THE ARTS OF INTIMACY: Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Making of Castilian Culture By Jerrilynn D. Dodds, María Rosa Menocal CW’73 G’75 Gr’79, and Abigail Krasner Balbale. (Yale University Press, 2008. $40.00.) The arts, architecture, and literature of nascent Castile reveal that Castilian identity is deeply rooted in the experience of confrontation, interaction, and occasional union among Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities. This illustrated book presents the history of Iberia’s medieval cities and examines the diverse traditions that intertwined to create their distinctive culture. Menocal is director of the Whitney Humanities Center and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale. BUY THIS BOOK

THE SORCERER’S REVOLT By Feng Menglong, translated by Nathan Sturman C’72 G’75. (Silk Pagoda, 2009. $29.95.) Nearly 30 years ago, writer and translator Nathan Sturman found an old edition of the Ping Yao Zhuan (Sorcerer’s Revolt) in Van Pelt Library and began translating it as a labor of love. The once-forbidden classic from the Ming dynasty— a magical, earthy tale of a pact with the devil—is considered one of the world’s first psychological novels. Last summer, shortly after completing revisions to an advance review copy of the book, Sturman died of cancer. BUY THIS BOOK

A PECULIAR CALLING: Confessions of a College Fund Raiser By Mark J. Drozdowski C’90. (iUniversity, 2008. $23.95.) For seven years, Drozdowski shared his insights about the unique and peculiar world of institutional fundraising in a monthly column for The Chronicle of Higher Education. This collection represents his first 80 columns, which chronicle his adventures in billion-dollar mega-campaigns, campus politics, and alumni relations. BUY THIS BOOK

NEBRASKA SUPERSONIC Written and directed by Jeremy Lerman C’97, produced by Matt Wasowski C’97. (Prairie Dog Productions, 2008. $14.99.) After getting fired from their temp jobs, three slacker pals start a bicycle-courier service—“a package-delivery company with a big heart”—in the unlikely setting of Omaha, Nebraska [“Alumni Profiles,” May|June 2001]. The offbeat indie film, which won awards for best screenplay and most innovative marketing at the No Dance Film Festival in 2001, also boasts the services of Hannah Miller Lerman C’95 (PR person, chief of staff) as well as Rob Redei C’97 and Cara de la Cruz C’95 (who wrote and performed the music). BUY THIS MOVIE

NEGOTIATE LIKE THE PROS: A Top Sports Negotiator’s Lessons for Making Deals, Building Relationships, and Getting What You Want By Kenneth L. Shropshire, faculty. (McGraw-Hill, 2009. $19.95.) From Daisuke Matsuzaka’s $52 million deal with the Boston Red Sox to the Ali-Foreman “Rumble in the Jungle,” Shropshire— director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative and professor of legal studies and business ethics—examines a broad range of sports deals. Given that his client list has included the NCAA, the NFL, and IBM, Shropshire’s advice for readers on the art of negotiation and building relationships carries some weight. BUY THIS BOOK

DAVID LIEBER’S WATCHDOG NATION: Bite Back When Businesses and Scammers Do You Wrong By Dave Lieber C’79. (Yankee Cowboy, 2008. $20.) Investigative columnist Dave Lieber offers a mix of tools, tips, and strategies aimed at helping average consumers level the playing field when dealing with corporations large and small. Lieber writes “The Watchdog” column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. BUY THIS BOOK

THE SCOTIA WIDOWS: Inside their Lawsuit Against Big Daddy Coal By Gerald M. Stern W’58. (Random House, 2008. $20.00.) Following the deadly 1976 explosions in the Scotia mine in eastern Kentucky, the widows of 15 miners approached Stern, a public-interest lawyer and founding partner of Rogovin, Stern & Huge, to take on the company that owned the mine. Here he recounts the long, harrowing legal battle that won settlements for the widows as well as for some of the families of the rescue workers who died in the second explosion. BUY THIS BOOK

THE JPS GUIDE TO JEWISH TRADITIONS By Ronald L. Eisenberg C’65 M’69. (The Jewish Publication Society, 2008. $30.00.) In a new paperback edition, this encyclopedic guide provides thousands of insights into Jewish culture, history and religion. From breaking the glass at weddings to affixing a mezuzah to the door, Eisenberg explores the stories behind well-known traditions and lesser-known customs, as well as the traditional Jewish views on topics like euthanasia, magic, and dietary laws. BUY THIS BOOK

SMACK: Heroin and the American City By Eric C. Schneider, faculty.  (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. $39.95.) Focusing on New York—the hub of 20th-century heroin distribution and use in the U.S.—Schneider uses interviews and archival research to highlight the shifting demographic profile of heroin users. Schneider is adjunct associate professor of history at Penn. BUY THIS BOOK


July|Aug 09 contents
Gazette Home

All Things Ornamental


POEM From Norman MacAfee C’65’s Selected Poems

EXCERPT Pull over. Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure

IMAGE Elizabeth Osborne FA’59’s Woman with Red

BOOKS Inescapable truth. Memory Lessons






  ©2009 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 6/26/09