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 Hamilton Alumni Review. Copies of books or bibliographic information for ordering purposes may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOUGLAS AMBROSE, the Sidney Wertimer Associate Professor of History, and ROBERT W. T. MARTIN, associate professor of government (co-editors). The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton: The Life and Legacy of America’s Most Elusive Founding Father (New York: New York University Pr., 2006). The editors address perennial questions about Hamilton, such as “Was Hamilton a closet monarchist or a sincere Republican? A victim of partisan politics or one of its most active promoters? A lackey for British interests or a foreign policy mastermind?” Ambrose wrote the introduction and Martin contributed a chapter to the book inspired by a 2001 Hamilton College conference that brought to campus scholars who examined Hamilton’s impact on American political, economic and intellectual life.
SAMUEL FISHER BABBITT, former Kirkland College president. Limited Engagement: Kirkland College 1965-1978: An Intimate History of the Rise & Fall of a Coordinate College for Women. ([no place]: Xlibris, 2006). Kirkland College’s first and only president shares his perspectives on the coordinate college for women, from its founding through its decade-long operation and to its eventual merger with Hamilton. The author writes in the foreword that his book is Kirkland’s story told from his point of view as “an administrator who was immersed in the policies of the college, the work of the trustees, the strategies of growth and the daily struggle for survival.” Sprinkled throughout are photos, quotes, excerpts from trustee meetings and reports, and other information that lend insight into the visions, impressions and inspirations of those who shaped Kirkland College and its legacy.
L. E. BAER ’46, Twisted Classics: A Modern Look At Old Beloved Poems ([no place]: Xlibris, 2006). After penning two books of poetry for children, the author, a retired high school teacher residing in California, has now served up a treat for adults. Drawing upon his self-confessed “wicked sense of humor,” he offers an anthology of poems, often of only one stanza, having to do with topics ranging from love and beauty and food and drink to money and politics, and even death. All with a satirical edge, they make for a highly amusing read.
KENNETH J. BLUME ’70, Historical Dictionary of U.S. Diplomacy from the Civil War to World War I (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Pr., 2005). The first volume in a new series of historical dictionaries of U.S. diplomacy, this is an extremely valuable and handy reference work for all students of the subject. With an introductory essay and chronology of main events, it covers the crucial era of U.S. emergence as a world power. The author, a professor of history who specializes in 19th century U.S. diplomatic and naval history, chairs the department of humanities and social sciences at the Albany College of Pharmacy.
PETER N. BORYS, JR. ’86, Transforming Heart and Mind: Learning from the Mystics (New York: Paulist Pr., 2006). “A synthesis of theology, mysticism and modern psychology” in a work aimed at exploring the healing power of Christian spiritual transformation. Beginning with the insights of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas as guides to human understanding, the author, a lawyer by training and a full-time writer residing in the Rochester area, draws upon the wisdom of the great mystics to present a work that “will be invaluable for all who seek to be transformed in body, mind and spirit.”
TERRY BROOKS ’66, Armageddon’s Children (New York: Ballantine, 2006). The first of a new fantasy trilogy by the best-selling master of the genre, it is set 80 years into the future when the earth has succumbed to ecological disaster and mutated monsters roam it at will, while a handful of humans “struggle to salvage hope in the face of terrifying chaos.” It is every bit the brilliantly imagined and suspenseful page-turner that Terry Brooks’ fans have come to expect.
ROBERT B. CARSON ’56, The Missing Link: Recalling the Forgotten Generation of American Dreamers Who Grew Up and Came of Age Between “The Greatest” and “The Boomers” (Victoria, B.C.: Trafford Publ., 2005). Focusing on his own generation, that of the “Depression Babies” who reached maturity in the 1950s, the author, an emeritus professor of economics at the State University of New York College at Oneonta, makes a persuasive case for that generation’s unique character. To a great extent autobiographical as well as a “life and times” of an important but historically neglected generation, it contains numerous references to Hamilton and Hamiltonians, including an excellent chapter on the College in the 1950s.
SAMUEL CROWL ’62, The Films of Kenneth Branagh (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2006). The author, Trustee Professor of English at Ohio University, has also established a reputation as an authority on Shakespeare in performance, and especially on film. In this, his latest work, he focuses on Kenneth Branagh’s transition from actor to filmmaker by critically examining eight of his major films, several of them drawn from Shakespeare. Written not in dry scholarly style but in lively, everyday prose, the volume includes an interview with Branagh as well as a filmography and chronology of his work.
DIANE H. DILLON ’87, Mommy Mantras (New York: Broadway Bks., 2006). Diane Huebner Dillon and her coauthor, Bethany E. Casarjian, both psychologists who work with children and families, offer to harried mothers “Mommy Mantras,” which are “phrases you can say in your head, or out loud if you need to, during those trying moments of mothering.” With wisdom and humor, the authors provide practical advice in coping with daily problems and restoring parental equilibrium. Witty and insightful, the book has received glowing reviews as “positive and inspiring.”
BILL FIVAZ ’56, United States Gold Counterfeit Detection Guide (Atlanta: Whitman Publ., 2005). A handsomely and lavishly illustrated handbook, providing ready reference for coin collectors, alerting them to the pitfalls of fakery. “An absolute must for anyone who buys or is thinking of buying United States gold coins,” its author, a retired sales manager for the Nestlé Co., is one of the nation’s leading authorities on numismatics and a much honored member of the American Numismatic Society’s Hall of Fame.
STEPHENSON HUMPHRIES-BROOKS, associate professor of religious studies. Cinematic Savior: Hollywood’s Making of the American Christ (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publ. Group, 2006). Through an objective consideration of such films as King of Kings, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Jesus of Nazareth, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Passion of the Christ, the author examines how big-screen depictions of Christ have helped determine, and been determined by, particularly American notions of who Jesus was, how he lived and died, and what he means for both our religious and secular cultures.
HARRY HUTSON ’69, Putting Hope to Work: Five Principles to Activate Your Organization’s Most Powerful Resource (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2006). Coauthored with Barbara Perry, the volume offers hope as a powerful and effective tool in inspiring and mobilizing people and teams in the workplace by unleashing “positive aspects of the human spirit at work.” The author, with much experience in human resource management, is a business advisor and consultant.
MATTHEW E. KAHN ’88, Green Cities: Urban Growth and the Environment (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Inst. Pr., 2006). How can we sustain our environmental quality, given population growth and ever-increasing urban development and suburban sprawl? The author, a professor of economics at the Fletcher School of Tufts University, addresses the problem by setting forth the data and the various arguments concerning the environmental consequences of urban growth. In so doing, he provides the reader not with answers, but with the analytical tools needed to confront an issue crucial to our future as a nation.
RAY LAUENSTEIN ’91, College Bound: The Official Guide to Playing College Baseball (Boston: Athlete’s Advisor Pr., 2005). First published in 1997 and now updated for the third time, this “recruiting bible for high school players and parents” provides virtually everything they would want or need to know about college baseball programs. The author, who captained the baseball team at Hamilton and later coached in Florida and Colorado, is director of the College Bound Student Athlete program for the Frozen Ropes Baseball and Softball Training Centers. He resides in Boston.
JOHN HAMMOND MOORE ’50, Carnival of Blood: Dueling, Lynching, and Murder in South Carolina 1880-1920 (Columbia: Univ. of South Carolina Pr., 2006). The title may be a bit lurid, but this is a solidly researched historical assessment of social trends giving rise to various forms of violence during the Palmetto State’s transition from the 19th to the 20th century. The author, who has written extensively on his adopted state and region, carries the story from the decline of dueling and the rise and abatement of racial lynching through an era of murder and mayhem having no racial component for the most part. “An unflinching portrait of tragic times,” this work is an important contribution to our understanding of a violence-prone era in the South, and beyond, as well as its causes.
TERESA NOELLE ROBERTS ’85, The Hawk’s Frequency: Poems (Seattle: Bellowing Ark Pr., 2006). This collection of verse, “inspired by New England nature and the ancient tales of Greece and the British Isles,” combines both spiritual and down-to-earth sensibility with a seasoning of humor. It is more than a worthy successor to the poet’s earlier book of verse, Digging Up the Bones.
MICHAEL W. SHERER ’74, Death Is No Bargain: An Emerson Ward Mystery (Waterville, Maine: Five Star, 2006). It has been a while since we were treated to the adventures of crime sleuth Emerson Ward. Now the fifth novel in the series, begun many years ago, has arrived, and it is as fast-paced and action-packed as any of its predecessors. In this one, the likable Ward is the target of murder and on the run. While trying to extricate himself from his predicament by searching for a missing girl, “the trail leads him on a twisted and deadly journey through the heated and sometimes violent debate over abortion and the sex scandals rocking the Catholic Church.” The author, a marketing communications consultant and freelance writer, resides with his family near Seattle, Wash.
JORDAN SMITH ’76, The Names of Things Are Leaving: Poems (Tampa: Univ. of Tampa Pr., 2006). This is the fifth volume of verse by a professor of English at Union College credited with writing “some of the most important poetry of the post-Vietnam generation.” The subjects encompassed in this collection range widely, but with some emphasis on musical themes. The poems are both personal and highly lyrical, and they provide their readers with rich reward.
THOMAS G. SMITH ’91, Green Republican : John Saylor and the Preservation of America’s Wilderness (Pittsburgh: Univ. of Pittsburgh Pr., 2006). A biography of the congressman from Johnstown, Pa., who, from the 1950s until the 1970s, played a key role in the passage of crucial environmental legislation that has resulted in the creation and protection of national parks and wilderness areas. The author, who teaches at Nichols College where he chairs the department of history, makes a convincing case in this thoroughly researched study for the now little-known Rep. Saylor as “arguably the leading congressional conservationist of the 20th century and a major force in the preservation of America’s wilderness.”
DIANA B. TURK ’90, Bound by a Mighty Vow: Sisterhood and Women’s Fraternities, 1870-1920 (New York: New York Univ. Pr., 2004). Originating in her doctoral dissertation at the University of Maryland, this richly documented monograph is an objective exploration of the meaning of sisterhood for those who belonged to them during the early history of women’s fraternities (now called sororities). The author, an assistant professor in the department of teaching and learning at New York University, concludes that, “In complicated and at times contradictory ways, women’s fraternities both empowered and constrained their many thousands of members.” Along the way, and in historical context, she points to their varied and changing roles over time, from support networks in a hostile academic world to useful connections socially and professionally in later life.
JOHN L. WARD ’60, Edwin Dickinson: A Critical History of His Paintings (Newark: Univ. of Delaware Pr., 2003). Billed as “the first monograph to be published on the paintings of this important, but neglected artist, “ it is an impressive study of both the life of the 20th-century American representational painter and of his work. It is extensively illustrated in black-and-white and color, and provides splendid recognition of Dickinson’s artistic achievements. The author, himself a painter, is an emeritus professor of art history and painting at the University of Florida.