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KNOXVILLE — Did you resolve to read more in 2010?

If so, here are three books you might want to add to your list. These books will be featured in several upcoming events at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and in the Knoxville community.

“Justice as Fairness” by John Rawls

John Rawls’ work gives Americans a shared framework for public deliberation and reasoned judgment about the most pressing political issues that we face: guarding our basic constitutional liberties, creating and maintaining equal opportunity, and the interplay between economics and social cooperation for the common good. Without this shared framework, American citizens may find political life dominated by dogmatic fanaticism and apathetic resignation.

UT’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, in partnership with the Knox County Public Library, will sponsor five group discussions of Rawls’ book. Led by UT faculty members, the sessions will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. on Mondays in the Toyota Auditorium at the Baker Center, 1640 Cumberland Ave., on the UT campus:

  • Jan. 25, Part 1: Fundamental Ideas, led by Joe Cook, College of Law
  • Feb. 1, Part 2: Principles of Justice, led by Otis Stephens, College of Law
  • Feb. 8, Part 3: The Argument from the Original Position, led by Iris Goodwin, College of Law
  • Feb. 15, Part 4: Institutions of a Just Basic Structure, led by Matt Deaton, Department of Philosophy
  • Feb. 22, Part 5: The Question of Stability, led by David Reidy, Department of Philosophy

Then, on Feb. 26 and 27, the Baker Center will host a two-day symposium, “Rawlsian Liberalism in Context(s).”

“Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water” by Maude Barlow

An author and activist, Barlow is national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, as well as senior adviser on water to the United Nations where she provides counsel to Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockman, president of the General Assembly. She also chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch and is a councilor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council.

Barlow’s book will be the centerpiece in several activities being sponsored by UT’s Baker Center in partnership with The Tennessee Clean Water Network, the Knox County Public Library and the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment.

On Jan. 31, a free showing of the award-winning film “Blue Gold: World Water Wars” begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Baker Center’s Toyota Auditorium. Barlow appears in the film.

On Feb. 2, the public is invited to the “Brown Bag, Green Book” series to discuss Barlow’s book, “Blue Covenant,” from noon to 1 p.m. in the auditorium of the East Tennessee History Center, 601 Gay St. The discussion will be led by Renee Hoyos from the Tennessee Clean Water Network; Joanne Logan from the UT’s Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science; and Tiffany Foster from the Tennessee Valley Authority.

On Feb. 3, Barlow will speak at 7 p.m. in the Baker Center’s Toyota Auditorium.

“Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” by James Agee and Walker Evans

In 1936, Agee, the author, and Evans, the photographer, were on an assignment for Fortune magazine to write about sharecroppers in the South. Their work culminated in this book of stories and photos that provides a picture of life in the 1930s.

The book will be used in the first of three mini-summits to be held this spring at UT to look at various aspects of poverty, as well as work being done at UT Knoxville in these areas. Ready for the World, UT’s international and intercultural initiative, has devoted this academic year to “Our World in Need” with a particular emphasis on the issue of poverty.

The first mini-summit — “Baldwin Lee, James Agee and Walker Evans: Photography, Poverty, Politics in the South and Abroad” — will be held Feb. 4 and 11. That summit will include a day of presentations and discussions regarding themes in “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” as well as a day looking at the photographs of UT Professor Baldwin Lee, who toured the South taking photographs in the 1980s.

This mini-summit is being sponsored by the Provost’s Office; Ready for the World; the Baker Center; UT Libraries; the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences; the Council on Academic Outreach and Engagement; the School of Art; and the Knox County Public Library.

For further information about each of these events, go to, or e-mail Amy Gibson at

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,