Amherst Magazine

Amherst College Books

Up from Bondage: The Literatures of Russian and African American Soul. By DALE E. PETERSON, Professor of English and Russian. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2000. 249 pp. $18.95 paperback.
    This is the first study to contrast and compare Russian and African-American cultural nationalism through both literature and philosophy. Analogous historical moments and texts illustrate an unexpected kinship between these two groups of writers and thinkers, both regarded as unhistoric peoples in 19th-century Western narratives of world civilization. Beginning with the liberation of Russian serfs and American slaves, these chapters trace the parallel evolution of post-colonial cultural thought.

Biology, Evolution, and Human Nature. By Timothy H. Goldsmith and WILLIAM F. ZIMMERMAN, Professor of Biology. New York, N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2001. 370 pp. Hardbound.
    This book of evolutionary biology is intended for students of both the life sciences and the humanities. In four parts, it begins with the foundations of biology—including Darwin's theories, basic molecular structures and genetics, then examines the evolutionary adaptations of simple organisms, explores connections between genes and human behavior, and concludes by applying these principles to contemporary social culture. The authors emphasize that the text is not simply descriptive of human mechanisms but aims to bring the study of evolutionary biology to a heightened level of discussion and supplement courses in social sciences like anthropology, sociology, and psychology.

African-American Medical Pioneers. By Charles H. Epps, Jr., DAVIS G. JOHNSON '41 and Audrey L. Vaughn. Rockville, Md.: Betz Publishing Company, 1994. 251 pp. Hardbound.
    Dedicated to 1925 Amherst College graduate W. Montague Cobb, M.D., this book examines the history of African Americans in medicine and the field's key pioneers. Biographies of 33 prominent African Americans in academics and organized medicine are presented; the book also traces progress in education and professional development and reflects on challenges for the future.

Vietnam and Other American Fantasies. By H. BRUCE FRANKLIN '55. Amherst, Mass.: University of Massachusetts Press, 2000. 256 pp. $28.95 hardbound.
    A defining event in modern global history, the Vietnam War continues to captivate America's mind and imagination. Franklin contextualizes iconic images of the war by placing them alongside other representations of American wars. He explores a range of myths and historical moments that relate to Vietnam, including the antiwar movement beginning in 1945, literature by Vietnam veterans, and science fiction. Franklin plays politics and power against culture and technology.

America's Congress: Actions in the Public Sphere, James Madison Through Newt Gingrich. By DAVID R. MAYHEW '58. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2000. 257 pp. $30 hardbound.
The significance of the power and actions of members of Congress is the subject of Mayhew's scholarly book. He examines over 2,000 actions by America's legislators over the course of history, pointing out salient patterns and the importance of individual behaviors in the American system of separation of powers, and offering insights into the consequences of these actions.

Scar Tissue. By WILLIAM G. TAPPLY '62. New York, N.Y.: St. Martin's Minotaur, 2000. 276 pp. $24.95 hardbound.
    Family attorney Brady Coyne is back, investigating the premature death of the son of an old friend. Authorities want to keep the case hidden. Then the young boy's father vanishes and Coyne's life is threatened. Coyne is now under more intense pressure to uncover the truth the small town would prefer to keep secret.

The Constitution and the New Deal. By G. EDWARD WHITE '63. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000. 385 pp. $45 hardbound.
    White confronts the conventional account of the relationship between the New Deal and the Constitution in his latest book on constitutional law and the Supreme Court. It is widely believed that the New Deal and the high court justices at the time pushed the Constitution toward a radical and politically-motivated interpretation. White examines five broad categories of cases—due process, foreign affairs, administrative agencies, free speech, and New Deal economic legislation—as well as the background and actions of justices to refute this account. He says legal and historical analyses do not support the view that the Constitution and the New Deal became neatly aligned during the late 1930s and 1940s.

The End of Homework. By Etta Kralovec and JOHN BUELL '67. Boston, Mass.: Beacon Press, 2000. 119 pp. $18 hardbound.
    Using both historical and contemporary studies, field work, and their own experience, the authors examine an entrenched aspect of American education: homework. The authors
explore the context in which school work is assigned and completed, in both the classroom and the home. They argue homework is detrimentally time-consuming—sacrificing playtime, important socialization, and extracurricular activities, and favors children who have quiet home lives with computers, educated parents, and libraries. Kralovec and Buell present an argument for school reform, how to help kids learn without loading down their backpacks.

Market Research Matters. By ROBERT DUBOFF '70 and Jim Spaeth. New York, N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons, 2000. 312 pp. $34.95 hardbound.
    Done correctly and creatively, market research is extremely valuable in keeping one's business alert to upcoming dangers and opportunities, these authors say. Market information separates winners and losers. This book provides a guide to researching future variables, including brands, customer loyalty, competition and the Internet, providing tools to improve overall business strategy and operations.

The Depth of the Riches: A Trinitarian Theology of Religious Ends. By S. MARK HEIM '72. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2001. 312 pp. $35 hardbound.
    Heim seeks to answer the question "How can Christians reconcile their understanding of unique salvation in Christ with differing religious views?" Two critical aspects of Christian theology—salvation and religious ends, particularly heaven and hell—are explored, and Heim proposes a new perspective on a religious pluralism that allows the celebration of different religious ends. He outlines the significance of the Trinity of the Christian tradition and applies it to understanding other specific religions such as Islam. Heim ends by applying his viewpoint to interfaith relations.

From the Puritans to the Projects: Public Housing and Public Neighbors. By LAWRENCE VALE '81. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000. 460 pages. $45. Hardbound.
    With broad historical scope, Vale examines America's public housing as an institution. He begins nearly 350 years ago and traces the nation's attitude toward the urban poor as reflected in the policies and the buildings made for them. He studies Boston's story specifically—and the Boston Housing Authority—but also questions larger, current efforts seeking a return to a reward-based system for the working class.

Winning the Management Wars. By BRUCE TULGAN '89. New York, N.Y.: W. W. Norton, 2001. $26.95 hardbound.
    Tulgan is the founder of RainmakerThinking, Inc., a research and consulting company that focuses on the working lives of young people in the new economy. This book investigates and offers solutions for recruiting and retaining the best available talent in today's business world. Tulgan says managers must respond to the stubborn independence of those born after 1963 and learn to be more effective leaders.

All Knowing, All Merciful and Other Stories. By JAMES THOMSON '92. Tucson, Ariz.: Hats Off Books, 2000. 204 pp. $13.95 paperback.
    The eight stories in this collection are full of "insane lies and fevered gibberish," readers are warned by the back cover. The stories detail a nameless crime, a killing in Mauritania, the destruction of an Age of Heroes and a little-known twist to the French Revolution, among other topics—tales covering an exotic range of subject and character.

Compiled by Jennifer Acker '00