Stephanie Rosenbaum ’90 (Photo: David Gartner)
New book: The World of Doughnuts: More than 50 Delicious Recipes from Around the Globe, by Stephanie Rosenbaum ’90 (Egg & Dart Press)
The author: A food writer and cook, Rosenbaum is the author of Kids in the Kitchen: Fun Food; Honey from Flower to Table; The Astrology Cookbook: A Cosmic Guide to Feasts of Love; and Anti-Bride Guide: Tying the Knot Outside of the Box. She has been a restaurant critic for the San Francisco Bay Guardian and for San Francisco magazine. Last year, she worked as an assistant chef at the Headlands Center for the Arts, an artists’ residency program located in the Marin Headlands (Sausalito, Calif.).
The book: A lot of people eat doughnuts on the go (with a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts joe). But in this cookbook, Rosenbaum shows readers how to make these treats at home by providing more than 50 recipes and tips. The recipes range from the classic jelly doughnuts to buñuelos (popular in Mexico) and Greece’s honey-soaked loukoumades to powdered sugary beignets from New Orleans.
Lauren Clay ’94 (Photo Courtesy: Vanderbilt University)
New book: Stagestruck: The Business of Theater in Eighteenth-Century France and Its Colonies, by Lauren R. Clay ’94 (Cornell University Press)
The author: An assistant professor of history at Vanderbilt University, Clay studies Old Regime and revolutionary France and its empire, focusing on urban cultural and civic life and the emergence of a commercially oriented society.
The book: Clay explores the making of the French theater industry during the pre-revolutionary era, when more than 80 provincial and colonial cities opened their first public playhouses. Clay “examines why and how professional public theater became a regular aspect of cultural and social life for city dwellers throughout France and its colonies,” she writes. Clay argues that theaters emerged as the most prominent new urban cultural institutions of the 18th century and shaped the cultural practices, commercial expectations, and social norms of the many spectators.
Jeff Colgan *10 (Photo Courtesy: Jeff Colgan *10)
New book: Petro-Aggression: When Oil Causes War, by Jeff D. Colgan *10 (Cambridge University Press)
The author: An assistant professor at the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C., Colgan studies international security and global energy politics. His article on petro-aggression in the journal International Organization won the Robert O. Keohane Award for the best article published by an untenured scholar. Previously he worked at the World Bank and McKinsey and Company.
The book: This study examines the relationship between oil-exporting nations whose revenue from net oil exports are at least 10 percent of their GDP — which he calls “petrostates” — and aggressive foreign policy. Cogan argues that oil income creates some incentives that increase the chance that a nation will be involved in interstate conflict and other incentives that decrease the likelihood of aggression. The key, he says, is the petrostate’s leader and domestic politics. “When a leader comes to power through a tumultuous domestic revolution … he is much more likely to have aggressive, risk-tolerant, ambitious preferences,” wrote Colgan on the blog New Security Beat. “Oil and revolutionary leaders are a deadly combination.” Petrostates, he writes in the book, “are among the most violent states in the world.”
Former Marine Lt. Donovan Campbell ’01 (Photo: Austin Walker)
New book: The Leader’s Code: Mission, Character, Service, and Getting the Job Done, by Donovan Campbell ’01 (Random House)
The author: A former Marine officer, Campbell served three combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. His first book, Joker One: A Marine Platoon’s Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood, was based on his time in Iraq. He was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and a Bronze Star with Valor. Today, he is a management and technology consultant with Credera in Dallas.
The book: Many of our leaders have “pursued gain … at the cost of their individual character,” argues Donovan. What we need today are the kinds of leaders reflective of what he learned as a military officer — the servant-leadership model. He describes that concept and explores how to develop character and the six virtues that underpin character — humility, excellence, kindness, discipline, courage, and wisdom. This leadership model, he argues, can be applied to anyone: “whether they lead at work, at home, in business, in government, in their neighborhoods, or in their communities.”
Fred Coleman ’60 (Photo: Oliver Alabaster)
New book: The Marcel Network: How One French Couple Saved 527 Children from the Holocaust, by Fred Coleman ’60 (Potomac Books)
The author: As a foreign correspondent, Coleman was Newsweek’s bureau chief in Paris for five years and the magazine’s bureau chief in Moscow for eight. He won the Newspaper Guild of New York’s Page 1 Award for the best reporting from abroad for magazines. He also is the author of The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Empire.
The book: Coleman tells the story of a young French Jewish couple — Syrian immigrant Moussa Abadi and Odette Rosenstock — who created a clandestine operation to save Jewish children in Nazi-occupied France. With the help of the bishop of Nice and Protestant pastors, the couple hid Jewish children in the homes of Protestant families and in Catholic schools and convents. In conducting research for the book, Coleman interviewed some of the now grown children that the couple saved, including Julien Engel ’54.
Lisa Catherine Harper ’88 (Photo: Lisa Johnson Photography)
New book: The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Tales of Food, Family, and How We Learn to Eat, edited by Lisa Catherine Harper ’88 and Caroline M. Grant (Roost Books)
The editors: The author of A Double Life: Discovering Motherhood, a memoir of pregnancy and early motherhood that won the River Teeth Prize for Literary Nonfiction, Harper has taught creative writing and literature in the San Francisco Bay Area. Grant is editor-in-chief of the website Literary Mama and the associate director of the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Five years ago, Harper and Grant started the blog Learning to Eat, where they write about how they feed their families and explore larger questions such as “Does family dinner, every night, really matter?” That blog sparked their anthology.
The book: This anthology of 28 original essays explores family food, how food reflects the dynamic of family life, and why food matters in our lives beyond the table. The contributors include food writers, parents, journalists, and chefs, who discuss what food means to their families. Among the contributors are Jeff Gordinier ’88 (who wrote “Why Won’t My Kids Eat Foie Gras?”); Paul Kogan ’88 (who co-wrote the title essay with his wife); Keith Blanchard ’88 (who wrote about his candy addiction); and Greg Dicum ’91 (who discussed wrestling with his own veganism while raising his child). Family meals are more than a means to fill our bellies, “they help create and define our relationships,” write the editors.
Jodi Picoult ’87 (Photo Courtesy: Jodi Picoult ’87)
New book: The Storyteller, by Jodi Picoult ’87 (Atria)
The author: Picoult, the best-selling novelist, is the author of 21 novels, including My Sister’s Keeper, Nineteen Minutes, and Sing You Home. In an interview on her website, Picoult said that The Storyteller was inspired by The Sunflower, by Simon Wiesenthal, in which the author recalls that a dying Nazi wanted to confess to and be forgiven by him when he was a concentration camp prisoner.
The book: A lonely young woman, Sage Singer, befriends an elderly man, Josef Weber – a pillar in the community. He shocks her by asking her to kill him. She refuses but finds out why he made such a request: he confessed that he is a former Nazi guard. Singer, whose grandmother (Minka) is a Holocaust survivor, must grapple with the news. Part of the novel tells of her grandmother’s experience during the war. The novel explores evil, atonement, accountability, and forgiveness.
Robert Masello ’74 (Photo: Martha Melvoin)
New book: The Romanov Cross, by Robert Masello ’74 (Bantam Books)
The author: A journalist, television writer, and author of both nonfiction and fiction books, Masello has written the supernatural thrillers The Medusa Amulet, Blood and Ice, Vigil, and Bestiary. His nonfiction book, Robert’s Rules of Writing, is used in many college classrooms.
The book: This page-turning novel combines a possible pandemic and the history of the Russian royal family. Army major and epidemiologist Frank Slater heads to a small island off the coast of Alaska where the permafrost has begun to melt and bodies of people who had been killed by the Spanish flu of 1918 lie. His job is to determine whether the thawed bodies are carrying the virus and could set off a pandemic. That island was at one time settled by a sect devoted to Rasputin, the infamous Russian monk, and has a connection to the fall of the Russian Romanov family.
Julia Greer ’92 (Photo: Courtesy Sunrise River Press)
New book: The Anti-Breast Cancer Cookbook: How to Cut Your Risk With the Most Powerful, Cancer-Fighting Foods, by Julia B. Greer ’92 (Sunrise River Press)
The author: Greer is not only a physician and cancer researcher, but also a foodie. And she brings those interests together in her cookbooks. The author of The Anti-Cancer Cookbook: How to Cut Your Risk With the Most Powerful, Cancer-Fighting Foods, Greer is an epidemiologist whose work focuses on pancreatic, ovarian, and breast cancers. She is a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition.
The book: Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States. Greer discusses the prevalence, risk factors, and types of breast cancers as well as the role diet can play in reducing the risk of developing cancer and preventing a recurrence. She provides more than 200 recipes for main courses, sandwiches, breads, soups and salads, beverages, and desserts. The ingredients are heavy on antioxidants, which may reduce an individual’s risk of developing breast cancer.
L. Andrew Cooper *05 (Photo Courtesy: BlackWyrm Publishing)
New book: Burning the Middle Ground, by L. Andrew Cooper *05 (BlackWyrm)
The author: Cooper grew up fascinated with horror fiction. At Princeton, he earned a Ph.D. in English; his dissertation became the basis for his first book, Gothic Realities: The Impact of Horror Fiction on Modern Culture. He teaches at the University of Louisville and chairs the board of the Louisville Film Society, and also is the author of Dario Argento (about the Italian film director) and co-editor of the textbook Monsters.
The book: When he was 17, Brian McCullough returned home to find his parents dead, lying in their blood in the basement, and his 10-year-old sister in her bedroom. With a gun in her hand, she shoots herself. The tragedy leaves McCullough speechless for a year. Five years after the murders, he is still living in the same house. A journalist begins a book on the tragedy and finds a struggle between two local churches. There are strange things happening in this dark fantasy novel set in a small town in Georgia: Pets are going berserk and dead bodies with no eyes or tongues begin to appear.
Stuart Taylor ’70 (Photo: Richard Bloom)
New book: Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, And Why Universities Won’t Admit It, by Stuart Taylor Jr. ’70 and Richard H. Sander (Basic Books)
The authors: A journalist, Taylor is a contributing editor for National Journal and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He also has taught at Stanford Law School and is the coauthor of Until Proven Innocent. Sander is a law professor and economist at UCLA.
The book: Racial admissions preferences often undermine the very people they are supposed to help, argue the authors. Many recipients are “mismatched,” meaning they end up in institutions where they are not as prepared academically as their peers and their learning and self-confidence can suffer. In the worst case, mismatched students – who would have done well at schools better suited for them — drop out. The authors don’t believe racial preferences should be banned completely; they offer suggestions on reforms, including fully disclosing preferential admissions policies and outcomes.
Mattie Brickman ’05 and producer Jon Avnet on the set of RO, a new web series that aired in December. (Photo: P. Martin)
In a new drama series on the Web, an attractive, smart young woman named Ro meets a series of men at a speed-dating event in a restaurant. She spends five minutes bantering with each one, before a bell rings to indicate time’s up. The first date compares her to a mutt. She hits it off with the second date, telling him that she spent the last few years in Italy. Before long, it’s evident that Ro is not her real name and that she seems to be hiding something and trying to reinvent herself.
Mattie Brickman ’05 is the creator of RO, which aired on WIGS, a new online channel, in late December. Brickman wrote six episodes – each about five to seven minutes long.
A playwright who is trying to break into TV writing, Brickman had been working mainly in theater in New York. But when producers of a new channel on YouTube began creating shows featuring leading female roles, they asked Brickman to write one of the series for their channel.
Roy Scranton GS (Photo Courtesy: Da Capo Press)
New book: Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War, edited by Roy Scranton GS and Matt Gallagher (Da Capo Press)
The authors: An Iraq veteran, Scranton was an artilleryman in the Army from 2002-2006 and is earning a doctorate in English at Princeton. His fiction, poetry, and essays have been published in Boston Review, The Massachusetts Review, New Letters, and The New York Times. A former Army captain who served in Iraq, Gallagher is a senior fellow at the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
The book: This anthology of war stories — written by veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — includes pieces by an artilleryman, public affairs Marines, a military lawyer, staff officers, a medic, an Army Ranger, and a military spouse. “Redeployment” by Phil Klay explores the challenges faced by a Marine returning home; Andrew Slater, a former Green Beret, writes about a soldier with a traumatic brain injury; and Roy Scranton’s “Red Steel India” (from his novel War Porn) portrays soldiers in charge of guarding a gate in Iraq.
Abigail C. Saguy *00 (Photo: Courtesy Abigail C. Saguy *00)
New book: What’s Wrong With Fat? By Abigail C. Saguy *00 (Oxford University Press)
The author: An associate professor of sociology and of gender studies at UCLA, Saguy earned her doctorate in sociology at Princeton. She also is the author of What Is Sexual Harassment? From Capitol Hill to the Sorbonne.
Our society is obsessed with fat – and we are told by experts that there is an obesity epidemic. Saguy “examines the social implications of understanding fatness as a medical health risk, disease, and public health crisis,” she writes, and the implications of understanding fat, instead, as beautiful and healthy. She argues that an obsession with obesity can do more harm than good by leading to bullying and discrimination. In an op-ed for The Los Angeles Times,
she wrote, “fear and loathing of fat are real, and American attitudes about fat may be more dangerous to public health than obesity itself.”
Patricia and Robert Foulke ’52 (Photo: Courtesy Robert Foulke ’52)
New book: A Visitor’s Guide to Colonial and Revolutionary New England, Second Edition, by Patricia and Robert Foulke ’52 (Countryman Press)
The authors: For nearly 60 years, Robert and his wife, Patricia, have been traveling, writing, and teaching. They have written 15 travel guides and many travel articles, which often focus on history, culture, voyaging, or skiing. The Foulkes live in Lake George, N.Y.
The book: This guide is geared for travelers who want not only to find good places to lodge and interesting sites to explore, but also to learn the history behind the places they visit. The book, which covers Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, explores colonial and Revolutionary sites, forts, churches, inns, houses, and museums. The introduction to each state describes its founding and development; the authors also discuss the social and cultural history of everyday life, such as architecture, religious practices, and customs.
Peter Georgescu ’61 (Photo: Courtesy Peter Georgescu ’61)
New book: The Constant Choice: An Everyday Journey From Evil Toward Good, by Peter Georgescu ’61 with David Dorsey (Greenleaf Book Group Press)
The author: Chairman emeritus of Young & Rubicam, a network of commercial communications companies, Georgescu was elected to the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2001. He also is the author of The Source of Success.
The book: Imprisoned in a Romanian labor camp as a child and separated from his parents for eight years, Georgescu reflects on the nature of evil and goodness, his understanding of God, and other philosophical and spiritual questions. He recounts his own journey — the horrors he experienced in Romania, his emigration to the United States at the age 15 knowing almost no English, and eventually becoming CEO of Young & Rubicam. He explores how individuals can make daily choices that lead to good. “Evil is woven into our past, as a species, but it doesn’t need to be a part of our future,” he writes.
Michael Pettit ’72 (Photo: Courtesy Museum of New Mexico Press)
New book: Artists of New Mexico Traditions: The National Heritage Fellows, By Michael Pettit ’72 (Museum of New Mexico Press)
The author: Pettit, who lives in Santa Fe, is a poet and National Endowments for the Arts Fellow. Among his books is Cowden Ranch, Riding for the Brand: 150 Years of Cowden Ranching, a history of his family’s ranch. He produced a documentary video — Living Traditions: Folk Art of New Mexico — as a companion to Artists of New Mexico Traditions. The film premiered in December at the Santa Fe Film Festival.
The book: Since 1982, 15 artists from New Mexico have received National Heritage Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts — the most from any state. Pettit explores the artistic heritage of New Mexico through profiles of these individuals — among them are potters, weavers, storytellers, and musicians. Included in the book are Irvin Trujillo, a seventh-generation Chimayó weaver; woodcarver George López; and Charlie Carrillo, who creates religious paintings and carvings in the santero tradition.
Laurie Feld Plissner ’86 (Photo: Andres Matos)
New book: Louder Than Words, by Laurie Feld Plissner ’86 (Merit Press)
The author: Plissner majored in art history at Princeton and earned a law degree from UCLA. Girls’ Life magazine named Louder Than Words, which is a love story and a mystery, one of 8 books to read after Twilight. Plissner’s second novel, Screwed, is due to be published in May.
The book: After her family is killed in a car accident, Sasha is so traumatized that she can no longer speak and loses most of her memories. Four years later, 17-year-old Sasha meets Ben, who seems to know what she is thinking. Ben tries to help her heal but he worries that his unusual talent will impede her recovery and backs off. Angry and lonely, Sasha explores her past to try to recover her voice and finds that her family’s death might have been more than just an accident.
New book: How to Do Things with Fictions, by Joshua Landy *97 (Oxford University Press)
The author: An associate professor of French at Stanford University, Landy co-founded and co-directs its Initiative in Philosophy and Literature. He also is the author of Philosophy as Fiction: Self, Deception, and Knowledge in Proust.
The book: In this exploration of the function of fiction, Landy challenges the idea that texts should be informative or morally improving to be of benefit to readers. In chapters on the Gospel of Mark, Plato, Beckett, Mallarmé, and Chaucer, he argues that these are texts “whose function it is to fine-tune our mental capacities.” They give readers know-how, skills, and training. “They present themselves as spiritual exercises” and “help us become who we are.” Each of the texts he examines, he writes, “contains within itself a manual for reading, a set of implicit instructions on how it may best be used.”
E. Kirsten Peters ’84 (Photo: Krista Kramer)
New book: The Whole Story of Climate: What Science Reveals About the Nature of Endless Change, by E. Kirsten Peters ’84 (Prometheus Books)
A geologist, Peters has authored three other books on geology. And she writes the “Rock Doc” column, syndicated essays on science for newspapers that can be found at www.rockdoc.wsu.edu
. Peters taught geology and interdisciplinary science at Washington State University and is currently the director of major grant development for its College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.
The book: To fully understand climate change, Peters argues, the public and policymakers should explore not only the work of climate scientists but also that of geologists. Drawing on the work of geology, Peters explains how the Earth’s climate naturally has changed over time. Geologists, she writes, “don’t generally traffic in computer models so much as direct physical evidence left in the muck and rocks of our planet.” Even if human beings never had produced greenhouse gases, she writes, “climate today would still be changing.” She also makes a plea to extinguish unwanted coal fires in mining districts, which would “eliminate a significant amount of carbon-dioxide production.”
(Photo: Courtesy the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus)
This funerary statuette from the 6th century B.C. is one of 110 objects unearthed at Polis Chrysochous in northwest Cyprus on view through Jan. 20 at the Princeton University Art Museum in the exhibition “City of Gold: Tomb and Temple in Ancient Cyprus.”
Items on display range from the ancient through medieval periods. They include stone and terracotta sculptures, wall paintings, gold and silver jewelry, coins, ceramics, and bronzes — some of which were excavated by a team from Princeton led by William A.P. Childs ’64 *71, professor emeritus of art and archeology and a co-curator of the exhibition.
Cypriot, end of the 6th Century b.c.e.: Funerary Lion for Kilikas, Limestone, h.38 cm, w. 40 cm, th. 16 cm. Polis Chrysochous, Local Museum of Marion and Arsinoe (MMA 227).
Jack ’42 and Margaret Huyler (Photo: Courtesy Whit Press)
New book: Every Full Moon in August: Campfire Tales of Old Jackson Hole, edited by Jack Huyler ’42 with Marlene Deahl Merrill (Whit Press)
The author: Huyler moved to Jackson Hole, Wyo., in 1926 at age six, when his family bought a ranch in what is now Grand Teton National Park. At Princeton he co-founded the Nassoons and served in World War II. After the war, he taught at the Thacher School in California. Back in Jackson Hole, for some 20 years he recorded stories that locals told around the campfire at his ranch, the Rocking H.
The book: Every summer Huyler and his wife hosted a potluck supper for his neighbors in Jackson Hole the Sunday closest to the full moon in August. One year they decided to ask their guests to share stories of locals who had died. In this book has collected some of them, which shed light on the colorful people and customs of Jackson Hole. One story tells of “Old Mr. Blackmun” who was a jack-of-all-trades — he ran a sawmill, a blacksmith business, and even pulled teeth and cut hair. Another story recalls how Farney Cole survived a bear attack by playing dead but after the bear wandered off, he found a tree limb and beat the bear to death.
Daniela Bleichmar *05 (Photo: Philip Channing)
New book: Visible Empire: Botanical Expeditions and Visual Culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment, by Daniela Bleichmar *05 (University of Chicago Press)
The author: Bleichmar, who earned a doctorate in the history of science at Princeton, teaches art history and history at the University of Southern California. She is a coeditor of Science in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires, 1500-1800 and Collecting Across Cultures: Material Exchanges in the Early Modern Atlantic World.
The book: The Spanish Crown of the late 18th century and early 19th century sent naturalists on botanical expeditions to survey the plants and flowers of its imperial territories and collect specimens for Madrid’s Royal Botanical Garden and Royal Natural History Cabinet. The naturalists took artists with them on these expeditions — making illustrations of the flora a part of science. Bleichmar examines the images of flora that were produced, which “have received scant attention” by historians of science and art historians, she writes. Her study “is an attempt to understand not only the meanings of the images, written words, and collections that emerged from such travails, but also the reasons for their creation.”
Richard Harwood *84 (Photo: Courtesy The Harwood Institute)
New book: The Work of Hope: How Individuals and Organizations Can Authentically Do Good, by Richard C. Harwood *84 (Kettering Foundation Press)
The author: Harwood is the founder and president of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, a nonprofit organization that aims to help people work for the public good. He seeks to improve political conduct and to get citizens engaged in important public issues; he has helped develop civic-minded organizations in dozens of communities in the United States. Harwood also is the author of Hope Unraveled: The People’s Retreat and Our Way Back, about politics and public life.
The book: Over the course of a year, Harwood and his colleagues held conversations with citizens in communities across the United States — from Detroit to Sonoma, Calif. — about how they felt things were going in the country today, what they were concerned about, and how they feel about politics, among other issues. What he found is that “There is a yearning within [people] to come back into the public square to engage with one another, to find ways to get things done together, and to restore their belief in themselves and their fellow citizens.” This new trajectory, people told him, will take shape through actions that start small and locally.
Nancy Herkness ’79 (Photo: Phil Cantor)
New book: Take Me Home, by Nancy Herkness [Theodorou] ’79 (Montlake Romance)
The author: A romance novelist, Theodorou (whose pen name is Nancy Herkness) was raised in the mountains of West Virginia, the setting for her fourth book. Before turning to writing, she worked in retail, computer programming, and marketing. She is the author of A Bridge to Love, Shower of Stars, and Music of the Night, was named a 2003 “Best Up and Coming Author” in Affaire de Coeur’s Readers’ poll, and has won other awards.
The book: Claire Parker returns to Sanctuary, W.Va., after a messy divorce. As she tries to readjust to small town life and mend her relationship with her sister, she bonds with Willow, an abused Thoroughbred mare. Claire meets the horse’s attractive and rugged veterinarian, Tim Arbuckle, who is grieving for his wife and never thought he would fall in love again. When Willow becomes sick, Claire and Tim work together to try to save the horse’s life.
New book: Three Tough Chinamen, by Scott D. Seligman ’73 (Earnshaw Books)
The author: A historian, Seligman has lived in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Mainland China. He has managed a public relations agency in China, served as communications director for a Fortune 50 company, and taught English in Taiwan and Chinese in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Dealing with the Chinese, Chinese Business Etiquette, and co-author of The Cultural Revolution Cookbook.
The book: At the turn of the 20th century, Chinese people who came to the United States faced prejudice. The author examines the obstacles they faced — including the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 — and the lives of the Chinese in America as he tells the story of three brothers who took a stand against injustice, fought bigotry, and advocated for equal rights.
Sophal Ear *97 (Photo: Courtesy Sophal Ear)
New book: Aid Dependence in Cambodia: How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy, by Sophal Ear *97 (Columbia University Press)
The author: Born in Cambodia, Ear and his family became refugees. When the Khmer Rouge took over in the 1970s, he and his mother and siblings escaped (though his father and oldest brother died) making it to Vietnam, then living in France, before moving to the United States. Today, he is an assistant professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, where he teaches courses on post-conflict reconstruction and political economy. He has worked for the World Bank and the United Nations. Aid Dependence in Cambodia was inspired by his family background.
The book: The author examines the relationship between aid dependence and governance. Cambodia has depended on foreign aid and intervention for about two decades, he argues, yet maternal mortality and inequality have increased and corruption is “entrenched as a political system in today’s Cambodia.” The long-term effects of aid dependence, he writes, “have made it difficult, if not impossible, for Cambodia to take ownership of its own development.” Ear also offers ideas on how Cambodia can move forward, including weaning itself from foreign aid “sooner rather than later,” strengthening tax collection, and reestablishing the link between representation and taxation.
From the introduction: “When I came to America in 1986, aged ten, starting seventh grade at Willard Junior High School in Berkeley, California, and not speaking a word of English, one of the first things I did was write a letter to President Ronald Reagan to thank him for fighting Communism. “
Constance Hale ’79 (Photo: Simo Neri)
New book: Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing, by Constance Hale [Ganahl] ’79 (W.W. Norton)
Hale has taught at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University and UC Berkley Extension and is the author of Wired Style
and Sin and Syntax
— which also is the name of her blog
The book: In this writing handbook, Hale aims to help readers make sentences that are as “enticing, graceful, sexy, and smooth as the tango.” The book, she writes, poses questions “that have dogged me,” including “How did verbs evolve into their central role in language?” “What does linguistics tell us about the way verbs drive a sentence?” And “What do we really need to know about verbs to write with confidence and panache?” In answering those questions, the book dips into “a little evolution, a little history, a lot of grammar, [and] a little usage.”
Peter Wheelwright *75 (Photo: Courtesy Peter Wheelwright)
New book: As It Is On Earth, by Peter Wheelwright *75 (Fomite Press)
The author: An architect and associate professor at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City, Wheelwright has practiced or taught architecture for more than 30 years. His project The Kaleidoscope House, a modernist dollhouse designed in collaboration with artist Laurie Simmons, is in the Collection of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art. In writing his first novel, he drew on his own family history — his 13th generation grandfather was Reverend John Wheelwright, a Puritan clergyman.
The book: Set in New England over seven days at the end of the Millennium 1999, As It Is On Earth follows Taylor Thatcher, the narrator and a young college professor from a fallen family of Maine Puritans who is trying to come to terms with his family’s history and religious legacy. The story also explores Thatcher’s relationship with his eccentric brother and with an Israeli photography student, Miryam.