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.
Mimi Brodeur '82, Peach Cookbook: Beverages, Breakfast Treats, Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Sides, Entrées, Desserts (Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Stackpole Bks., 2009). It's amazing what can be done in culinary terms with a peach. The wide-ranging possibilities are mouth-wateringly presented in this lavishly color-illustrated volume by a graduate of the Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in France. With varied experience as a caterer, food instructor, consultant and writer, as well as a restaurant reviewer, the author of Mushroom Cookbook follows up with this highly creative tribute to that popular, succulent fruit, the peach.
Samuel Crowl '62 (editor), The First Part of King Henry the Fourth, by William Shakespeare (Newburyport, Mass.: Focus, 2009). Part of the New Kittredge Shakespeare series, this volume, thoroughly annotated, features not only the play's text but also an essay on how to read it as performance, as well as a historical timeline, topics for discussion, a bibliography and a filmography. The editor, Trustee Professor of English at Ohio University and the author of several books on Shakespeare in performance, prefaces it all with a highly informative introduction. Students of Shakespeare, whether in a classroom setting or simply desirous to read the Bard, will welcome this little volume.
Galbraith Miller Crump '51, A Slant of Light (Gambier, Ohio: XOXOX Pr., 2009). A moving personal memoir of the life and death of the author's wife, Joan Amanda Lee Crump, it is the story of their life together, her struggle with cancer, and his coming to terms with losing her. Finding solace through memory of her as a wife, mother, teacher and artist who provided inspiration to others, he derives much meaning and comfort from meditating on her well-lived life. The author, a retired Kenyon College professor, resides in Charlottesville, Va.
Rachel Dickinson K'78, Falconer on the Edge: A Man, His Birds, and the Vanishing Landscape of the American West (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009). The art of falconry, hunting with birds of prey, can become an obsessive way of life for its adepts. In focusing on one of them, Steve Chindgren, a colorfully eccentric figure who pursues his sport with dedication and sacrifice, the author tells the story not only of falconry and its history but also much about the ways of the American West. Beautifully written in an informal and personalized way, and based upon keen observation, this slim volume filled with human interest will certainly appeal to readers in general, not only to falconers. The author resides in Freeville, N.Y., with her husband, Tim Gallagher (himself a falconer, which motivated her to write the book), and their four children.
Geoffrey Charles Emerson '61, Hong Kong Internment, 1942 to 1945: Life in the Japanese Civilian Camp at Stanley (Hong Kong: Hong Kong Univ. Pr., 2008). A tale of hardship, endurance and survival, this is the story of more than 3,000 Europeans and Americans who were trapped in Hong Kong when Japanese forces took over the British colony. Originally written as a master's thesis based to a large extent on interviews with survivors and completed in 1973, the work is now republished with a new introduction, illustrations and updating of information. It is both a poignant and illuminating account of life behind barbed wire by an author who has lived in Hong Kong for 45 years. His interest in Asia first inspired by a course with Professor Edwin B. Lee at Hamilton, he went on to teach history and English at St. Paul's College in Hong Kong until his retirement in 2000.
Michelle Facos K'76, Symbolist Art in Context (Berkeley: Univ. of California Pr., 2009). Somewhat lost between Impressionism and Modernism, Symbolism as an art movement of the late 19th century has not received the definition and understanding it deserves. In this large-format, nicely illustrated volume, the author, an associate professor of art history at Indiana University, makes a compelling case for Symbolism's independent importance. It not only served as a bridge between Impressionism and Modernism but also embodied ideals of its own. The author takes on a challenging and difficult-to-define subject and brings clarity to it in tracing the movement from its beginnings through its continuing echoes in the 20th century. Hers is a work that any student of European history, not only art history, will find rewarding.
James L. FitzGerald '61, Reflections from the Eye Sage (Manchester Center, Vt.: Shires Pr., 2008). A collection of essays, originally published as feature articles in a monthly newspaper, by an ophthalmogist who has long resided and practiced in the area where Massachusetts, Vermont and New York come together. Written for the general reader and containing fascinating information, often relating to optics, the essays are a delight to read. The author's presentation copy, now part of the Alumni Collection, is dedicated to "Hamilton College and the superb educational gifts of Jascha Kessler and Austin Briggs."
Bruce Goldstone '84, Greater Estimations (New York: Henry Holt, 2008). In this companion to his earlier Great Estimations (2006), the author gently leads young readers toward the fun of using their eyes and minds to come to grips with such mathematical measurements as length, weight, volume and area. With colorful illustrations and comparatively little text, it creatively introduces children to mathematical concepts and estimates in a highly entertaining way.
Michael Hagedorn '90, Post-Dated: The Schooling of an Irreverent Bonsai Monk (Portland, Ore.: Crataegus Bks., 2008). For more than two years, the author served an apprenticeship in the traditional art of bonsai in Japan. This is an account of his experiences in terms of daily activities but also of intellectual and even spiritual enlightenment. Part I consists of contemporary journal entries during his difficult and frustrating but often humorous efforts to learn about bonsai and bonsai culture. Part II consists of lessons learned in retrospect. The author, who studied ceramics at Hamilton and became a potter, now resides in Oregon, near Portland. His entertaining and illuminating book will interest not only the curious about bonsai and its place in Japanese culture but also anyone who welcomes a fun read.
Amy Hatkoff K'78, The Inner World of Farm Animals: Their Amazing Social, Emotional, and Intellectual Capacities (New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2009). Replete with many illustrations of highly photogenic farm animals, this volume draws upon scientific and psychological studies to make the case for the animals as sentient beings with feelings and capabilities. In chapters on various types of animals, interspersed with moving stories about individual ones, the author, who resides in New York City and has lectured widely to raise awareness of child neglect and the needs of children, challenges the reader to look at animals in new and more humane ways.
Michael Lent '84, Prey: Origin of the Species (New York: Marvel, 2007). Not to be confused with Darwin's great work, this glossy, gaudily illustrated "graphic novel" is a far cry from the comic books of our youth. With the words supplied by Michael Lent, it tells the story in pictures of underwater excavations that bring to the surface a horror that threatens "to make humanity its prey." In a tale of corporate cover-up, "a disgraced marine biologist" comes to the rescue to save the ocean "before something even more dangerous is unleashed on mankind." This is derring-do clothed in high style.
Robert C. Leslie '57, Yoga Psychology: The Science of the Inward Connection (New York: iUniverse, 2006). A student of raja yoga since 1959, the author, who lives in California, left his position teaching psychology at the SUNY College at Oneonta in 1987 to retrain as a psychological counselor and to teach yoga. Drawing upon his now-long experience, he presents yoga as a non-religious, non-mystical discipline that is psycho-spiritual, less concerned with physical fitness than with knowing the inner self. His book charts the difficult and challenging path to self-knowledge, leading to the mastery of "inner demons" and to spiritual freedom. Anyone with a desire to find inner peace through personal exploration will be greatly served by this work.
Wayne Mahood '56 (principal author), SUNY Geneseo: From Normal School to Public Ivy, 1871-2007 (Virginia Beach, Va.: Downing, 2008). The writing of any kind of institutional history is fraught with myriad difficulties and challenges, and that is especially true of a college history. Boldly undertaking the task of tracing and assessing SUNY Geneseo's history through 138 years, the principal author, a longtime faculty member at that institution, has succeeded in overcoming all the obstacles to produce this admirable work. In large format and extensively illustrated, it will no doubt remain a best seller among the Geneseo faithful for generations to come.
Marc Robinson '84, The American Play, 1787-2000 (New Haven: Yale Univ. Pr., 2009). The author, a professor of theatre studies and English at Yale University, has undertaken a highly ambitious project in exploring more than two centuries of the American theatre. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach in linking advances in theatre to contemporary developments in literature and the arts, he combines close textual criticism with a "panoramic overview" to accomplish the task. Described as "a searching and elegant study of American theatre by one of its foremost critics," this highly scholarly work demands the reader's close attention, with patience ultimately yielding great reward.
John Sundman '74, The Pains (Vineyard Haven, Mass.: Rosalita Associates, 2008). Described by the author as in part "a metafictionary meditation on chaos theory… disguised as an illustrated fantasy-horror novella that re-imagines the story of Job," this work complements his two earlier novels, Acts of the Apostles (1999) and Cheap Complex Devices (2002). Set in a strange and dark Orwellian world well beyond what even Orwell could have imagined, it has been called by one reviewer "disturbing but brilliant."
Samuel C. Townsend '60 (guest editor), Maine Policy Review, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Fall-Winter 2008). For this special issue on climate change and energy, the guest editor, executive director of the Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine and a veteran energy and environmental consultant, put together 25 essays by experts on a wide range of topics relating to climate change and energy needs, and their impact on Maine. Readers beyond that state's borders will also find much valuable information in it, including "policy, alternative energy, efficiency and practical examples of immediate actions that can be taken by communities, businesses, and consumers to improve their energy uses." Presented in a very attractive format, it is nicely illustrated with graphs and charts.
Donald A. Webster '53, What Am I Doing Here?: A Life (New York: iUniverse, 2009). In this memoir, both unpretentious and compellingly written, the author retraces his life as a voyage of self-discovery and transformation. Fascinated by politics from youth onward, he ultimately achieved his ambition to work not only on Capitol Hill but in the White House itself. That phase of his career in Washington will be of particular interest to readers who welcome glimpses behind the political scenes. Later, following the death of his wife and remarriage, he abandoned Washington for the sunny beaches of California, and the world of politics for creative self-expression through the arts, particularly writing. His talent with word and pen is evidenced by this lively memoir, which readers should find highly absorbing, as did the reviewer.