Summer 2005 Books
Most of these books are available online at a discount!
Click on the highlighted titles to order.
God, Caesar and the Freedom of Religion, Elizabeth Warren ’49, 1st Books/Authorhouse, 2003. Since 1948, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was approved by the United Nations, a majority of the nations of the world has also approved it. How do these nations fare when under the scrutiny of the human right of freedom of religion? Warren distills for the reader the current practices of 191 national governments in light of the concept of freedom of religion, revealing the relative power of both government and religion as it plays out in a complex global context. Beginning with a discussion of terrorism, Warren writes that “sometimes a benign religion comes to be used by militants who badly distort its message.” This book illustrates how freedom of religion is preserved in some countries, but may be undermined in others in response to the stresses of the modern world. Elizabeth Warren has a Ph.D. in political science from U/NB, and served as mayor of Glencoe, a suburb of Chicago.
Augustus and the Family at the Birth of the Roman Empire, Beth Severy ’90, Routledge, 2003. What was the relationship between Augustus’ family values campaign and his role in Roman society? How were the public lives of the Romans redefined by the rise of an imperial household? Discussing evidence from sculpture to cults and from monuments to military history, Beth Severy pursues the changing lines between public and private, family and state that gave shape to the Roman imperial system. The family is placed within the social and historical context of the transition from republic to empire, from Augustus’ rise to sole power into the early reign of his successor Tiberius. Comprehensively illustrated, with evidence drawn from sculpture and monuments, legislation and decrees, literature and coinage, Augustus is a “thorough collection of data, rigorous analysis, and judicious interpretation applied to a well-defined theme,” writes Susan Treggiari of University of Oxford. “It is a pleasure to read and learn from Severy’s work.” Severy is an assistant professor of classics at Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN. She received her Ph.D. in ancient history and Mediterranean archaeology from UC-Berkeley.
[Becoming] Young Ideas on Gender, Identity, and Sexuality, entries by Alicia Brooks ’01 and Nadine Gartner ’01, edited by Diane Anderson-Minshall and Gina De Vries, Xlibris Press, 2004. In this anthology by young (aged 12 to 24), queer writers, Alicia Brooks ’01 and Nadine Gartner ’01 join their voices to the chorus of youthful reflection on what it means to be gay. In “Dirty Secret (Being a Lesbian Sunday School Teacher),” Brooks describes her decision to volunteer as a Sunday school teacher in her home town and the surprisingly positive effects of that decision on Brooks’ self-esteem. In another brief but ecstatic offering, “Talking Dirty,” Brooks revels in a sexual encounter free of shame: “For the first time in four years of college, I worry about waking my neighbors.” Nadine Gartner’s ’01 narrative, “The Day Chooses Me,” takes place in a supermarket as Gartner and her mother shop. It is the day Gartner has chosen to come out to her mother: “In between picking the choicest bananas and best-looking apples, she asks me the expected questions. ‘When did you start feeling this way? Was it at Bryn Mawr?’ ” The story ends with Gartner’s understanding of the life-changing power of honesty.
Putting on the Dog, Cynthia Baxter ’75, Bantam, 2004. A charity dog show has amateur sleuth Jessica Popper, D.V.M, hitting the road with her faithful one-eyed Dalmatian, Lou, and her tailless Westie, Max, for the palatial summer estates of Long Island’s fabled East End. When she arrives, the posh seaside community is crawling with stars eager to take best in show for their beloved pooches. But it’s murder most tacky when a celebrity photographer is felled by a giant ice sculpture at a $500-a-plate fund-raiser. Unable to resist the scent of the hunt, Jess is soon investigating a casting director’s dream of potential suspects. But if Jess isn’t careful, she just might become the next victim of a killer determined to prove she’s barking up the wrong tree. “Baxter is back with a frisky sequel to Dead Canaries Don’t Sing,” writes Publishers Weekly. “The tale moves smoothly as Jess mingles with the film industry’s hottest stars, tracking down clues, but readers will derive the most pleasure from the antics of Jess’s canine companions, Max and Lou, the author’s behind-the-scenes look at dog shows and the sprinkling of information she provides on each breed.” Baxter is a native of Long Island, NY and resides on the North Shore.
Cleave, Moira Egan ’85, Washington Writers’ Publishing House, 2004. Taking as their starting points various sub-definitions of the word “cleave,” these poems are lyrical meditations on love, longing and loss, as well as on the nature of being the poet-daughter of a poet-father. Michael Collier, former Poet Laureate of Maryland, writes: “Moira Egan reminds us that the ‘wildest things require the strongest cages,’ and what a collection of marvelous and sturdy enclosures … she has made, inside of which the creatures of her passions perch and sing. This is an exuberant, intelligent, and even ‘delicious’ debut.” A. E. Stallings calls the poems in the collection “sexy,” and writes, “The deep ambiguities of Egan’s work are embodied in the economy of the title: both to cling and to separate, the contrasting impulses to ‘hold Love tight in a sonnet’ and to become a reverse Penelope who walks out the door of the happy ending, abandoning the rooted bed. Lines linger with the reader, so that ‘all day you are reminded it was delicious and it was bitter.’ ” Egan has an M.F.A. from Columbia. She directs the creative writing program at Catonsville High School, and teaches poetry workshops at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda.
Confidence, Rosabeth Moss Kanter ’64, Crown Business, 2004. “Confidence is the sweet spot between arrogance and despair,” writes Kanter in this critically-acclaimed work that offers a new theory and practice of success. Kanter applies the literature of cognitive psychology (dissonance, explanatory models, learned optimism) to explore the winning and losing streaks of a diverse lineup, including the BBC, Gillette, Verizon, Continental Airlines, the Chicago Cubs, and Target. Drawing on more than 300 interviews with leaders in business, sports and politics, Kanter argues that winning streaks are characterized by continuity and continued investment, while losing streaks are marked by disruption and a lack of investment that typically give way to a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. She “has written the perfect how-to book for anyone interested in understanding how confidence can improve their life and leadership abilities,” writes Bob Nardelli, CEO of The Home Depot. Kanter is the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor at Harvard Business School. She is the former editor of Harvard Business Review and the author of such groundbreaking books as Men and Women of the Corporation (winner of the C. Wright Mills Award for the book that best analyzes a social problem), and The Change Masters.
Figments and Fragments, Janet Warren Buell Rogers ’55, published by the author 2004. “This is a privately printed book of reminiscences…It reflects a woman’s experience of a very particular culture and period,” writes Rogers, who has organized this memoir not via timeline, but rather according to subject categories, which she’s titled, “A Child’s Garden,” “The War,” and “George,” among many others. In her introduction, Rogers sets out her impetus in writing Figments: “I was inspired chiefly by reflections about family members over the years, remembering them with great admiration and affection, and wishing that others could know them as I did…Almost equally compelling was the striking amount of social change that has taken place since my childhood.” Figments chronicles Rogers’ time as a student at Bryn Mawr, where she encountered “numerous eccentrics,” including one dormmate who “absentmindedly popped a small yellow ball from her dresser into her mouth, thinking it hard candy. It was a formaldehyde dogfish eye she had pocketed at the lab.” Since publication, Rogers has distributed errata spotted by friends and families. Rogers lives in Deerfield, MA; for more information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creating More Effective Graphs, Naomi Robbins ’58, Wiley, 2004. Using real-world examples, Robbins draws on her years of experience in graphical data analysis and presentation to highlight some of today’s most effective methods. This book provides basic knowledge and techniques required to choose and create appropriate graphs for a broad range of applications. Robbins answers such common questions as: What constitutes an effective graph for communicating data? How do I choose the type of graph that is best for my data? How do I recognize a misleading graph? She presents dot plots, box plots, scatterplots, linked micromaps, trellis displays and mosaic plots, most requiring only inexpensive, easily downloadable software. Robbins is president of NBR, a leader in consulting and training in graphical data presentation. She has spoken on the subject of creating effective graphs at universities including Columbia and McGill University, professional societies such as the Society of Women Engineers and the Society for Technical Communication, and corporations and organizations that include Lockheed Martin, Brookfield Zoo, and the United Nations. She is an officer of the Statistical Graphics Section of the American Statistical Association and has served the New Jersey Chapter of the ASA as president.
Garden of the Spirit Bear: Life in the Great Northern Rainforest, Deborah Milton, Ph.D. ’82, illustrator; Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, author; Clarion Books, 2004. Written for grades 3-5, the author introduces readers to the Pacific coast of British Columbia, an area where abundant rainfall nourishes everything from delicate ferns to towering cedars. It is also home to Kermode bears (sometimes called spirit bears), a rare type of black bear that is sometimes born with a creamy white coat. Milton’s richly detailed watercolor illustrations depict vast, unspoiled landscapes. Water images abound, as bears, eagles and whales wander amid their wild habitat. Milton’s pileated woodpeckers, Native totems and Stellar jays accompany text that the School Library Journal says, “helps readers see the interrelationships that form a delicate balance for all the inhabitants” of the old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest. Also described are threats posed by logging and the attempts of the Valhalla Wilderness Society to establish the Spirit Bear Conservancy. Milton is a self-taught artist who teaches classes in watercolor and drawing. She and Patent have worked together in a variety of capacities, including conducting a five-day workshop at Yellowstone National Park on creative writing, painting, and drawing. She lives in Missoula, MT.
History of the Armed Forces, Brooks Robards ’64, with James M. Morris, Jack Murphy, Brian Willam Turner, JG Press, World Publications Group, 2004. Broken down into four individual sections (Robards co-authored the section on the Air Force), this hefty 1,007-page volume allows readers to gain a comprehensive historical perspective of the four branches of the American military. Readers can learn the history of one military branch, while simultaneously cross-referencing names and events with the other military branches for a full perspective. The result is a rich look at the interviewing evolution of the most potent fighting force the world has ever known. The individual sections each follow a chronological format. Along this historical journey, the names and stories of the important figures in American military history are told and the wars and important battles are detailed. The book is illustrated with rare and vivid images, woodcuts, photographs and maps. Robards is the author of 10 books, including three volumes in the Historic American series, as well as three collections of poetry. A professor emerita of mass communications at Westfield State College, MA, she has a Ph.D. in communications from the U/MA, and an M.A. in English literature from the University of Hartford.
Humanism, Machinery and Renaissance Literature, Jessica Wolfe ’92, Cambridge, 2004. Before the emergence of the modern concept of technology, 16th and early 17th century writers recognized the applicability of mechanical practices and objects to some of their most urgent moral, aesthetic, and political questions. “The enthusiastic yet qualified interest in machinery during the 16th century,” writes Wolfe in her introduction, “is the product of a revolution in method taking place in natural philosophy, but also in logic, law and politics.” Her work explores how machinery and the practice of mechanics participated in the intellectual culture of Renaissance humanism. Harnessing the discipline of mechanics to their literary and philosophical concerns, writers (including Francis Bacon and Edmund Spenser) turned to machinery to consider instrumental means in a diverse range that spans rhetoric and pedagogy to diplomacy and courtly dissimulation. Illustrations include the works of Dürer, Ripa, Blagrave and others. Humanism has been called “supple, subtle, wide-ranging” by E.D. Hill of Mount Holyoke College, who states that the work is “a very learned book, rich in uncommon lore from Italian and Latin sources but remarkably accessible nonetheless.” Jessica Wolfe is assistant professor in the English department, U/NC-Chapel Hill.
Shout for Joy: Poems from the Journey, Sharina Smith ’86, Xulon Press, 2004. Twenty-five years ago, Sharina Smith survived a suicide attempt and began a long spiritual journey. Chronicling the loneliness she felt at the loss of her earthly father and the bitterness of feeling abandoned by her Heavenly Father, these poems show that Smith saw glimmers of joy despite a lingering sense of ennui and emptiness. “As one who has survived trauma such as childhood incest, a teenage suicide attempt, the tragic loss of both parents, alcohol abuse, depression, betrayal and divorce,” writes Smith, “I believe my personal experiences will resonate with many modern readers …The essential message of my book is that joy can be found no matter what the circumstances of life.” After years of running away from home and her first love, Smith returns to the Ozarks, her high school sweetheart, and her religion. “Your heart will be moved with compassion and recognition as you travel with her on this journey,” writes singer-songwriter Robin Rees. And Pastor Hosea Bilyeu of the Ridgecrest Baptist Church writes, “Her transparency will help fellow travelers who are struggling with this awesome and sometimes awful thing called Life.”
The Living Art of Greek Tragedy, Marianne McDonald ’58, Indiana University Press, 2003. Subtitled “a concise guide to the historical and contemporary performance of Greek tragedy,” McDonald’s book brings together her training as a scholar of classical Greek with her vast experience in theatre and drama to help students of the classics and of theatre learn about the living performance tradition of Greek tragedy. She shows how ancient Greek tragedy, long a part of the standard repertoire of theatre companies throughout the world, remains fresh and alive for contemporary audiences. McDonald “links the ancient world,” writes Brendan Kennelly, University of Dublin, “to our modern one with a sureness of touch and an illuminating power of perception that readers will find thrilling and convincing.” McDonald is professor of classics and theatre at the U/CA-San Diego, and a member of the Royal Irish Academy. The author of more than 160 publications, she pioneered modern versions of the classics, and many of her translations/versions have been staged. Her books include Euripides in Cinema: The Heart Made Visible; Ancient Sun/Modern Light: Greek Drama on the Modern Stage; and Sing Sorrow: Ancient Classics in Modern Opera. She has six children, five grandchildren, and a black belt in karate.
Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War, Drew Gilpin Faust ’68, The University of North Carolina Press, 2004. This 1996 multi-award-winning book (reissued now in paperback) draws on the eloquent diaries, letters, essays, memoirs, fiction and poetry of some 500 of the Confederacy’s elite women as they experienced the collapse of slavery and the disappearance of prewar prosperity. Faust “has created a remarkable portrait of upper-class Confederate women’s wartime experience,” writes Bertram Wyatt-Brown in the New York Review of Books, “and done so with an economy of words and a spirit of engagement that places her work among the finest of recent histories of American women.” Josephine Humphreys of the New York Times Book Review writes that “I read with unanticipated fascination, spellbound by the gathered voices, their passion and stamina, their gifts of introspection and observation.” And Booklist declares this: “In addition to its rare readability, Faust’s effort is full of insights and even wit. Altogether, it is one of the most admirable recent volumes of American social history.” Faust is Lincoln Professor of History and Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.
Feeding Desire: Fatness, Beauty, and Sexuality Among a Saharan People, Rebecca Popenoe ’85, Routledge, 2004. “In the Sahara desert live about one million Moors for whom the ideal of female beauty has for centuries been to be as fat as possible,” writes Popenoe in her introduction. Voluptuous immobility is thought to beautify girls’ bodies, hasten the onset of puberty, heighten their sexuality and ripen them for marriage. From the time of the loss of their first milk teeth, girls are directed to eat huge bowls of milk and porridge in one of the world’s few examples of active female fattening. Basing her book on fieldwork in an Arab village in Niger, Popenoe demonstrates how a particular beauty ideal can only be understood within wider social structures and cultural logics; thus she provides a new way of thinking about the Western ideal of slimness. The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology calls the book “a very readable text…that will also appeal to a non-academic readership.” Popenoe is visiting lecturer in anthropology at Uppsala University in Sweden. She received her Ph.D. From the U of Chicago and has taught at U/Virginia and Middlebury College, as well as at Stockholm and Linköping Universities in Sweden.
Maine Antique Digest: The Americana Chronicles, edited by Lita Solis-Cohen ’52, Running Press, 2004. For more than 30 years, the tabloid Maine Antique Digest chronicled the arts and antiques inner circle. Now, Solis-Cohen has compiled into one comprehensive volume more than 70 reports and stories, anecdotes and facts, culled from The Digest. From toys and jewelry to furniture and documentation, this 448-page book takes readers behind the scenes of the scandals, sales, narratives and personalities within the society of antiques dealers and collectors. Read about Mark Hoffman, who rocked the Mormon Church by fabricating and selling fraudulent church documents, as well as committing two murders to cover up his crimes. Be transported to the 10-day Andy Warhol sale, where one mysterious bidder, to the anguish of those present, purchased 33 of the 38 lots of cookie jars once owned by Warhol. Find out how Oprah Winfrey single-handedly created an instant revival in Shaker furniture. Included are more than 300 black-and-white photos. Solis-Cohen became Maine Antique Digest’s first staff reporter in 1975 and remains as senior editor today. She was the antiques writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer and a syndicated writer for 35 newspapers across the country.
With Both Hands, Geraldine Warburg Zetzel ’49, Finishing Line Press, 2004. “Zetzel’s luminous second collection is a rare and most welcome work,” writes Sondra Zeidenstein, author of Resistance, A Detail in That Story. “The poems … render, in sensuous, precise music, experiences of a long life in a large world.” Born in New York, Zetzel grew up in Switzerland, Austria, D.C. and Chicago. She has led courses at the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement. Her poems have appeared in Kalliope, Crazy Quilt, Cumberland Poetry Review, among other literary journals, and in the anthology A Wider Giving: Women Writing After a Long Silence (Chicory Blue Press).
So Long, Susan Kane ’75, Oasis, 2004. What does a long-married, middle-aged Deadhead, mother three times over, and former corporate banker have to say about love and life? Through her songs, Susan Kane hopes to make an emotional connection with her audience, one that can pierce the heart. Produced by Billy Masters (guitarist for Suzanne Vega, Cry Cry Cry, Richard Shindell), So Long showcases Kane’s lyric-driven songs about relationships, the struggle of women to define themselves as wives and lovers, mother and daughters, and the tensions and contradictions inherent in the roles they play in everyday life. Other songs recall simple pleasures—like the myriad joys of childhood and make believe, or finding solace in the exquisite beauty of roadside chicory. Still others are wry observations on various contemporary follies. Kane’s style draws on many strains of roots-based music, from blues to country.Her songs include historical ballads, blues-inflected melodies, and up-tempo country-flavored tunes. CD Baby calls her work, “Country-folk, folk-rock, Americana, modern folk. Sweet and shuffly, anchored by solid female vocals.” Sloan Wainwright writes that “Susan’s pure delivery of this beautiful collection of songs leads the listener on a sublime sonic journey.” For more information, visit www.susankane.com.
One x 1,000,000 = change, Sandra Opatow ’88, emma’s revolution, Big W Productions, 2004. Sandy O has launched a new musical project with partner Pat Humphries, an award-winning songwriter and activist. The acoustic duo have dubbed themselves “emma’s revolution” and their new CD features songs of peace and protest. “If I Give Your Name”—which won the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize—sheds light on the silent suffering of family members of undocumented workers lost on 9/11 in the World Trade Center. “Peace, Salaam, Shalom” and “Keep Moving Forward” are sung at vigils and demonstrations around the world. Their music has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now! Other members of emma’s revolution have performed with Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison and James Taylor, among other folk luminaries. Visit www.emmasrevolution.com for more information.
The Mycenaean Feast, James C. Wright, editor, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2004. In his new anthology, Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology Wright collects studies that detail the conspicuous consumption and celebrations of ancient Greek aristocrats. Wright’s previous publications include: The Emergence of Leadership and Origins of Civilization in the Aegean and Thugs or Heroes? The Early Mycenaeans and Their Graves of Gold, among others.
Myths of the Underworld Journey: Plato, Aristophanes, and the “Orphic” Gold Tablets, Radcliffe G. Edmonds III, Cambridge University Press, 2004. The traditional tale of the journey to the underworld in Greek mythology is neither simple nor single, because each telling reveals a perspective on the cosmos, a reflection of the order of this world through the image of the other. “These myths are neither solemn religious dogma nor entertaining childish nonsense,” writes Assistant Professor of Greek, Latin and Classical Studies Edmonds, “but rather they are competing forms of authoritative cultural discourse.” The tales redefine—within the mythic narrative—the boundaries of society. Edmonds is a member of the editorial board of the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, and has contributed to Classical Antiquity, TAPA, and Ancient World.
Return to Summer 2005 Highlights