book BOOKS

Most of these books are available online at a discount!
Click on the highlighted titles to order.

Parting the Curtain: An American Teacher in Post-Communist Romania, Anne Coe Heyniger '56, Five and Ten Press, 2001. Timisoara, a large provincial city in western Romania, was the author's home from 1992 until 1999. She went there originally for one year at the request of a university president to teach English. She ended up staying—to teach, make friends and participate in a challenging country's transition from communism to something else. Parting the Curtain is a mural of political, economic, social and cultural change in isolated but vibrant Romania.

Canaries in the Mineshaft: Essays on Politics and Media, Renata Adler '59, Saint Martin's Press, 2001. Adler discusses the ethics of journalism as it attempts to span the realms of politics and media over the last three decades. Among other topics, Adler focuses on the Watergate scandal and its place in American political history, the failed nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, and Kenneth Starr's report. The book closes wit h an extended examination of the controversy with the New York Times occasioned by her other recent book, Gone, the Last Days of the New Yorker.

Emperor Maximilian II, Paula Sutter Fichtner '57, Yale University Press, 2001. Fichtner examines the dynamics of military, institutional, cultural and family affairs in the early modern Hapsburg empire and considers the reasons Maximilian was unable to shape them to his own purposes. She describes a man of tolerant disposition who allowed Protestants free exercise of their religion yet who struggled both publicly and privately with the difficult religious currents of his time. Emperor Maximilian II is a portrait of a leader's role in Reformation history and his era of war, religious division, political conflict and administrative stress.

Homicidal Intent, Vivian Chern '84, Dell Publishing, 2001. This suspense novel introduces us to Tamsen Bayn, a forensic psychiatrist who has succeeded in a field dominated by men. As she establishes a private practice, her fiancé, a prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, calls on her to evaluate the upbringing of a 12-year-old boy who has committed a violent crime. She unravels a sinister plot with wide consequences and becomes caught between science and the law, between her fiancé and a truth she is obligated to pursue.

Cassirer's Metaphysics of Symbolic Forms, Thora Ilin Bayer '89, Yale University Press, 2001. This book is the first commentary on philosopher Ernst Cassirer's conceptions of symbolic form and human culture. Bayer focuses on the meaning of Cassirer's claim that philosophy is not itself a symbolic form, but the thought around which all aspects of human activity are seen as a whole. Underlying the symbolic forms are Cassirer's two metaphys ical principles, spirit (Geist) and life, which interact to produce the reality of the human world. Bayer shows how these two principles of his early philosophy connect with the phenomenology of his later philosophy, which focuses on "basis phenomena"-self, will, and work. Cassirer ultimately conceives his philosophy as a form of the ancient Socratic quest for human self-knowledge.

A Guide to Chicago's Murals, Mary Lackritz Gray '51, The University of Chicago Press, 2001. From the dining rooms of exclusive clubs to the images painted on the viaducts that support the city's transit system, the murals of Chicago tell their own rich stories amidst the fabled architecture. This handbook to the public art divides the city into geographical sections, mapping the important works there. A glossary, biographical sketches of the artists, and appendixes that detail famous "missing" murals are included.

Writing the Meal: Dinner in the Fiction of Early Twentieth-Century Women Writers, Diane McGee '69, University of Toronto Press, 2001. Focusing on the works of such writers as Kate Chopin, Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, and Edith Wharton, McGee discusses dinner in terms of the social expectations that surround it. She suggests that besides culinary, aesthetic and symbolic im-portance, larger issues emanate from dinners in these nov els and stories. An exploration of a fictional dinner leads into questions about the domestic role of women; the representation of mothering and nurturing; the political, economic and class situations that underlie a particular meal; and philosophical issues such as time and death. McGee sees dinner as a resonant, potent and meaningful occasion for understanding.

Private Charity and Public Inquiry: A History of the Filer and Peterson Commissions, Eleanor L. Brilliant, M.S.S. '69, Indiana University Press, 2001. Brilliant discusses two commissions initiated by John D. Rockefeller that had great impact on philanthropy and public policy. The Commission on Foundations and Private Philanthropy was dubbed The Peterson Commission after its chair Peter G. Peterson; The Commission on Private Philanthropy and Public Needs, headed by John H. Filer, w as dubbed the Filer Commission. Both of their activities are significant, argues Brilliant, because of what they reveal about fundamental aspects of volunteerism and philanthropy, and because of the issues they raise about the development of social policy in the United States. She also suggests why John D. Rockefeller created the two commissions and why the concept of 'commission' might have special meaning for members of the Rockefeller family. The book closes by addressing the heritage these commissions left behind.

The Ethics of Managed Care: A Pragmatic Approach, Mary R. Anderlik '85, Indiana University Press, 2001. Discussions of managed care frequently begin and end with an opposition between the Hippocratic ethic of dedication to patient welfare, and a business ethic of self-interest. But Anderlik rejects analysis in terms of a dichotomy of medicine versus business, arguing that attention should be directed to management as manipulation, the neglect of internal goods such as satisfaction in professional accomplishment, and three kinds of moral myopia associated with organizations. Anderlik uses community care clinics, asthma outreach programs, and new contexts for participatory decision-making to show the promise of managed care. She also explains the complexities of financial arrangements, arguing for an end to schemes that reward clinicians for providing less care and make it profitable to avoid people requiring more. The book concludes wit h a look at the future of managed care, outlining a positive program for reform.

The Parthenon Frieze, Jenifer Neils '72, Cambridge University Press, 2001. The Parthenon frieze, one of Western civilization's major monuments, has been the subject of intense study for more than 200 years. Most scholarship has sought an overall interpretation of the monument's iconography and therefore neg-lects the visual language of the sculpture, an essential tool for a full understanding of the narrative. Neils's examination of the frieze decodes its visual language and analyzes its conception and design, style and content, and impact on the visual arts over time. She also brings ethical reasoning to bear on the issue of repatriation as part of the ongoing debate on the Elgin Marbles.

An Historical Perspective of Helping Practices Associated with Birth, Marriage and Death Among the Chamorros of Guam, Lilli Perez Iyechad, Ph.D. (sw) '98, The Edwin Mellen Press, 2001. This ethnographic research examines the changes that have occurred among the Chamorros people of Guam as a consequence of rapid Westernization. Iyechad focuses on traditional forms of reciprocity within social networks, based on her observances and info rmal interviews as well as life histories and family genealogies. She discusses the levels of formal education and comprehension of the Chamorro language, taking into consideration factors such as gender and age.

Jason and Medea, by Linda Cargill '77, Royal Fireworks Press, 2001. This feminist version of the tale of Jason and Medea is based on the Argonautica and set in Mycenean Greece, when God was a "She," Hecate. Cargill tells the tale from Medea's point of view, portraying her not as a witch or the murderer in Euripides's drama, but as the humane, brave partner of Jason. Teen-age readers experience Medea's anguish, motivations and aspirations.

The Ur-Nammu Stela, Jeanny Vorys Canby '50, Ph.D. '59, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2001. Ur Nammu was king of Ur in ancient Mesopotamia (now Southern Iraq) around 2000 B.C.E. In 1925, fragments of a monument devoted to him were discovered. The 10-foot-high stela depicting scenes of religious practice was restored only partially by 1927. Recognizing that this early reconstruction had been hasty and incomplete, Canby re-examined a wealth of new scenes which had been stored in boxes at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, revising our understanding of the stela. This book speculates the ancient fate of the stela and describes the reconstruction process.

Written on the Body: The Tattoo in European and American History, Jane Caplan, Marjorie Walter Goodhart Professor of European History, Ed., Princeton University Press, 2000. The contributors to this collection rescue tattoos from their stereotypical and sensationalized association with criminality in the West, exposing the richness of the tattoo's European and American history. Included are discussions of metaphorical meanings of tattooing in Celtic society, class-related commodif ication of the body in Victorian Britain and tattooing and piercing as self-expression in the contemporary United States.

cover icon Return to Spring 2002 highlights graphic