The Less Subdued Excitement: A Century of Jazz in Bellingham and Whatcom County, Washington, by Milt Krieger ’60 (Whatcom County Historical Society, 2012). Who knew that this book, six years in the making, would stretch to 200 thoroughly illustrated pages? It draws primarily on pioneer musicians’ family archives, 100 interviews, and live performances that Milt has savored since 1970. It assays performers, promoters, the jazz-driven musicians’ union local, and the music’s audiences, displays local jazz among the local arts, and ends with a fine (but not Milt’s) poem. Among his points, Milt stresses that “jazz lives and matters, in small(er) communities, too!”
The Death of East Prussia: War and Revenge in Germany’s Easternmost Province, by Peter Clark ’63 (Andover Press, 2012). Peter creates a framework for the immense collateral damage inflicted on East Prussia resulting from Hitler’s war of annihilation in Poland and the Soviet Union. Thousands of Germans tried to flee rampaging Soviet soldiers, who invaded the province in the winter of 1945, raping, assaulting, murdering, and pillaging with abandon. Eyewitness testimony provides gripping personal narratives of the indomitable will of the East Prussians to survive under horrific conditions. Complementing this tale of human suffering is a historical analysis showing that geography, revenge, and political calculation can explain the extinction of East Prussia. Writes one reviewer: “This is a well-documented scholarly history that is hard to put down: no greater praise can be imagined.”
Metaphor, by David Ritchie ’65 (Cambridge University Press, 2013). An increasingly popular area of study, metaphor is relevant to the work of semanticists, pragmatists, discourse analysts, and also those working at the interface of language and literature and in other disciplines such as philosophy and psychology. This book, part of a new series, Key Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics, provides a summary, critique, and comparison of the most important theories on how metaphors are used and understood, drawing on research from linguistics, psychology, and other disciplines. Reviewers found David’s writing to be highly accessible for students and other readers and the book to be among the best of current scholarship on the subject.
Peter Silverman ’65 published a short story, “The Happiest Day of My Life,” on Flash Fiction World. Find out what happened that special day at this site.
Maple Canyon Rock Climbs, by Sibylle Hechtel ’72, coauthor (Wolverine Publishing, 2012). Maple Canyon is the most popular summer sport-climbing destination in the U.S. Its steep walls of cobbled conglomerate provide quality pitches for climbers of all abilities, and some of the most enjoyable—and steepest—climbing anywhere. Packed with color photographs and maps, this book provides a comprehensive guide to more than 400 rock climbs in Maple Canyon, Utah.
Cronkite’s War: His World War II Letters Home, by Maurice Isserman ’73, coeditor (National Geographic Society, 2013). Walter Cronkite was an obscure 23-year-old United Press wire service reporter when he married Betsy Maxwell on March 30, 1940, following a four-year courtship. The couple spent months apart in the summer and fall of 1942, as Walter, a credentialed war correspondent, sailed on convoys to England and North Africa across the submarine-infested waters of the North Atlantic. He consoled himself during his absence from Betsy by writing her long, detailed letters, describing his experiences, his observations of life in wartime Europe, and his longing for her. More than a hundred of Walter’s letters to Betsy survive from 1943–45 (plus a few earlier letters) and form the basis for the book, which is illustrated with heartwarming photos of the couple taken during the war and coedited with Walter’s grandson, Walter Cronkite IV. Maurice is the Publius Virgilius Rogers Professor of History at Hamilton College.
“Mission: Botswana Law,” an essay by Carol Walters Hepburn ’75 and her husband, Bill Savage, was published in Trial Lawyer in winter 2013. In the article, Carol and Bill relate their experience teaching trial advocacy skills to lawyers in Botswana in a program run by Justice Advocacy Africa. Carol, who has a solo practice in Seattle, also practices with Bill in Portland. The two participated in the JAA program in 2010 and again in 2012, and found it particularly rewarding to be able to assist junior colleagues at this point in their careers.
Mort Morte, by David Sterry ’78 (Vagabondage Press, 2013). This illustrated novella is, according to David, a cross between Alice in Wonderland and The Tin Drum. He also published a new anthology, Johns, Marks, Tricks and Chickenhawks, coedited with RJ Martin, which features writings by people who sell sex and people who buy it. The New York Times Sunday Book Review called it “eye-opening, astonishing, brutally honest, and frequently funny.” Other publications coming out this year include What Are They Thinking? a book about the teenage brain, which David wrote with his wife, Arielle Ecstut, and two Duke University brain scientists, Aaron M. White and Scott Swartzwelder; a 10-year anniversary version of David’s memoir, Chicken; and The Hobbyist, a collaborative novel written with twins Keith and Kent Zimmerman about an “insanely bizarre, real-life, online club in Silicon Valley that rates prostitutes like a twisted Zagat guide.”
An Introduction to the Evolution of Single and Binary Stars, by Matthew Benacquista ’82 (Springer-Verlag, 2012). Basic concepts of astronomy, stellar structure and atmospheres, single star evolution, binary systems and mass transfer, compact objects, and dynamical systems are covered in Matthew’s first published textbook. Readers will understand the astrophysics behind the populations of compact object binary systems and have sufficient background to delve deeper into specific areas of interest. In addition, derivations of important concepts and worked examples are included. No previous knowledge of astronomy is assumed, although a familiarity with undergraduate quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, and thermodynamics is beneficial. Matthew is assistant director of the Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy at the University of Texas at Brownsville.
What the Faeries Left Behind, by Amber Michelle Cook ’92 (Unchangeling Press, 2013). After coming home from a monotonous office job to the apartment where she lives alone, 30-something Abigail Watson is having a tough day in a hard week in a rotten month, and don’t even get her started on the year. Until that night when something wonderfully impossible shows up at her door and rings the bell insistently. You’re not supposed to answer the door late at night to strangers who come knocking unannounced, right? Right. But Abigail does. Because how can you be scared of someone with translucent wings like those of a dragonfly? What the Faeries Left Behind is an urban fairy tale antidote to those times when the dullness and drudgery of grown-up life seem inescapable, and to the misconception that wonder and play are just for children. More online.
Quench Your Thirst with Salt, by Nicole Walker ’92 (Zone 3 Press, 2013). Nicole’s collection of essays about growing up in Salt Lake City and being shaped by the Mormon culture and her parents’ anti-Mormon sensibility received the Zone 3 Press creative nonfiction prize. “The book couches the personal narrative in the environmental setting of the Salt Lake Valley, where, like my childhood, the valley is shaped and reshaped by strong and determined forces—both natural and man-made.” Nicole is also coeditor with Margot Singer of Bending Genre: Essays on Nonfiction, published by Continuum Press in 2013.
Birth, Breath, and Death: Meditations on Motherhood, Chaplaincy, and Life as a Doula, by Amy Wright Glenn ’96 (CreateSpace, 2013). At the age of 14, Amy began to question the Mormon faith of her family. She embarked on a lifelong personal and scholarly quest for truth. While teaching comparative religion and philosophy, she was drawn to the work of supporting women through labor and holding compassionate space for the dying. In her book, Amy relates tales of birth and death while drawing on her work as a birth doula and hospital chaplain and her own experience of motherhood. We are born, we die, and in between these irrevocable facts of human existence the breath weaves all moments together. Birth, Breath, and Death entwines story, philosophy, and poetic reflection into transforming narratives that are full of grace.
Science Writers’ Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Pitch, Publish and Prosper in the Digital Age, by Michelle Nijhuis ’96, coeditor (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2013). The book is a collaborative project by more than 30 professional science journalists, and covers both the craft and commerce of science writing—and argues that, yes, it is possible to make a living doing quality journalism in the 21st century! More information online.
Good Kids, by Benjamin Nugent ’99 (Scribner, 2013). At 15, friends Josh and Khadijah observe his father and her mother connecting romantically in a natural foods store. Their families fall apart, and the friends sign a pact never to be unfaithful to a future partner before Kadijah moves away. At 28, struggling with personal identity and careers, they meet again and are forced to confront the terms of the pact they made. Ben’s fiction debut is “a hilarious, sad, handsomely plotted story of love and class.” Ben is director of creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University and teaches in the university’s MFA and undergraduate programs.
A Dark Dreambox of Another Kind: The Poems of Alfred Starr Hamilton, by Alan Felsenthal ’03, coeditor (The Song Cave, 2013). American poet Alfred Starr Hamilton wrote thousands of poems during his lifetime, though only a small percentage of them ever found their way into print. His poems appeared in poetry journals during the ’60s–’80s in two chapbooks, The Big Parade and Sphinx; and one full-length collection, The Poems of Alfred Starr Hamilton, published by The Jargon Society in 1970. In this new volume, Alan and coeditor Ben Estes present a collection of Hamilton’s poems from these publications, along with many poems that were previously considered lost and poems from posthumously found notebooks. The editors state in their preface to the collection: “If you have encountered the wonderland of Hamilton’s writings before, we are happy to welcome you back. If this is your first time, prepare to enter a house of metaphor, where life is a poem and there is always more to be discovered.”
Fountainhead of Jihad: The Haqqani Nexus, 1973–2012, by Vahid Brown ’07 (Columbia University Press, 2013). Drawing on a wealth of previously unstudied primary sources in several languages, Vahid and coauthor Don Rassler map the anatomy of a group frequently described as the most lethal actor in the Afghan insurgency. The Haqqani network has operated at the center of a transnational nexus of Islamist militancy for decades, lending support to the development of jihadi organizations from Southeast Asia to East Africa. In addition to providing new evidence documenting the Haqqani network’s pivotal role in the birth and evolution of the global jihadi movement, this book significantly advances know-ledge of the history of al-Qaeda by fundamentally altering the portrait painted by existing literature on the subject. Vahid is completing his doctorate at Princeton and is a specialist in the history of Islamist militancy. He is the author of Cracks in the Foundation: Leadership Schisms in al-Qaida, 1989–2006, a report published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.
God-fear/Loneliness: Fear & (Self-)Loathing in Portland, OR, by Eric Harvey ’14 (authorstand.com, 2011). Drawing on the style of Hunter S. Thompson, Eric explores his struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction. Although written while he was in the depths of despair, the book offers hope in the face of adversity. Forever optimistic, Eric finds support in memories of his family before his lifestyle altered dramatically at the age of 16. On medical leave for his recovery since his junior year at Reed in 2011, Eric lives in Santa Monica and studies journalism at UCLA Extension. Follow him on Twitter at ericharvey25.
Revolutions in Twentieth-Century Physics, by David Griffiths (Cambridge University Press, 2012). David Griffiths, professor emeritus of physics, has written a book on modern physics “for those (like me) who might shy away from his more advanced texts,” notes Marianna Mullens ’07, book buyer at the Reed bookstore. Written in a friendly and informal style, the book uses problems and examples to help readers develop an understanding of what recent advances in physics actually mean, covering topics like quarks and leptons, antiparticles and Feynman diagrams, curved space-time, the Big Bang, and the expanding universe. “The conceptual changes brought by modern physics are important, radical, and fascinating, yet they are only vaguely understood by people working outside the field. Exploring the four pillars of modern physics—relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, and cosmology—this clear and lively account will interest anyone who has wondered what Einstein, Bohr, Schrödinger, and Heisenberg were really talking about.”
Mark Hinchliff, professor of philosophy, contributed the essay “Has the Theory of Reference Rested on a Mistake?” to the book Reference and Referring (MIT Press, 2012). After an introductory essay that casts current trends in reference and referring in terms of an ongoing dialogue between Fregean and Russellian approaches, the book addresses core semantic concepts from both philosophical and linguistic perspectives through specific topics, and balances a breadth of coverage with thematic unity.
Fear: Across the Disciplines, by Ben Lazier, coeditor (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012). “We habitually say that we see fear, that we smell it, touch it, breathe it. But how, after all is said and done, do we know it?” writes Ben Lazier, associate professor of history and humanities, and coeditor Jan Plamper, professor of history at Goldsmiths, University of London, in the introduction. The book provides a cross-disciplinary examination of fear by offering a broad survey of the psychological, biological, and philosophical basis of fear in historical and contemporary contexts, and opens a dialogue between science and the humanities to afford a more complete view of an emotion that has shaped human behavior since time immemorial. Contributors are leading figures in clinical psychology, neuroscience, the social sciences, and the humanities; consider categories of intentionality, temporality, admixture, spectacle, and politics in evaluating conceptions of fear; and include Jan Mieszkowski, professor of German and humanities, who wrote the chapter “Fear of a Safe Place.”