Pacific Northwest classic since 1962 and recently updated by Biology Professor Ammirati, this is the definitive guide to finding the fruit of the woods.
ImageArreguin, Alfredo ’67, ’69
Patterns of Dreams and Nature (with Lauro Flores)
This 2002 retrospective of one of the UW’s most famous painters includes images that “lie between the real and the marvelous, between dream and wakefulness.” American Ethnic Studies Professor Flores critiques Arreguin’s work in a bilingual text.
ImageBacho, Peter, ’74, ’81
Winner of an American Book Award in 1992, Bacho’s first novel is a tale of faith in crisis as a young Filipino American priest accompanies his mother’s remains back to her homeland. The Seattle Times says Bacho may be “one of the foremost living chroniclers of the Filipino American experience.”
ImageBaldasty, Gerald, ’72, ’78
Vigilante Newspapers: A Tale of Sex, Religion, and Murder in the Northwest
Communication Professor Baldasty explores an early 1900s scandal that included bizarre religious rites, a charismatic cult leader, two murders and a yellow press that covered every salacious detail. “Highly engaging history”—Seattle Times
ImageBarash, David
Madame Bovary’s Ovaries (with Nanelle Barash)
This book put Professor David Barash and his daughter, Nanelle, at the forefront of a movement known as “literary Darwinism,” which uses evolutionary psychology to explain the behavior of fictional characters from Cordelia to Cinderella.
ImageBeckey, Fred, ’49
Cascade Alpine Guide, Vols. 1-3
The legendary local climber literally wrote the book on mountaineering in the Northwest—a three-volume, 1,100-page classic packed with geology, natural history and historical anecdotes as well as climbing routes.
ImageBentley, Nelson
Collected Shorter Poems
“What you need,” Nelson Bentley wrote, “is reckless abandon balanced by a fine sense of phrasing.” The beloved UW professor, poet and aphorist practiced what he preached, as these poems attest.
ImageBierds, Linda, ’69, ’71
First Hand
UW professor and MacArthur “genius grant” winner Linda Bierds writes lyrical, learned poems steeped in science and history. According to the critic Averill Curdy, “Bierds suggests how far imagination can reach by enabling us to study our own likeness in those of her subjects.