THE KISS OF THE PRISON DANCER By Jerome Richard C’53.  (The Permanent Press, 2004. $26.00.) A girl is raped and murdered in Golden Gate Park. The suspect is a neo-Nazi. But Max Friedman—a concentration-camp survivor whose wife, Sarah, did not survive the camps—happens to have seen another man near the crime scene. Now he has to decide whether he can keep living by his life-long motto: Mind your own business. This is the first novel by Richard. Order this book

PRIDE OF THE SEA: Courage, Disaster, and a Fight for Survival By Tom Waldron. (Citadel Press, 2004. $23.95.) The magnificent schooner Pride of Baltimore capsized during a sudden storm on its return voyage from Europe in 1986. Four members of the young crew drowned, including Captain Armin E. Elsaesser III C’66, who was last seen swimming away from the life rafts in the roiling Atlantic. Waldron, a former reporter for The Baltimore Sun, weaves a history of the historically accurate, lightning-fast, but dangerously unstable Pride (and of clipper ships in general) with an account of the voyage—and an examination of Elsaesser’s mid-life struggles and doubts about the ship he commanded. Order this book

EDWARD W. REDFIELD: Just Values and Fine Seeing By Constance Kimmerle G’79 Gr’89. (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004. $34.95.) Edward Redfield was arguably the stylistic leader of the Pennsylvania Impressionist school of painting, and his work embodies the rawness and energy of America during its transformation from an agrarian to an industrial society. Drawing on the Redfield family archives, Kimmerle examines Redfield’s life and work in a handsomely illustrated companion book for an exhibition at the James A. Michener Art Museum, where she is curator of collections. Order this book

TALKING TO THE DEAD: Kate and Maggie Fox and the Rise of Spiritualism By Barbara Weisberg CW’68.  (HarperCollins, 2004.  $24.95.) Part mystery, part ghost story, and part cultural history, Talking to the Dead centers around the lives of two sisters who founded the Spiritualist movement in America. Weisberg’s unique biography offers a revealing glimpse into an intriguing period in American history, and discusses questions that troubled Americans more than 150 years ago. Did the sisters really communicate with voices from beyond? Or were they simply shrewd con artists? Order this book

LETTERS TO ELEANOR: Voices of the Great Depression By Paul Bernstein Gr’55. (Author House, 2004.  $10.75 cloth, $12.25 paper.) Eleanor Roosevelt received thousands of letters throughout the Great Depression, most of which were pleas for clothing, jobs, and reassurance. Bernstein includes many of these moving requests and highlights the First Lady’s commitment to reform as well as her obvious understanding of the issues faced by struggling Americans. Order this book

©2005 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 01/05/05


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Briefly Noted
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