Gary L. Fanning ’62, Things I Didn’t Learn in Medical School: Tough Lessons from a Lifetime of Practice ([no place]: Xlibris, 2012). A retired anesthesiologist and medical director, now residing in Minnesota, Dr. Fanning reflects on his experiences during a 45-year career in medicine. Written with insight and humor, and in an invitingly conversational manner, the book contains lessons of value to anyone currently pursuing, or even contemplating, a career in health care. And if you have ever encountered medical care as a patient, you are likely to find it quite informative as well.
D. Michael Ferrare ’83, Walking the Unmarked Path: Notes from My Journey to Personhood in the New Millennium (Salt Lake City: American Book Publishing, 2011). There is no shortage of self-help books, but this one has special claim to distinction. Written by a director of human resources and career development consultant, it addresses the question, “What does it mean to be a responsible adult in today’s world?” The answer it provides is presented in lucid prose, and anyone aspiring to become “a full person,” one who makes a positive contribution to society, will find its practical advice of great benefit.
Harry Groome ’60, The Girl Who Fished With a Worm (Villanova, PA: Connelly Pr., 2011). The locale is Sweden, the suspenseful plot abounds in twists and turns, and the heroine of this fast-paced thriller is named Gotilda Salamander. Any resemblance between her and Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, is purely intentional. This slim volume is a first-rate parody of Larsson’s crime fiction, and Larsson fans (and they are legion) who have any sense of humor at all will find this send-up a real treat. Harry Groome, a former business executive and ardent conservationist (part of the proceeds from the book goes to the Penobscot River Restoration Trust), is a fly fisherman who denies having ever fished with a worm.
Cameron McWhirter ’86, Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America (New York: Henry Holt, 2011). In the aftermath of the First World War, a wave of race riots and lynchings swept the country. The violence was a deadly reaction to the hopes of blacks that a new era of civil rights would be dawning after the end of the war “to make the world safe for democracy,” an outcome to which blacks had importantly contributed on the home front and in the trenches. Based on extensive research and told in gripping detail, this is a narrative history that has been described by Booklist as “a riveting account of the summer that transformed American race relations.” Written by a journalist who majored in history at Hamilton and is now a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, it is an indelible reminder of a time and events in our history that too many Americans have for too long forgotten.
John Hammond Moore ’50, The Young Errol: Flynn Before Hollywood (Bloomington, IN: Trafford, 2011). For many years the book in Hamilton’s Alumni Collection most often requested on interlibrary loan was John Hammond Moore’s life of the young Errol Flynn, the future swashbuckling (and somewhat notorious) movie star. It was published in Flynn’s native Australia in 1975 and not readily obtainable in this country at the time. Now it has been republished, with a postscript added by its author, who first became interested in Flynn when he was sojourning in Australia. In the author’s own words, the subject of this well documented biography “lived for half a century the sort of life adolescents dream of but men dare not attempt.”
Jo Pitkin K’78, Cradle of the American Circus: Poems from Somers, New York (Charleston, SC: History Pr., 2012). The small town of Somers, NY, north of New York City and near the Connecticut border, played a prominent role in the genesis of that beloved American institution, the circus. A poet who grew up in Somers, Jo Pitkin draws upon that local heritage as the subject of her verse. Interspersed with the poems are historical notes and illustrations, along with an introduction and appendices that capture the colorful historical background. Jo Pitkin’s poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Currently residing in the Hudson Valley, she is also a freelance writer for educational publishers and is the author of scores of books for children.
Stephen G. Rabe ’70, The Killing Zone: The United States Wages Cold War in Latin America (New York: Oxford Univ. Pr., 2012). The author, a professor of history at the University of Texas in Dallas, has written extensively on U.S. involvement in Latin America since World War II, and has become widely recognized as an authority on the subject. In this work, perhaps the first comprehensive overview of this country’s involvement in the region during the Cold War era between 1945 and 1989, he is highly critical of that role. He argues that U.S. intervention, through its efforts to combat communism, has been at great cost to Latin Americans in terms of democracy and human lives. Provocatively, he offers a countervailing view to the triumphalist version of the West’s victory over communism. Incidentally, the volume is dedicated to the members of “the Hamilton College History Faculty (1966-1970),” with each one individually named.
Peter Weltner ’64, The Outlands (Baltimore, MD: BrickHouse Bks., 2012). The title of this collection of poems refers to the once barren dunes area of San Francisco that ends at the Pacific. While strolling there most mornings, Peter Weltner reflects on his past, and the people and places he has known. He also gives thought to “the oldest questions that have no answer.” His reflections on those mornings are encapsulated in this, his latest, book of verse. A longtime resident of San Francisco, he taught modern poetry and fiction at the State University there for 37 years until his retirement in 2006.