Reculer Pour Mieux Sauter (volumes 2–5), by Anne-Marie Levine ’61 (limited edition, 2013). Pianist, poet, and painter Anne-Marie makes the case for the unique and lasting value of print by creating a print book that is a unique blend of poetry and prose; 20th-century history; and personal memoir, images, and art. Both this book and volume 1 are available from Anne-Marie or from Amazon.
The Reign of Boris Gudunov, by Geoff Baldwin ’62 (Nast, de Brutus & Shortt, 2013). The publication of this volume and an additional volume, The Reign of Ivan the Terrible, represent a portion of a project Geoff is near to completing: the translation of N.M. Karamzin’s 12-volume History of the Russian State. Never before available in English, the two volumes and impending History are intended for the reader, who is, in Geoff’s words, “that endangered mythical beast, the intelligent layman.” Karamzin was a writer, poet, and critic who served as historiographer on the Russian court and wrote his History over a span of 23 years until his death in 1826. Geoff has retired from his work as a systems software programmer. His superb training in the Russian language and experience as a translator support this monumental accomplishment.
Kant: Lectures on Anthropology, edited by Allen Wood ’64 and Robert Louden (Cambridge University Press, 2012). Kant was one of the inventors of anthropology, and his lectures on the subject were very popular. This volume includes several lectures from various sources that together demonstrate Kant’s coherent empirical theory of human nature. Allen is professor of philosophy at Stanford. He served as coeditor of the Cambridge History of Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century (1790-1870) and has two more books due out in 2014.
Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive, by Ray Raphael ’65, MAT ’68, is now available in paperback. Other writing includes “The Democratic Moment: The Revolution and Popular Politics,” an article in The Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution. Ray also writes the “MythBuster” column for the online Journal of the American Revolution: All Things Liberty (allthingsliberty.com). A revised edition of Founding Myths will be released in April 2014. (More about Ray online in Reed.)
Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, by Jo Robinson ’69 (Little, Brown, and Company, 2013). Ever since farmers first planted seeds 100,000 years ago, humans have been unwittingly selecting plants that are high in starch and sugar and low in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Eating on the Wild Side presents a radical way to select fruits and vegetables—even in grocery markets—and reclaim the flavor and nutrients that have been lost. Jo is an investigative journalist and author or coauthor of 14 books. Learn more online.
Transhumanist Dreams and Dystopian Nightmares: The Promise and Peril of Genetic Engineering, by Max Mehlman ’70 (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012). In his latest book, Max considers the promises and perils of using genetic engineering in an effort to direct the future course of human evolution. He addresses scientific and ethical issues without choosing sides in the dispute between transhumanists and their challengers, and reveals that radical forms of genetic engineering could become a reality much sooner than many people think. Reviewers have found the book to be highly readable, timely, well balanced, and well documented—“a thought-provoking read for genetics professionals, ethicists, interested scientists, and concerned citizens.”
The Reborn Bible 2.0: The 2nd Coming Gospel of the American Rapture, by David Comfort ’71 (CreateSpace, 2013). David describes his book as a Swiftian satire of Grand Old Philistine GOP evangelists, who make politics into religion while damning secular humanist liberals for making a religion of politics. One reviewer remarks that the book has “an utterly unique and scathingly funny title with a fast plot,” and like the best comedy, “adds a new perspective to very serious social and ethical issues.” A second book, The Insider’s Guide to Getting Published (Writers Digest, 2013), David says is “an expose of today’s genre and bestseller-driven publishing industry that dispenses with Cinderella stories and offers no-nonsense survival advice to aspiring literary novelists.” Excerpts of his Guide have appeared in the Montreal Review, Stanford Arts Review, InDigest, Writing Disorder, and Eyeshot. Other excerpts are scheduled to appear on Pleaides, Glasschord, and Line Zero. David’s current fiction appears in the Evergreen Review, Cortland Review, Scholars & Rogues, and Inkwell.
Burrowing Song, by Karen Greenbaum-Maya ’73 (Kattywompus Press, 2013). Karen’s new chapbook of prose poems follows in the tradition of her chapbook Eggs Satori, previously a Pudding House Publications selection that will be published by Kattywompus at the year’s end. “Prose poems have been around a while, although not under that name,” says Maya. “You may find them reminiscent of the short pieces of Kafka, or Buber, also of shaggy dog stories, fairy tales, and dreams. Who knew that most of the preoccupations of my adult life would find a place in one genre?” For a copy of Burrowing Song that is signed and is free of shipping charges, order directly from Karen (“be sure to leave me your address”). You may also visit Karen’s photo and poetry blog.
Parachuting into Poland, 1944: Memoir of a Secret Mission with Józef Retinger, by Jan Chciuk-Celt ’76 (McFarland & Company, 2013). Jan’s book, a translation from Polish to English of his late father’s last book, is the true story of the daring parachute mission to Poland that his father, war hero Tadeusz Chciuk-Celt, made in 1944. The book was the subject of the article “Found in Translation,” published in the September 2010 issue of Reed magazine.
First Came Marriage: The Rabbinic Appropriation of Early Jewish Wedding Ritual, by Susan Marks ’83 (Gorgias Press, 2013). Judaism scholars have been reevaluating the role of rabbis in the early days of the religion, but Susan’s investigation of marriage ritual is a unique contribution to the perception of the Rabbinic Movement. In the early days of Judaism, Susan notes, most weddings did not include the presence of or blessings by rabbis, who later gravitated toward the ceremonies as a way to grow their religious movement. “The earliest rabbis, the Tannaim, were not interested in wedding ritual. They were probably a fairly ascetic movement.” In her book, Susan juxtaposes sources ranging from the Mishnah and the Tosefta, texts written by early rabbis, to inscriptions on headstones and vases that detail relationships between men and women, often slaves, who would have been excluded from marriage rituals. “Examining the restrictions on those relationships helps us understand how rabbis construct citizenship, while the literary sources reveal the limited extent of early rabbis’ stake in those practices.” What we have today is the legacy of Rabbinic Judaism, she writes. “But people have begun to recognize that they were one of a variety of alternatives in the year 300. They weren’t the big show in town.”
Holding Breath: A Memoir of AIDS’ Wildfire Days, by Nancy Gormley Bevilaqua ’85 (CreateSpace, 2012). Nancy worked for 10 years as a caseworker and counselor for people with AIDS, the homeless, and people in drug treatment programs, and has written this book about a relationship with David, one of her clients in New York in the late ’80s. In what should not come as a surprise to some of her Reed professors, she says, the book took 22 years to complete. After reading Nancy’s book, Adam Green ’85 wrote: “Here’s what this book was, to me at least: a bright, hopeful story, with an interesting hero (well, a pair of heroes, really) and a gritty journey—personal, intimate, sympathetic, and more about Nancy than about David. It’s evocative of time and place, clear of vision, well paced, and at times fantastically beautiful, and I read the first half of it in one very long sitting. David comes across as kind of angelic, Nancy’s stories in the past and present are both quite compelling, and the central question of the book—why anyone would put herself through all this—gets answered slowly, from a couple of different angles and in ways that are, ultimately, quite satisfying to me as a reader. If you’re worried about this book being a sad, depressing story of a broken man’s final days in a dreary hospital room in one of those gowns that doesn’t fasten all the way, well, don’t. That’s not at all what’s going on here. It’s a story of compassion, and memory, and transitory beauty. And it’s really good.”
Creating the Witness: Documenting Genocide on Film, Video, and the Internet, by Leshu Torchin ’90 (University of Minnesota Press, 2012). Leshu’s book examines the role of film and the internet in creating virtual witnesses to genocide over the past 100 years. Using a broad survey of media and the social practices around them, she investigates the development of popular understandings of genocide to achieve recognition and response, ultimately calling on viewers to act on behalf of human rights. The book has been described as stunning, urgent, forceful, and necessary. “Creating the Witness exorcises the ghostly and ghastly representations of genocide and pushes them beyond the graveyards and the archives of trauma.”
Hat Couture, by Theressa Silver ’93 (Cooperative Press, 2013). For Theressa, a hat is not just a head warmer—it is a statement! “A great hat projects style or courage or mischief or sultriness—or all of the above.” In Hat Couture, she shares 13 patterns intended to match the mood of the wearer and to enable a knitter, even a beginner, to be successful and creative. Theressa loves the mathematical and technical aspects of knitting and is inspired by the physical characteristics of knit fabrics to test the limits and create the unexpected. She lives in Oregon with her husband, Stephen Gerken ’91, and son, who share their home with five cats and a dog. Theresa says that everyone participates one way or another in the knitting process.
Ethnic Cleansing and the European Union: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Security, Memory and Ethnography, by Lynn Tesser ’93 (Series on Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). An enlarged European Union introduces new opportunities for ethnic remixing, bringing fears over potential minority return and even sovereignty in some cases. How does a border-effacing EU impact territory subject to ethnic cleansing? Why is potential minority return considered a security threat in some recently “unmixed” areas, but not others? The book’s two major theoretical innovations include an explanatory frame elucidating variation in Central Europe, the Balkans, and Cyprus, and an analysis of repeated minority removal for conflict resolution purposes in the early- to mid-20th century. Lynn argues that the Western-dominated international community’s earlier endorsement of separation brought potent aftereffects: incentives for ethnic cleansing and the politics of ethnic remixing in an enlarging EU. Reviewers note that Lynn has “written an important book that epitomizes the best traits of good comparative research: strong theoretical foundations and an engaging and innovative empirical structure” and that her “thought-provoking analysis will be of interest to students, researchers, and policy makers concerned with nationalism and ethnic conflict.”
The Colonies, by Mira Rosenthal ’96 (Zephyr Press, 2013). Mira’s translation of Tomasz Rózycki’s sixth book of poetry received an NEA Fellowship, a PEN Translation Fund Award, and the Top Quark Prize in Arts and Literature from 3quarksdaily. Mira encountered Rózycki’s poetry during a Fulbright fellowship in Poland in 2004. “Unlike many of his contemporaries, who sought to put aside the burdens of history and moralism in the work of their immediate poetic forerunners,” she wrote, “Rózycki seemed to embrace his poetic lineage. His lyricism and formal play were enthralling and expansive. His poetry built on the work of those poets who had brought me to Poland in the first place. It gave me a window into the contemporary extension of historical and cultural themes, and compelled me to try my hand at translation.” Three years later, she published a translation of his book The Forgotten Keys. The Colonies is an exploration of collective memory, addressing issues of dislocation, abandonment, and borders shifting beyond tongue and national identity. Mira’s work gives “clarity and vividness” to the 77 sonnets in the collection, and through “clean and stunning” translations, she brings Rózycki’s poetic vision to English language readers.
Computational Methods for Physics, by Joel Franklin ’97, associate professor of physics at Reed (Cambridge University Press, 2013). In his new textbook, Joel presents numerical techniques for solving familiar physical problems where a complete solution is inaccessible using traditional mathematical methods. The techniques are clearly laid out, with a focus on the logic and applicability of the method. The same problems are revisited multiple times using different techniques, so readers can easily compare the methods. The book features more than 250 end-of-chapter exercises, and Joel has prepared a web component for the book on his Reed faculty page. His previous book, Advanced Mechanics and General Relativity, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2010.
Byrd, by Kerry McCarthy ’97 (Oxford University Press, 2013). Kerry’s biography, written for Oxford’s Master Musicians Series, takes a new look at the music and life of William Byrd, the foremost composer under the reign of Elizabeth I and James I, whose masses, motets, polyphonic songs, and works for keyboard and instrumental consort rank among the most inspired works of the late Renaissance. The book traces Byrd’s influence on English musicians of the early baroque, explores the paradoxes of his life and career as a devout and influential Catholic in the service of the English Protestant establishment, and examines his close ties to the Elizabethan and Jacobean literary world. “A detailed, fresh, and readable account of a composer who was revered by his colleagues as ‘our Phoenix’ and a ‘Father of Music,’ Byrd is essential reading for scholars, students, and performers of early music, as well as general readers interested in the musical world of Renaissance England.” An associate professor of musicology at Duke, Kerry developed her passion for Byrd’s music at Reed while working with Virginia Oglesby Hancock ’62, professor of music.
The Aversive Clause, by B. Carter Edwards ’98 (Black Lawrence Press, 2013). Carter’s first collection of short stories, The Aversive Clause, was awarded the 2011 Hudson Prize for fiction. Says one reviewer: “Like a cross between Etgar Keret and Harlan Ellison, Edwards has an affinity for the fantastic, but an even greater proficiency for being really readable. This is the kind of book where you think you’ll hunt and peck throughout the collection, seeing which titles in the table of contents catch your eye, but once you start in on the first story, you just read them all straight through.” Carter has published the chapbook To Mend Small Children in 2012 and has two publications in the wings, a novella and a full-length collection of poetry. He is a regular contributor to BOMBlog, FAQNP, and the Brooklyn Review. Read some of his recent work in Red Line Blues, Lyre Lyre, the Sink Review, Food I Corp, and Hobart, which nominated him for a 2012 Pushcart Prize.
Artemidorus’ Oneirocritica, by Dan Harris-McCoy ’02 (Oxford University Press, 2012). A guide to prophecy through dreams written in Greek in the 2nd century CE is now available with facing English translation, a detailed introduction, and scholarly commentary, in Dan’s new publication. Seeking to demonstrate the richness and intelligence of this understudied text, he gives particular emphasis to Oneirocritica’s composition and construction, and its aesthetic, intellectual, and political foundations and context. “Should anyone require dream-analysis, a copy is available in Reed’s Hauser Library.”
Dark Chatter, by Andrew Branch ’09 (Grappling Book, 2013). Andrew’s first novel, written in the style of French novelist Boris Vian, introduces readers to Quicklime Petterson, who is stalled in a postcollege daze until he is prompted to write a porn script for a policeman in exchange for being cleared of an arrest charge. Media frenzy for the script rises as a tween star takes interest in it. When the would-be one-off deal threatens to become a vocation, Quicklime attempts to find the honest career he meant to start after college. Grappling Book is Andrew’s own publishing company.
Many of the books featured here can be purchased at the Reed Bookstore.