Amherst Magazine

Amherst College Books

God? A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist. By William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong ’77. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. 176 pp. $19.95 hardcover.

In this book, Craig and Sinnott-Armstrong argue for and against God’s existence with the spirited discourse of a live debate, preserving all the wit, clarity and immediacy of their public exchanges. While avoiding technical details and the
jargon of academic logicians and theologians, the authors have based their positions on recent scientific discoveries and philosophy. Sinnot-Armstrong, who is professor of philosophy and Hardy Professor of Legal Studies at Dartmouth, argues from an atheist’s perspective. His books include Understanding Arguments and Moral Knowledge?

Little America. By Henry Bromell ’70. New York: Vintage, 2002. 416 pp. $14 paperback.

Historian Terry Hooper is the son of a Cold War-era CIA operative. In the 1950s, Hooper’s father was assigned to befriend the king of the fictional Middle Eastern country Kurash and, Hooper discovers, may have helped arrange his assassination. Through a series of interviews and childhood flashbacks, Hooper attempts to demystify his father’s possible involvement in the killing. Impressing critics with its compelling characters and sharply drawn portraits of the Middle East and 1950s American culture, this thriller is a welcome return to Bromell’s work as a short-story writer and award-winning novelist. He is best known as a writer, producer and director for television programs like “Northern Exposure” and “I’ll Fly Away.”

Once Upon a Word: True Tales of Word Origins. By Rob Kyff ’70. Irving, Texas: Tapestry Press, 2003. 144 pp. $15.95 paperback.

Kyff, a nationally syndicated language columnist, traces the often-misleading and coincidental evolution of many words and phrases. Why, for instance, is a tiny swimsuit called a bikini? What is a boondoggle? Where does the word “scandal” come from? Wielding humor and a detective’s curiosity, Kyff shows how discovering the origin of a word or phrase can breathe new life into that term.

Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides. By Christian G. Appy ’77. New York: Viking, 2003. 550 pp. $34.95 hardcover.

Appy presents a vast range of war-related memories in this comprehensive oral history. Culled from more than 350 interviews, the vivid accounts of 135 people—including well-known political and military figures as well as ordinary citizens—span the entire history of the Vietnam conflict, from its murky origins in the 1940s to the fall of Saigon in 1975. Their voices, along with Appy’s running text, make clear why this war generated some of the most bitterly divisive moral and political debates of the 20th century.

Praying for Others: Powerful Practices for Healing, Peace and New Beginnings. By Birrell Walsh ’65. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2003. 192 pp. $16.95 paperback.

This volume explores how various spiritual traditions practice intercessory prayer. Some offer specific petitions to God, others use visualization and meditation. Providing stories, techniques, practical suggestions and tips, Walsh guides readers through many dynamic, prayerful ways they can help those in need.
He is on the staff of KQED, the public television station in San Francisco, and holds a Ph.D. in comparative religion from the Institute for Integral Studies.

Uncommon Stock Market Strategies: Powerful Tools for Investors. By David G. Funk ’60. Boca Raton, Fla.: Info Publications, 2003. 160 pp. $29.95 paperback.

Written for individual investors who manage their own stock market portfolios, this book describes little-known but powerful tools that can offset stock market fluctuations. Funk, an investment-industry insider for more than 40 years, explains techniques that enable investors to buy a stock at less than the current market price or sell it at more than the current market price, enabling them to benefit from price movements in either direction. These tools are designed to help individual investors enjoy, rather than endure, the inevitable fluctuations in stock prices.

Viennese Silver: Modern Design 1780-1918. Edited by Michael Huey ’87. Germany: Hatje Cantz, 2003. 400 pp. $60 hardcover.

This volume, the catalog for an exhibition at the Neue Galerie in New York, presents more than 180 outstanding Viennese
silver objects representing the period from neoclassicism to the Wiener Werkstätte, illustrating Vienna’s contribution to the development of modern decorative arts. The objects, captured in beautiful photographs, range from lamps to ashtrays to teapots and reflect a style that remains progressive even today. Huey and his authors demonstrate how the history of modern design is not only older but also more multifaceted than is commonly assumed.

The Village Banker. By Alexander Reed ’46. Bloomington, Ind.: 1stBooks Library, 2003. 468 pp. $21.95 paperback.

In this novel, Reed offers a drama fraught with high-finance intrigue, murders and a kidnapping. The mysterious circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a friend lead Peter Reynolds, a successful banker, to investigate the matter in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Full of lore on overseas life, this book sheds light on the inner workings of international finance.

—Compiled by Charlene Dy ’03