BEING SUGAR RAY: The Life of Sugar Ray Robinson, America’s Greatest Boxer and the First Celebrity Athlete By Kenneth Shropshire, faculty. (Basic Civitas, 2007. $25.00.) This biography of Robinson, one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century as well as an entrepreneur and celebrity, is less a chronicle of his life than a story about race and celebrity—and trailblazing. Shropshire is a professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton and the director of the school’s Sports Business Initiative. Buy this book

UNDERCOVER By Beth Kephart C’82. (HarperTeen, 2007. $16.99.) In this first young-adult novel from Kephart, a National Book Award nominee (and frequent Gazette contributor), high-school sophomore Elisha is used to observing while going unnoticed, except when the boys in her class ask her to write love notes for them. But a teacher’s recognition of her talent, a “client’s” desire for her friendship, a love of ice-skating, and her parents’ marital problems draw her out of herself. Buy this book

HOLLYWOOD SCIENCE: Movies, Science and the End of the World By Sidney Perkowitz Gr’67. (Columbia University Press, 2007. $24.95.) A physicist and film enthusiast discusses the portrayal of science in more than a hundred movies—science fiction, biopics, and documentaries—including early films like Voyage to the Moon and Metropolis and more recent offerings like The Matrix, A Beautiful Mind, and An Inconvenient Truth. Perkowitz is a professor of physics at Emory University. Buy this book

PEACE, JUSTICE, AND JEWS: Reclaiming Our Tradition Edited by Murray Polner G’51 and Stefan Merken. (Bunim and Bannigan, 2007. $25.00.) In this collection of contemporary Jewish thought, the editors bring together a wide variety of thinkers and activists in Israel and the United States—from animal-rights advocates to refuseniks, prison workers to rabbis, soldiers to scholars—all of whom seek justice by nonviolent means. Polner was the founding editor of Present Tense magazine. Buy this book

CONNECTING THE COVENANTS: Judaism and the Search for Christian Identity in Eighteenth-Century England By David B. Ruderman, faculty. (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007.  $55.00.) The first few decades of the 18th century saw an important moment in Jewish-Christian relations, as Christian scholars increasingly looked to Jewish texts to reveal truths about their own faith. Ruderman teaches history at Penn and is the director of the University’s Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. Buy this book

THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW: Bearing Witness to Atrocity By James Dawes C’91. (Harvard University Press, 2007. $19.95.) The successes and failures of the modern human-rights movement are highlighted by firsthand accounts from around the world. Dawes is associate professor of English and American literature at Macalester College. Buy this book

OFF THE PAGE: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings, and Everything in Between Edited by Carole Burns C’86. (W.W. Norton & Company, 2007. $14.95.) Online interviews from’s Off the Page series offer insight into the writing process of 43 different authors, ranging from Pulitzer Prize-winners to first-time writers. Burns hosts Off the Page and teaches creative writing at the University of Winchester in England. Buy this book

ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY By Jeff Hertzberg C’83 and Zoe Francois. (St. Martin’s Press, 2007.  $27.95.) Whether you’re hankering for a simple ciabatta or a pumpernickel loaf studded with dates and walnuts, Hertzberg and Francois want to deliver you from kneading, proofing, and everything else that intimidates the would-be baker. Their title doesn’t lie. The authors’ “high-moisture” method is so simple, about the only thing that could derail it is a broken bowl. In the Gazette’s (solidly amateurish) test kitchen, tasty bread emerged from virtually no effort at all. Buy this book

THE SEASONS OF YES: Poems By Lorraine Schechter GFA’69. (Sunstone Press, 2007. $16.95.)  Like the seasons of her beloved New Mexico, Schechter’s poems offer a rich range of color, mood, and texture. Buy this book

CHILD IN THE ROAD By Cindy Savett CW’75. (Parlor Press, 2007, $15.00.)  These poems are a mother’s response to the sudden death of her young daughter, a rendering of the wide range of emotions experienced afterwards, not mere description but an expression of grief from its center. Buy this book

HOT TIMES DURING THE COLD WAR: An American Comes of Age in West Germany By Scott W. Hawley C’92 W’92. (iUniverse, 2007, $11.95.) While Hawley and his friends studied calculus and chemistry at the Frankfurt American High School and sold candy bars to send the track team to Brussels, their parents commanded tank battalions, flew transport aircraft, and honed their combat skills. A memoir in verse about an American teenager’s time in a U.S. military installation in then-West Germany during the last few years of the Cold War. Buy this book

A REFLECTION ON (LIFE IN) LAW SCHOOL By Jenny L. Workman C’01. (PublishAmerica, 2007. $24.95.) An account of the law school experience from a recent graduate who went with fairly few expectations, fearing that the three years to follow would be swallowed up by competition and stress. Instead, Workman realized that she was learning as much about life as she was about the law. Buy this book


ART More than Muppets. The Puppet Show at ICA
BOOKS Dead men’s tales. This Republic of Suffering
BOOKS Dialogue on poverty. The Souls of Poor Folk
MUSIC A pair of premieres by Jennifer Higdon G’92 Gr’94
Teenage wasteland?
Briefly Noted
Arts Calendar

©2008 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 03/01/08