Skip to main content
Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life

Common Reading Program

The Common Reading Program provides all incoming first-year and transfer students the opportunity to have a shared intellectual experience and a chance to explore themes and issues connected to civic life as they begin their time at Tufts. Each year, a committee of students, faculty, and staff selects a common book for all incoming Jumbos that we hope will foster conversation, engender a sense of community, and become one of many ways that incoming students connect to each other during their first semester at the University. The Common Reading Program is supported by Tisch College and by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Students.

Students receive online access to the book. Please read the book in mid-summer and are encouraged to read it before they arrive at Tufts so that they can discuss it with their peers, orientation leaders, and advisors. Events featuring the common book's authors and other opportunities to engage with its context will follow throughout the Fall.

2017 Common Reading Book: The Outrage Industry

The Outrage Industry book
Incoming students arrive to Tufts in one of the most politically challenging times in American history; a crucial moment when polarization and partisanship, deliberation and debate, and the role of the media in our democracy are topics of daily conversation. In The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility, Tufts professors Jeffrey M. Berry (Political Science) and Sarah Sobieraj (Sociology) explore outrage rhetoric, including conspiracy theories, mockery, and flattery, and discuss its impact on the contemporary political landscape. The authors look at how the sheer number of incendiary political opinion shows and the vitriol on the airwaves are fueled not just by an increasingly partisan political system, but by regulatory, technological, and cultural change. 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.

Click below for full instructions on how to access your free online copy of The Outrage Industry.

For more information contact Robert Mack, Associate Dean for Student Success and Advising, at

Common Book for the School of Medicine

Being Mortal
Tisch College is also proud to support the 2017 common reading selection for incoming students at the Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM): Being Mortal, by Dr. Atul Gawande. The book explores the ways that contemporary society and modern medicine deal with aging and dying. Through patient stories, research, and his own father’s illness, Dr. Gawande shares models of elder and hospice care that enable patients to lead fulfilling and rich lives even at the very end. He challenges us to rethink the ways we provide care to the aging and infirm, both as individual care providers and as a health care system. The book connects with many of the School of Medicine's curricular themes, including community service and civic engagement, population medicine and health care systems, life cycles, and compassionate care.

A copy of the book was sent to each incoming Tufts medical student, and Dr. Gawande will be on campus to address the students on Friday, September 15.

For more information contact Jennifer Greer-Morrissey, the Tisch College-TUSM Community Service-Learning Coordinator, at