One Book One Northwestern started out as a quarter-long program for new students in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Over the years it evolved to include the entire campus with many participating departments and schools.
A list of previous selections and links to coordinating websites are listed below.
2016-17: "The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don't” by Nate Silver
Nate Silver’s book, The Signal and The Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail — But Some Don’t, is a New York Times bestseller. It is a tour of modern prediction science, uncovering a surprising connection among humility, uncertainty, and good results.
2015-16: "The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America” by Thomas King
Thomas King’s The Inconvenient Indian offers a penetrating, provocative look at the history of North American Indian-white relations in North America. It focuses on government efforts to remove and relocate Native peoples and white efforts to exterminate and assimilate them. It contrasts popular perceptions of what King calls “Dead Indians,” the romantic reminders of a largely fictional past (“dignified, noble, silent, suitably garbed”), and “Live Indians,” contemporary and contemptible (“invisible, unruly, disappointing”).
2014-15: "Whistling Vivaldi" by Claude Steele
In Whistling Vivaldi, Steele looks back on his 30-year career investigating the impact of social biases and prejudices on everyday life. Finding that stereotypes can influence behavior and affect performance, he shares important strategies that may prove helpful in lessening their negative effects.
2013-14: "Last Hunger Season" by Roger Thurow
Coordinated by the Roberta Buffet Center for International and Comparative Studies
The book chronicles a year in the life of four small-scale farmers in western Kenya who, with help from a social enterprise organization founded by a Kellogg School of Management graduate, begin to transcend the cyclical poverty and hunger that they have always known.
2012-13: "Never A City So Real" by Alex Kotlowitz
Coordinated by Center for Civic Engagement
Through a collection of vignettes about Chicago's diverse people and neighborhoods, the book gives readers a much richer understanding of the the city.
2011-12: "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot
Coordinated by NU Ventures in Biological Education
"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, a woman who unknowingly became one of the most important figures in modern medical research.
2010-11: “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder
Coordinated by the Center for Civic Engagement
"Mountains Beyond Mountains" tells the story of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Harvard-educated physician who has spent much of his life working in Haiti and other impoverished countries.
2009-10: “Hot, Flat and Crowded” by Thomas Friedman
Coordinated by the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN)
“Hot, Flat, and Crowded” considers several timely and compelling topics important to humankind and the natural world, including climate change, economics, globalization, sustainability and health.
2008-09: “The Reluctant Mr. Darwin” by David Quarmmen
Coordinated by Interdisciplinary Committee on Evolutionary Processes (ICEP)
To coincide with Charles Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of "On the Origin of Species," One Book organizers selected David Quammen's 2006 Darwin biography.
2007-08: “Go Tell it on the Mountain” by James Baldwin
Coordinated by the American Studies Program
James Baldwin's 1953 first novel examines the role Christian religion in the lives of African-Americans. It was the center of eight weeks of readings, theatrical and musical performances, seminars and lectures.
2006-07: “Othello” by William Shakespeare
Coordinated by the Department of English
The first year the whole campus was invited to participate, the One Book program selected William Shakespeare’s tragedy, “Othello.”
2005-06: Antigone by Sophocles
Coordinated by the College of Arts and Sciences
The first year of One Book One Northwestern was aimed at incoming WCAS students, and each received a copy of the tragedy “Antigone,” by Greek playwright Sophocles.