ONCE UPON A GAME: Baseball’s Greatest Memories By Alan Schwarz C’90. (Houghton Mifflin, 2007. $19.95.) In this engaging collection of horsehide vignettes, Schwarz, a staff writer for The New York Times, reveals an ear for a great story and a remarkable collection of storytellers. Among them are old-timers like Ernie Banks, Yogi Berra, and George H.W. Bush (recollecting his youthful meeting with Babe Ruth), as well as more recent nuggets from the likes of George Brett, Pedro Martinez, and Curt Schilling—even filmmaker Kevin Costner on the making of Field of Dreams and Bull Durham. Order this book

THE DEPARTMENT OF LOST AND FOUND By Allison Winn Scotch C’95. (HarperCollins, 2007. $23.95.) Within one month, Natalie Miller finds out she has breast cancer, her boyfriend admits to adultery, and her job is “pared down to semi-desperate e-mails.” At that point Natalie leaves her sickbed in order to figure out where everything went wrong, starting with her “Five Lost Loves.” Scotch’s novel was written in memory of her friend, the late Elizabeth Prostic C’96 [“Profiles,” May|June 2006]. Order this book

APARTHEID AND BEYOND: South African Writers and the Politics of Place By Rita Barnard, faculty. (Oxford University Press, 2006. $55.00.) This cross-disciplinary work examines the importance of “place” in South African culture and literature. Through spatial mechanisms such as apartheid, Barnard argues that colonization has altered South Africa’s landscape, creating new structures and sociological effects. Barnard is professor of English and director of the Women’s Studies Program at Penn. Order this book

PREVENTIVE WAR AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY By Scott A. Silverstone Gr’99. (Routledge, 2007. $24.95.) “Are the risks of living with a nuclear-armed rogue state really worse than the risks of a war to destroy its nuclear ambitions?” asks Silverstone, associate professor of international relations at the United States Military Academy. His book examines how U.S. leaders and citizens have dealt with the temptation to launch preventive war since the end of World War II and explores the implications of that history for future foreign policy. Order this book

THE LAST WITCHFINDER By James Morrow C’69. (HarperCollins, 2006. $25.95.) Jennet Stearne, daughter of a celebrated “Witchfinder-General” in 17th-century England, is taught by her beloved Aunt Isobel to search for the truth in science and reject the ambiguity of witchcraft and those who would burn innocent women at the stake. After Isobel’s trial and execution for Satanism, Jennet moves to America and works to bring the witch trials to public light—thus putting herself in conflict with her family and most of her New England society. Order this book

INFORMATION PLEASE: Culture and Politics in the Age of Digital Machines By Mark Poster C’62. (Duke University Press, 2006. $22.95.) The cultural significance of human relationships with machines is explored in depth by Poster, who examines how “texts, images, and sounds are different when they are mediated by information machines, how this difference changes us, and what possibilities they open for reducing the burdens of domination.” Order this book

RAPE & SEXUAL POWER IN EARLY AMERICA By Sharon Block C’90 G’90. (University of North Carolina Press, 2006. $45.00 cloth, $19.95 paperback.) More than 900 documented incidents of sexual coercion are examined in this study of how the treatment of rape in early America helped shape the social, racial, gender, and political hierarchies of the growing nation. By examining race and gender-based inequities in the system, Block emphasizes the connection between sexual power and social dominance. Order this book

FIGHTING FOR OUR LIVES: New York’s AIDS Community and the Politics of Disease By Susan M. Chambre Gr’76. (Rutgers University Press, 2006. $24.95.) In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the first few AIDS cases hardly stirred interest. As it became a genuine pandemic, people couldn’t help but notice the effect it had on its victims—gay men, minorities, and intravenous drug users—as well as their advocates. Chambre’s book, the first comprehensive social history of the New York AIDS community, focuses on the way these groups formed support networks in the face of governmental inefficiency. Order this book

 


ALL THINGS ORNAMENTAL : The Arts

Theater Interrupted song. LoveMusik
Art Rousseau, Pascal, and a large dog. “dread”
Books Language lessons. Words that Work
Briefly Noted
Arts Calendar

©2007 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 06/28/07