The following books by Hamilton and Kirkland alumni have been added to the Burke Library collection. We welcome other new or recent books for annotation in upcoming issues of the Alumni Review. Bibliographic information for ordering purposes may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, or, preferably, copies of books to Bookshelf Editor, Alumni Review.
Jon Blackwell '92, Notorious New Jersey: 100 True Tales of Murders and Mobsters, Scandals and Scoundrels (New Brunswick: Rutgers Univ. Pr., 2008). A rogues' gallery of assorted miscreants, from con men to killers, and, of course, shady politicians, who disgraced the Garden State over the years. Going back to colonial times, and including Alexander Hamilton's slayer, Aaron Burr, it also contains brief sketches of more contemporary happenings, such as the Governor McGreevey scandal. Written in lively, entertaining prose by a copy editor at the New York Post and former award-winning New Jersey news-
paper reporter, the book is a fun read despite, or perhaps because of, its sensational subject.
Curtis Brand '66 (co-author), Butterfly Moon: An Incest Survivor's Therapeutic Journey (Storrs, Conn.: Eleftherios Pr., 2007). A true story of childhood abuse, recaptured memories and successful efforts to heal. The story is Ann Tuller's, and it traces her journey from the brink of insanity through therapy to a reclaimed life. It is grippingly told in collaboration with her therapist, clinical psychologist Curtis Brand, who specializes in child and family practice and who, in his spare time, "writes and performs his own music and restores and sails old wooden boats."
Terry Brooks '66, The Gypsy Morph: Genesis of Shannara (New York: Ballantine, 2008).The third and concluding installment of the best-selling fantasy author's latest trilogy. Described as "an epic saga of a world in flux as the mortal realm yields to a magical one," it is sure to please the legions of Terry Brooks' faithful fans.
Mark Cryan '90, Cradle of the Game: Baseball & Ballparks in North Carolina (Minneapolis: August Publications, 2008). The Tar Heel State has had a long, active and rich involvement with the Great American Pastime, and this handsomely designed and illustrated volume offers a comprehensive guide to the many sites where the game is played in the state today. Arranged geographically, with graphics to please the reader's eye, it is the ideal book for anyone seeking information on Tar Heel ball and its fields of play, from directions for getting there to local attractions, dining and lodging. Included are ballparks large and small, from Little League to college. The author, who played football at Hamilton, has been engaged with baseball in North Carolina for many years. A former general manager of the Burlington Indians, he is currently athletic director for the Burlington Recreation and Parks Department as well as an adjunct professor at Elon University.
Thomas G. Donlan '67, A World of Wealth: How Capitalism Turns Profits into Progress (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Education, 2008). Written when the world was somewhat more wealthy, this book, an ardent defense of free-market capitalism, anticipated the current efforts to deal with the credit crisis through government intervention. Penned in lively and lucid prose, it covers the capitalist response to problems ranging from the energy crisis and environmental pollution to the high cost of health care and retirement security. Concluding with a look at today's economy and the quest for productivity, the book, written by the editorial page editor of Barron's National Business and Financial Weekly, not only explains the global economic marketplace but eloquently argues on behalf of the proposition that "we would all prosper more by doing all we can to make markets freer."
Allan J. Hamilton '77, The Scalpel and the Soul: Encounters with Surgery, the Supernatural, and the Healing Power of Hope (New York: Penguin, 2008). A spiritual memoir by a distinguished neurosurgeon, from childhood experiences to relationships with his patients, in and out of the operating room. Predicated on the assumption that "medical science [is] an integral part of God's creation" and that there is no conflict between religion and scientific integrity, Dr. Hamilton, who specializes in brain tumors, relates his experiences with great candor, including deathbed paranormal phenomena that challenge the skeptics among us. A professor of neurosurgery at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center and a physician who views patients as spiritual as well as physical beings, his is a highly inspirational story. It concludes with "Twenty Rules to Live By," practical and comforting advice for those facing surgery and its aftermath.
Andrew Horton '66 (translator), The Passport And Other Selected Short Stories (River Vale, N.J.: Cosmos Publishing, 2006), by Antonis Samarakis (1919-2003). A translation of eight short stories by the Greek author, along with an essay on his craft penned by Andrew Horton, a screenwriter and the Jeanne H. Smith Professor of Film and Video Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
Harry W. Kopp '65 (co-author), Career Diplomacy: Life and Work in the U.S. Foreign Service (Washington: Georgetown Univ. Pr., 2008). Written with the late ambassador Charles A. Gillespie, this is the ideal book for anyone contemplating a career in the country's Foreign Service, or even anyone remotely curious about its operations, and, in general, how foreign policy is fashioned and diplomacy conducted. A kind of insider's guide, it encompasses the history of the institution, its organization and functions, and, essentially, what life in the Foreign Service is like. Combining reader-friendly prose with candor about the challenges as well as the satisfactions in pursuing a foreign service career, it addresses such topics as assignments and promotions, and the profession's future in a world of rapid change. Harry Kopp, a former Foreign Service officer himself, is currently a consultant in international trade.
Michael Lent '84, Christmas Letters from Hell: All the News We Hate from the People We Love (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007). A hilarious take on those dreaded newsletters from relatives and friends that arrive in our mailboxes during the holiday season. The author, who possesses a highly developed funny bone, is a screenwriter and movie producer living and working in Los Angeles. He has also penned Breakfast with Sharks: A Screenwriter's Guide to Getting the Meeting, Nailing the Pitch, Signing the Deal, and Navigating the Murky Waters of Hollywood (New York: Three Rivers Pr., 2004).
David O. Lyon '59, The Kalamazoo Automobilist,1891-1991 (Kalamazoo, Mich.: New Issues Pr., 2002). Only recently brought to our attention, this large-format, extensively illustrated volume is catnip for the car buff. A thoroughly researched history of automobile manufacturing and early automobiling in Kalamazoo, it is the story of that small town's role in the innovation and development through a century of the "horseless carriage" that changed the world. The author, who majored in history at Hamilton, earned a Ph.D. in psychology and taught that subject at Western Michigan University for 35 years until his retirement in 1999. Fond of vintage automobiles, he has been a proud possessor of several of them over the years.
John Hammond Moore '50 (compiler and editor), The Voice of Small-Town America: The Selected Writings of Robert Quillen, 1920-1948 (Columbia: Univ. of South Carolina Pr., 2008). For three decades prior to his death, South Carolina newspaper publisher Robert Quillen's words were widely read in syndication. He even earned the praise of Hamilton's own Alexander Woollcott as "the Sage of Fountain Inn," the small town in the Palmetto State from which he transmitted his observations to the world. A largely forgotten figure today, he, and his words, once again draw attention through this collection of his writings. They include editorials and essays, anecdotes and occasional pieces, all reflecting insightfulness and often sarcastic wit. With an informative introduction by John Hammond Moore, who has written extensively on topics related to his adopted South Carolina, the compilation is arranged chronologically. Mostly from the 1920s and '30s, the writings reveal much about small-town life in that era. Secondly, the work has the great merit of rescuing from neglect a journalist who was in many ways "the Mark Twain or Garrison Keillor of his day."
John Nichols '62, An American Child Supreme: The Education of a Liberation Ecologist ([no place]: Milkweed Edns., 2001). Newly added to the Alumni Collection although published some years ago is this autobiographical essay. In it the novelist and nature photographer John Nichols retraces his journey along the path to social consciousness and radicalization. Reflective and revealing, it includes incidents from his student days at Hamilton. Appended is a biographical portrait of Nichols by Scott Slovic as well as a comprehensive bibliography of Nichols' extensive writings.
R. B. Quinn '83 (co-author), Cheater BBQ (New York: Broadway Bks., 2008). Lovers of traditional homemade barbecue can now forget the outdoor grilling pit. Here are 125 recipes for succulent BBQ, along with sauces, starters and sides, that can be prepared indoors in the oven or in a slow cooker. Written by Mindy Merrell and R. B. Quinn, and containing plenty of interesting commentary and sound, easy-to-follow advice, the book was inspired by the authors' passion for good barbecue, but with less fuss and muss. They "cook, eat and write in Nashville, Tennessee."
E.M. Rickerson '59 (general editor), The Five-Minute Linguist: Bite-Sized Essays on Language and Languages (London: Equinox, 2006). A collection of 60 brief essays, written by specialists in the field, each addressing the kind of question a language lover would be eager to have answered. "Informative, provocative and stimulating," the essays will fascinate anyone even mildly possessed of linguistic curiosity. Among them are two by editor Rickerson, emeritus professor of German as well as emeritus director of the language program at the College of Charleston, who created the radio series (Talkin' About Talk) from which the essays were derived. His contributions: "What Language did Adam and Eve Speak?" and "Whatever Happened to Esperanto?"
Michael G. Sheahan '65, Awaiting Day Seven: The Science of God as the Universe (Mustang, Okla.: Tate Publishing, 2008). Dr. Sheahan, emeritus clinical professor at Case Western Reserve Medical School, was prompted by his extensive experience with patients, especially those with chronic and debilitating illnesses, to explore his own religious faith as well as that of others. In this slim volume he writes about creation, God's existence and our relationship to the Supreme Being, and he argues not only that science and religion are compatible but that they are one and the same. "All that is was derived from evolutionary creation," and the process is not complete, for we are living day six and awaiting day seven. Penetratingly thoughtful, it offers provocative concepts and ideas challenging to the secular-oriented mind.
Jane Katz Summer K'76, The Silk Road (Los Angeles: Alyson Bks., 2000). Recently added to the Kirkland Alumnae Collection, this first novel "deftly explains both the anxiety and the excitement of the teenage lesbian experience." It is the story of Paige Bergman, an adolescent growing up alienated in suburban New York during the 1970s. She is beguiled by an older woman met by chance, and the outcome is both painful and emancipating.
Lany Williams '81, Wilbur's Story: Adventures of a Feisty Feline (New York: iUniverse, 2008). Dedicated to "all the animals in shelters that need loving homes," this is a cat tale about the life and wild times of Wilbur, as supposedly told by the mischievous and accident-prone feline himself. Inspired by the author's experiences with a cat she adopted after volunteering at an animal rescue shelter, it is a story full of humor and much charm. Lany Williams, the author, lives in Woburn, Mass., and is "an accountant by day and Wilbur's mom by night."