Author Archives: Erin McDonough

Jordan ’60 Translates Homer’s Odyssey

HomerNew book: The Odyssey, translated by Herbert Jordan ’60, with an introduction by E. Christian Kopff (University of Oklahoma Press)

The translator: After his only son was killed in 1999 in a car accident, Jordan, who had been reading Homer in translation, learned to read the original Homeric Greek to help channel his grief. Later he decided to tackle producing a new verse translation of the Iliad, and has now done the same with the Odyssey. An attorney, Jordan is an independent scholar of Greek.

The book: Homer’s Odyssey is a classic of Western Literature. Jordan translates the ancient Greek epic into blank verse, rendering the Odyssey line-for-line in iambic pentameter. Jordan navigates Homer’s dactyls and extended metaphors, capturing the essence of the poet’s meanings while avoiding an overly literal or colloquial style. This edition features maps of the Aegean region and Odysseus’ travels, explanatory notes, a pronunciation glossary of nouns, and an index of similes. Continue reading

Hillis ’02 Studies Russian Nationalism in Ukraine

Children of RusNew book: Children of Rus´: Right-Bank Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation, by Faith Hillis ’02 (Cornell University Press)

The author: Hillis is an assistant professor of Russian history at the University of Chicago. Her focus is on imperial Russia, with a special interest in 19th- and early 20th-century politics, culture, and ideas. In her research and teaching she explores how Russia’s peculiar political institutions — and its status as a multiethnic empire — shaped public opinion and political cultures. This is her first book.

The book: Hillis examines a little-known chapter in the history of tsarist Russia. Looking at the southwestern borderlands of the Russian Empire, an area that today is located in the heart of the state of Ukraine, she uncovers one of the most aggressive and politically successful Russian nationalist movements. Right-bank Ukraine was one of the Russian empire’s last territorial acquisitions and most diverse corners, with few of its residents speaking Russian as their native language or identifying with the culture of the Great Russian interior. Yet the southwest’s Russian nationalists identified as “Little Russians”— Orthodox believers who embraced what we today would understand to be Ukrainian culture while eschewing Ukrainian national separatism. Continue reading

Hurley ’96 Illustrates Children’s Book

Jorey Hurley ’96 (Photo: Courtesy Jorey Hurley ’96)

Jorey Hurley ’96 (Photo: Courtesy Jorey Hurley)

Nest, by Jorey Hurley ’96 (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

The author: A designer and illustrator, Hurley studied art at Princeton and design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. From 2005 to 2010, she was on the design team at Hable Construction, a textile design company based in New York. Though not new to illustrating, this is her first book. She says that her inspiration comes from animals, plants, and the beauty in daily life.   Continue reading

Decker ’58 Examines a Church’s Role in the Antislavery Movement

Brooklyn's Plymouth church-thumb-200x300-23568Brooklyn’s Plymouth Church in the Civil War Era: A Ministry of Freedom, by Frank Decker ’58, assisted by Lois Rosebrooks (The History Press)

The author: Decker is a longtime member of Plymouth Church, serving on its governing council from 1993 to 1999, and as its president for three years. In 2007, after Decker retired from the practice of law, he and Rosebrooks succeeded in having the church listed as a site on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. In 2009, he wrote and presented a paper on Henry Ward Beecher and the Plymouth congregation, which was published in the International Congregational Journal. Decker also was an associate editor for two volumes of The Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton.

The book: Brooklyn’s Plymouth Church in the Civil War Era examines the Brooklyn-based bastion of anti-slavery sentiment: Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, led by Henry Ward Beecher. Plymouth Church was not only publicly important in the fight for abolition — holding mock slave auctions, raising money to purchase freedom for slaves, and sending guns nicknamed “Beecher’s Bibles” to those struggling for a free Kansas — but it also was a busy Underground Railroad station. Once the Civil War broke out, the congregation helped raise troops and supplies for the U.S. Army.

Davids ’69 Exhibits Mixed-Media Works in California

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Paul Davids ’69 (Photo: Chris Loomis)

The exhibition: The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is showcasing “An Adventure in Texture,” a collection of 13 mixed-media pieces created by Paul Davids ’69 working in collaboration with Russell Metzger.

 
Dates and location: Feb. 8 – April 30, 2014 at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, 1 Ritz-Carlton Dr., Dana Point, Calif.
 
The artist: A prolific artist, Davids’ paintings have been displayed in many galleries. “The art I create is representational,” he wrote in the exhibition’s press release. “However, my conception of representational art is infused with abstractions. … I lend a personal interpretation to my subjects with attitudes that range from compassion to whimsy.” Davids has his hands in multiple art forms: At Princeton he won numerous awards in writing, and he has written and directed eight films, including Jesus in India and Starry Night, about Vincent van Gogh. Davids and his wife, Hollace Davids, co-wrote six Star Wars sequel novels. His collaborator, Metzger, has a background in abstract art and music and lives in Albuquerque, N.M.

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Warren ’83 Offers Advice for Dads

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Roland C. Warren ’83 (Photo: Courtesy Zondervan)

New Book: Bad Dads of the Bible: 8 Mistakes Every Good Dad Can Avoid, by Roland C. Warren ’83 (Zondervan)

 
The author: Warren worked for nearly 20 years in the business world for IBM, PepsiCo, and Goldman Sachs & Co. He then spent over a decade as president of the National Fatherhood Initiative, whose mission is to improve the wellbeing of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers. Today he is president and CEO of Care Net, a network of Christian pregnancy resource centers.
 
The book: Some of the most noted, celebrated, and godly men in the Bible — including Abraham, David, and Eli — made some very big mistakes when it came to raising their children. This book examines these mistakes, bringing them into a contemporary setting and giving today’s dads advice on how to avoid them. Should a dad slip up, this book also provides an easy-to-follow roadmap to help repair a father’s relationships with his children.

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