5 Professors Who Write Fascinating Books

The best professors are not only smart academics, but great communicators as well, able to explain complex concepts and challenging history in a way that is easy to understand. Books written by these teachers can be a great way to delve into anything from ancient societies to the modern world of big data. If you're interested in learning new things in an entertaining way, check out the five authors listed here. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Professors Who Have Authored Great Books

Name Notable Works
Peter Frankopan The Silk Roads The First Crusade
Marina Budhos The Long Ride Remix
Tom Davenport Only Humans Need Apply Big Data at Work
Helen Berry The Castrato and His Wife Orphans of Empire
Pasi Sahlberg Finnish Lessons Let the Children Play

Ways To Engage In Lifelong Learning

  • Read both fiction and non-fiction as often as you can
  • Visit a museum
  • Teach others what you know
  • Explore new places
  • Start a creative project, like a vlog or podcast
  • Get a good desk for your home
  • Join a study group
  • Take a hike through nature
  • Listen to different types of music
  • Look up words you don't know in the dictionary

What Makes A Good Teacher Great

In Depth

Publish or perish is the threat scholars face in their pursuit of a tenure track position. So publish they do, often in obscure journals or dry monographs. Some academics, however, have a gift for writing that can reach the general public, and many professors author compelling books. This list, presented in no particular order, features five of them.

At #1, Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History at Oxford University, where he is also Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, and Stavros Niarchos Foundation Director of the the school's Center for Byzantine Research. He works on the history of the Mediterranean, Russia, the Middle East, Persia, Central Asia, and beyond, and on relations between Christianity and Islam.

Frankopan's books for a popular readership include The Silk Roads, which examines the networks that linked east and west in a major reassessment of world history. A follow-up, The New Silk Roads, looks at how the future is being formed across the spine of Asia. Leviathan draws upon original sources to review the story of Russia and its neighbors. The First Crusade narrates the titular process from Greek, Armenian, Arabic, and Syriac texts largely ignored by other scholars.

Leviathan draws upon original sources to review the story of Russia and its neighbors.

#2 is Marina Budhos, a professor of English at William Paterson University who has written a number of award-winning works of fiction and nonfiction. Among her novels number many Young Adult titles, including The Long Ride, set in the midst of 1970s bussing desegregation. Watched deals with a Muslim teen threatened by state surveillance. Ask Me No Questions portrays the travails of an undocumented family.

Budhos has also written novels for adults, like The Professor of Light and House of Waiting. The nonfiction title Remix features conversations with immigrant teenagers. With her husband Marc Aronson, she has published two works of historical nonfiction. Eyes of the World looks at the lives of photographers Robert Capa and Gerda Taro and the broader history of modern photojournalism. Sugar Changed the World traces the globe-spanning history of the essence of sweetness.

In the #3 slot, Tom Davenport is the President's Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College, the co-founder of the International Institute for Analytics, and a Fellow of the M.I.T Initiative for the Digital Economy. In books and articles, Davenport primarily addresses analytics and decision-making, but spans a wide range of business topics.

In books and articles, Davenport primarily addresses analytics and decision-making, but spans a wide range of business topics.

His 2018 book The A.I. Advantage offers a guide to using artificial intelligence in business. The earlier Competing on Analytics was the first title to introduce captains of industry to these sophisticated new strategies. Only Humans Need Apply concerns the fears of knowledge workers about new workplace technologies. Davenport's other volumes take up issues of big data, quantitative literacy, and management decision-making.

#4, Helen Berry, is a Professor at Newcastle University who specializes in teaching the history of the United Kingdom between the ages of Shakespeare and Queen Victoria. In addition to her research, she writes history books that link contemporary life and social politics to the past, and that place British history in a wider global context. She also publishes articles for a general readership on her blog.

Berry's Orphans of Empire, shortlisted for the 2019 Cundill History Prize, tells the story of the children who survived life in London's Foundling Hospital. The 2011 title The Castrato and His Wife unearths events in the life of Giusto Ferdinando Tenducci, eighteenth-century opera star, heartthrob, and international celebrity. The historian's other volumes include co-edited collections and a monograph.

The historian's other volumes include co-edited collections and a monograph.

Finishing up the list at #5, we've got Pasi Sahlberg, a Finland-born professor of education policy at the Gonski Institute of The University of New South Wales. In addition to policy, he studies education systems and reforms around the world. Prior to his academic career, he held a number of government posts, at institutions including The World Bank and The European Training Foundation.

Sahlberg is the author of Let The Children Play, which argues that ludic activity is a crucial part of children's social formation and should be better respected in schools. In another book, Finnished Leadership, he shares lessons from the education system of his native country. A co-edited volume, Hard Questions on Global Educational Change, delves into the most controversial issues in contemporary school reform around the world.