The following books by Hamilton alumni and faculty members have been added to the Burke Library collection. We welcome news of other new or recent books for annotation in upcoming issues of the Alumni Review. Copies of books or bibliographic information for ordering purposes may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nin Andrews '80, Sleeping With Houdini: Poems (Rochester, N.Y.: BOA Editions, 2007). A collection of prose poems based on the premise "that life on Earth is suffering, and that a large part of daily life and art is a search for an escape from this essential truth." It is a gloomy prognosis much lightened by lively humor. A highly personal work, self-revealing of "fantasies and fears, wishes and dreams," the Houdini of its title is derived from a wish to "vanish at will, just as Houdini did." Called "arguably the leading female voice in American prose poetry," Nin Andrews has also edited a book of poems by French writer Henri Michaux, whose work she first read with fascination while a student of David Lehman's at Hamilton. Her edition (with facing poems in French as well as English translation) was published as Someone Wants to Steal My Name in 2003.
Mike Barlow '75 (co-author), Partnering with the CIO (Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2007). Information technology is gigantically important in business today, and it is a key component of contemporary business success. The chief information officer (CIO) plays a highly influential role in purchasing decisions regarding information technology, and this book provides sellers, marketers and promoters of IT with a practical guide to dealing with CIOs. Drawn from the CIOs' own perspective, based upon in-depth interviews, it is written by Michael Minelli and Barlow, who is a journalist and management consultant with much marketing campaign experience.
Alan W. Cafruny, the Henry Platt Bristol Professor of International Affairs (co-author), Europe at Bay: In the Shadow of US Hegemony (Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 2007). Written with J. Magnus Ryner, this book challenges many of the prevailing interpretations of the problems and politics of the European Union, with particular regard to Europe's relationship to the United States. Called "a brilliant, polemical work of intellectual synthesis," it offers an incisive but sobering assessment of integrated Europe's long-term prospects, given its continuing dependency on, and subordination to, the U.S.
Benjamin A. Elman '68, A Cultural History of Modern Science in China (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Pr., 2006). In not much more than 200 pages of text, the author, a professor of East Asian studies and history at Princeton University, impressively summarizes scientific developments in China since 1600. Beginning with the impact of the Jesuits in late Imperial China and continuing through Protestant missionary influences in the 19th century, it places the emergence of modern Chinese science, medicine and technology in historical context. It describes the interplay with new ideas selectively absorbed from the West, resulting in a science essentially on Chinese terms. This volume is a slimmed-down version of the author's magisterial On Their Own Terms: Science in China, 1550-1900, published by Harvard University Press in 2005 and saluted as a major contribution to our knowledge of Chinese intellectual and social history.
Bill Harley '77, The Amazing Flight of Darius Frobisher (Atlanta: Peachtree, 2006). Written by the noted children's entertainer, musician and storyteller, this is the story of the adventures of an 11-year-old boy who escapes from a nasty aunt and a neighborhood bully on a magical flying bicycle. Replete with villains and fantasy, it will charm young readers. Among Bill Harley's other recent publications are Dear Santa (2005), an exceedingly humorous series of letters to Santa Claus, and Do It Together (2006), a collection of the many delightful songs he has written.
Frederick Hubbard 1836, A Yankee Engineer Abroad, 1855 to 1857: Part II: The East (Bloomington, Ind.: AuthorHouse, 2007). In 1837, the eminent Biblical scholar Edward Robinson, Class of 1816, began a pioneering journey that took him from Cairo through Sinai to Beirut. Twenty years later, a fellow alumnus, Frederick Hubbard, a civil engineer, followed in his wake. His manuscript travel notes, containing particularly insightful observations on the Holy Land of that era, have now been transcribed and edited by Linnaeus C. Shecut II and published with maps, drawings and photographs. Combining "the engineer's eye for detail with a poet's turn of phrase," the notes yield much of continuing historical interest and value.
Robert C. Hunt '56, Beyond Relativism: Comparability in Cultural Anthropology (Lanham, Md.: AltaMira Pr., 2007). Arguing that cultures are not incommensurable, but that they can indeed be compared, the author, a professor emeritus of anthropology at Brandeis University, sets forth a method by which comparison of dissimilar cultures can validly be made. Recommended as required reading "for anyone interested in advancing science instead of simply rehashing old debates."
Ahmet T. Karamustafa '78, Sufism: The Formative Period (Berkeley: Univ. of California Pr., 2007). Greeted upon publication as an outstanding contribution to Islamic studies, this work draws from a vast array of scholarly sources to fashion out of highly complex developments a unified narrative of Sufism's historical emergence. Beginning with mystical currents first manifested during the ninth century, it traces the spread of Sufism, the main mystical tradition in Islam, from its origins in what is now Iraq to the rest of the Islamic world. By placing Sufism in broad cultural context, the author, a professor of history and religious studies at Washington University in St. Louis, casts much light on a movement that had great impact on the shaping of medieval Muslim society.
Stuart Kestenbaum '73, Prayers and Run-on Sentences: Poems (Cumberland, Maine: Deerbrook Editions, 2007). Hailed as "heartfelt responses to the privilege of having been given a life," this latest collection of poetry by the director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, is infused with a profound sensibility. His poems are, in his own words, "like little journeys," and they are journeys insightfully reflecting the human condition all along the way.
B.A. King '56, The Oak Behind the House (New York: Quantuck Lane Pr., 2007). Through 30 years, B.A. King, well known for his nature photography, recorded with his camera a portion of the centuries-old life of a Northern Red Oak that cast welcome shade over his home in Southborough, Mass. This volume is lavishly and beautifully illustrated with his photographs of that stately tree, evoking "the deep connection between a family and the surrounding natural world." The photographs are accompanied by reminiscences of the rich role that the oak played in his family's life. His words are elegiac in tone, for the tree eventually had to be cut down.
N. Mark Lam '79 (co-author), China Now: Doing Business in the World's Most Dynamic Market (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007). For anyone contemplating a business venture in China, or even tempted by the opportunities it seems to offer, this handy guide contains essential information for avoiding pitfalls and maximizing chances of success. A wide-ranging primer covering everything from Chinese history and culture to the legal and business environment, as well as crucial regional and business differences and negotiating styles, its prose is highly readable and consistently lively. The authors, John L. Graham, a professor of international business, and N. Mark Lam, an attorney and business advisor specializing in East-West negotiations, draw upon much first-hand experience in sharing their insights and setting forth tactics and strategies.
James G. Meade '66 (editor), The Truth About Judas: Mysteries of the Judas Code Revealed (Cardiff, Calif.: Waterside Pr., 2007). Written by the Israeli scholar Yitzhaq Hayut-Man, this work is the first to examine the controversial "Gospel of Judas" from a Gnostic perspective and is intended to serve "as a catalyst for a re-examination of the historical role of Judas in Jewish-Christian interactions." More generally, "by shedding light on the mystical teachings of Jesus, [it] makes an important contribution to the ongoing inquiry into who Jesus really was and what his mission may have been." The editor, who has a Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University, is a free-lance writer who resides in California.
Robert A. Schultz '69, Street Smarts for the Practicing Physician and Surgeon (Towson, Md.: Data Trace, 2006). Based upon more than 20 years of experience in private practice, the author, who is currently a clinical associate in the department of orthopaedic surgery at Duke University Medical Center, offers much useful information and advice to his fellow physicians and surgeons, especially regarding the business side of medicine. Laced with humor, this slim volume would be highly useful for anyone planning to engage in medical practice, or even just thinking about a medical career.
Michael G. Sundell '56, Mosaics in the Eternal City (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2007). Written with the general reader in mind, this well and aptly illustrated volume focuses on the major works of public visual art in the form of mosaics that can be found in Rome, and which were created between 400 and 1300. Derived from an impressive grasp of the latest research, it places the mosaics in their historical context, and the result is a composite portrait of the city as it evolved throughout many centuries. Anyone interested in the history of art or religion, and certainly anyone contemplating a visit to Rome, will warmly welcome this book. Its author began his serious study of the mosaics in Roman churches after his retirement in 2000 as president of Yaddo, the famed artist's community in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
David Toomey '78, The New Time Travelers: A Journey to the Frontiers of Physics (New York: Norton, 2007). Ever since H.G. Wells' The Time Machine (1895), time travel has intrigued writers of science fiction. But only in recent years have scientists given serious thought and attention to the subject. This work, by a professor of English who teaches technical and nonfiction writing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, focuses on physicists such as Stephen Hawking, who have theorized about time travel. It emphasizes their personalities while weaving in the technical nitty-gritty as gently as possible for the nonscientific reader. Even skeptics who think the notion of time travel should rightly remain in the realm of science fiction will find this "fantastic journey to the frontiers of physics" a rewarding read.
Kimberly Troisi-Paton '91 (editor), Property Rights (Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2007). Part of the Greenhaven Press series on the Bill of Rights, this anthology of writings on property rights is the last published work by attorney Kimberly Troisi-Paton (see Necrology). The writers range from James Madison to William H. Rehnquist and Sandra Day O'Connor, and include commentators such as George F. Will on the Supreme Court's recent controversial decision regarding eminent domain. Replete with bibliography and an annotated list of pertinent Supreme Court cases, this slim volume is a handy introduction to the subject, not only for students of the Constitution but for anyone concerned with citizens' rights.
Jay G. Williams '54, The Voyage of Life (New York: iUniverse, 2007). Inspired by "the quest for meaning in a world that appears on the surface quite meaningless," these poems by the Walcott-Bartlett Professor of Religious Studies at Hamilton tackle such questions as, does life have a purpose, and if so, what is it? In verse that is eminently reader-friendly, he confronts such spiritual questions with great insight and sensibility.