On the Bookshelf
|Power, Politics and Universal Health Care: The Inside Story of a Century-Long Battle
By Stuart Altman and David Shactman
|Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home
By Anita Hill
By Jeanne Guillemin, Ph.D.’73
Subtitled “Fear, Crime and the Investigation of the Nation’s Deadliest Bioterror Attack,” this book relates what Publishers Weekly calls a “real-life medical mystery.” Sociologist Guillemin, a senior adviser at MIT’s Center for International Studies, tracks the history of and response to the threat posed by anthrax. Helping keep the narrative in focus is an eight-page “cast of characters” listing victims, survivors, epidemiologists, scientists and others involved in the anthrax drama.
|Anatomy of a Kidnapping
By Steven L. Berk ’71
Texas Tech University Press, $27.95
Criminals don’t much care who you are, how much education you’ve got, or whether you’re in the business of stealing cars or saving lives. Berk, an infectious disease specialist and med school provost, learned that in 2005 when an intruder took him from his own home and held him at gunpoint for four seemingly interminable hours. During that short (but long) encounter, the doctor drew on his knowledge, judgment, sensitivity and sensibility as he faced eternity and worked to keep his cool and save his own life.
|Animals Behaving Badly
By Linda Lombardi ’84
Forget Lassie saving Timmy’s life or the way Tippy purrs at you. It’s all a charade to obscure their vileness, suggests Lombardi, a former zookeeper who exposes animal nastiness in 150 odd pages. Drunken apes are mean. Hummingbirds masturbate. Penguins rape. Hapless Aussies may fall to dingoes, crocs and even the adorable wombat. Squirrels steal your nuts. Swans mate for life, but they cheat. Mother frogs desert their eggs. Zoo animals pulverize people who breach those bars. What is the animal kingdom coming to?
|Eleanor Rubin: Dreams of Repair
By Eleanor (Leonard) Rubin ’62
A printmaker and watercolorist, Rubin gained acclaim in the ’70s and ’80s for her series of human rights posters. As her career unfolded, she collaborated with poets and research scientists to create additional stunning, socially aware images. In a forward to the book, historian Howard Zinn wrote, “[If] the role of art is to join beauty to a deep caring for a people in trouble, for a world in trouble … Eleanor Rubin fulfills the most profound responsibilities of the artist.”
|Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge
By Mark Yarm ’92
Grunge isn’t just what you get on your pants when you take the trash out. It’s also an elusive form of pop music developed just over two decades ago in the music clubs of Seattle. A raw fusion of heavy metal and jazz, the genre is captured here in the words of more than 250 musicians, producers, videographers, club owners, roadies and others who were part of the movement, along with dozens of period photos.
|George Washington’s Westchester Gamble
By Richard Borkow ’63
A physician specializing in pediatric rehabilitation, Borkow pursues an avocation as the village historian of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. In 2009 –10, he was project director for a series of YouTube video interviews with eminent historians sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In this slim but riveting volume, subtitled “The Encampment on the Hudson & the Trapping of Cornwallis,” he concentrates on a pivotal 1781 episode that may have helped turn the tide on the American Revolution.
|Hooper Finds a Family: A Hurricane Katrina Dog’s Survival Tale
By Janey Paley (Price) ’69
In fall 2005, hundreds of moving and sometimes heroic stories came out of New Orleans and other towns along the Gulf Coast. Surprisingly, many of the most touching related to pets who were displaced or abandoned during Hurricane Katrina. In this book for readers aged 8–12, TV producer Paley shares the harrowing first-person “narrative” of a real-life yellow lab who was rescued from the tempest and traveled from Louisiana to New York to meet and adapt to strange surroundings and a new family.
|The Limits of Ferocity: Sexual Aggression and Modern Literary Rebellion
By Daniel Fuchs ’57
Duke University Press, $94.95
An English professor emeritus at CUNY Staten Island, Fuchs is the author of previous books on Saul Bellow and Wallace Stevens. In this new work of literary criticism, he takes on the angry “culture of extremity” represented in the works of D.H. Lawrence, Georges Bataille, Norman Mailer and Henry Miller. In a review, Normal Mailer specialist Andrew Gordon described “The Limits of Ferocity” as “a significant contribution to the study of modern fiction and to psychoanalytic criticism.”
|The Little Everyman
By Deborah Needleman Armintor ’95
University of Washington Press, $35
Long before “Little People, Big World” hit the TV screen, people were intrigued by small men, from the dwarfs of European court paintings to literary heroes like Henry Fielding’s Tom Thumb. Armintor, who teaches English at the University of North Texas, looks at Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels,” Josef Boruwlaski’s “Memoirs of the Celebrated Dwarf” and other works to analyze notions of stature and masculinity in 18th-century English literature. In Armintor’s study, one reviewer says, “dwarfs move from serving as representatives of aristocratic court culture to models of the bourgeois man of feeling.”
|The Performance of 16th-Century Music: Learning From the Theorists
By Anne Smith ’73
For almost 40 years, Smith’s work has focused on Renaissance flutes and other aspects of 16th-century music. Here, she strives to help early-music performers advance their technical and expressive abilities. Emphasizing how 16th-century polyphony functions, the author familiarizes today’s artists with the tools necessary to perform the half-millennium-old repertoire to what she calls its “fullest, most glorious potential.”
|Something for Nothing
By Michael W. Klein ’80
MIT Press, $29.95
Klein, an economist with the U.S. Treasury Department and economics professor at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, makes his fiction debut with this novel about a young academic striving to get on the tenure track. Told with warmth, humor and what one reviewer called “a heavy dose of irony,” the tale touches on ambition, romance, faculty politics, and the challenge of balancing career with personal life, success with integrity, and loyalty with desire.
|The SPHAS: The Life and Times of Basketball’s Greatest Jewish Team
By Douglas Stark ’94
Who knew that, in its infancy, basketball was a largely Jewish game? For decades, the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association fielded one of the top squads in the American Basketball League. The all-Jewish SPHAS captured seven titles in 13 seasons. Stark, past librarian and archivist at the Basketball Hall of Fame, follows the team from its opening shot in 1918 through disbandment in 1959, tracing its vibrant history in photos, stats, interviews and memorabilia.
|A Storm Called Katrina
By Myron Uhlberg ’55
This children’s picture book, told through the words of 10-year-old Louis Daniel, depicts a black family’s experience of the 2005 horror that was Hurricane Katrina. Enhancing the simple story are beautiful paintings by Colin Bootman. The pair’s earlier collaboration, “Dad, Jackie and Me,” about the career of baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson, received a Schneider Family Book Award from the American Library Association. A former businessman, Uhlberg has written six children’s book since his retirement in 1995.
|Visualizing Law in the Age of the Digital Baroque: Arabesques and Entanglements
By Richard K. Sherwin ’75
An expert on how law relates to the arts and humanities, Sherwin heads the Visual Perception Project at New York Law School, where he is a professor. His earlier book, “When the Law Goes Pop,” addressed what he called “the vanishing line between law and popular culture.” Here, he explores the impact visual technologies are having on ethics, legal practice and perception as attorneys, judges and juries confront phenomena ranging from actual crime footage to video games to suggestive digital simulations.
|Lucky by Design: Navigating Your Path to Success
By Beth Goldstein
Dog Ear Publishing, $18.95
In “The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Toolkit,” marketing consultant Goldstein equipped business owners with essential skills to promote their companies and products. In this follow-up, she sets forth a step-by-step roadmap aimed at helping them make their own good luck through growth activities. Peter Russo of the Boston University School of Management calls the book “a must-read for any entrepreneur who has considered why some people seem to … benefit from lucky breaks while others seem to just miss.”