Amherst Magazine

Amherst College Books

When Someone You Love Needs Nursing Home Care: The Complete Guide. By Robert F. Bornstein, Ph.D. ’81 and Mary A. Languirand, Ph.D. New York: Newmarket Press, 2001. 270 pp. $26.95 hardcover.
The authors offer solutions to a variety of issues surrounding the increasingly complex nature of eldercare and the healthcare system. The book is organized to help readers find answers to their immediate questions concerning medical, legal, financial and psychological obstacles, and includes an extensive collection of checklists, quick reference guides and worksheets. Topics covered include, among others, the signs and symptoms of functional decline, in-home care and adjustment to a nursing home. Bornstein and Languirand move past providing a utilitarian structure for caregiving and also address coping strategies for the caregiver.

On Derrida. By Stephen Hahn ’75. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 2002. 96 pp. $15.95 paperback.
Part of the Wadsworth Notes Series, On Derrida outlines the philosopher’s thinking in a concise and straightforward manner, in the hopes of facilitating college students’ understanding of Derrida’s work. Hahn outlines Derrida’s key contributions to postmodern philosophy, focusing on ideas most frequently examined in coursework. On Derrida approaches the philosopher from two distinct angles: the first chapter takes a conceptual approach based on a single speech of the philosopher’s, and the second reads as a narrative of Derrida’s life, placing the thinker and his thoughts in context. The book goes on to compare Derrida’s philosophy to those of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger and discuss Derrida’s Anglo-American relations. Hahn concludes with a chapter on the best way to evaluate Derrida’s work.

From Chaos to Care. By David Lawrence, M.D. ’62. Cambridge: Perseus Publishing, 2002. 208 pp. $25.00 hardcover.
Lawrence, who served as the CEO and Chairman of Kaiser Permanente, looks at modern American medicine from his unique and practiced perspective. He points out that, all too often, the American medical system—a system with immense capability and promise—degenerates into the individual patient’s experience of uncoordinated, ineffective and frustrating care. Lawrence cites examples of already-existing safe and dependable care, and examines the qualities that make them work. From Chaos to Care posits a solution and sketches the necessary components of a safe, immediate, equitable and ultimately successful health care system for the American future.

American Linden. By Matthew Zapruder ’89. Dorset, Vt.: Tupelo Press, 2002. 88 pp. $14.95 paperback.
Zapruder’s first published book of poetry, American Linden has been hailed as a deft description of the world that uses wit, grace, humor and intelligence masterfully. The collection of poems was awarded the 2001 Tupelo Press Editor’s Prize. American Linden is Zapruder’s debut book; however, his poetry has been published in the past, in the New Yorker, the New Republic and the Harvard Review. Read and hear a poem from American Linden.

Achievement Matters: Getting Your Child the Best Education Possible. By Hugh B. Price ’63. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp, 2002. 256 pp. $27.00 hardcover.
Price, president of the National Urban League, advocates education as the most effective method of empowerment and equalization for African-American children. Achievement Matters dissects and urges parents to reject destructive cultural mindsets, and offers sound advice on how parents can work within and in addition to schools to improve their children’s basic skills and overall quality and level of education. Price offers tips on how parents can instill a love of and appreciation for education in children and provides a detailed timetable on when children should learn specific skills and concepts in school. The book also encourages and helps parents find avenues through which to become active in their educational community.

"Venus in Boston" and Other Tales of Nineteenth-Century City Life. By George Thompson, David S. Reynolds ’70 ed. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2002. 448 pp. $22.95 paperback.
This collection of three short works—reprinted for the first time since the 1850s—by antebellum writer Thompson, highlights the author’s achievements. The three works—Venus in Boston, City Crimes and My Life—serve as samples of the enlightened and energetic style that Thompson invested in his sensational fiction. The author published dozens of novels, most of them set in Northeastern cities, which incorporate scathing observations on the socioeconomic issues of the day with unconventionally frank descriptions of sex and violence, in contrast to most Victorian writing. The collection, ideal for use in the classroom, includes an extensive introduction by Reynolds and co-editor Kimberly R. Gladman that examines Thompson’s life and work. Reynolds is Distinguished Professor of English at Baruch College at the City University of New York.

Hunting Down the Monk. Poems by Adrie Kusserow ’88. Foreword by Karen Swenson. Rochester, New York: BOA Editions, Ltd., 2002. 104 pp. $13.95 paperback.
Kusserow, an associate professor of cultural anthropology at St. Michael’s College, draws on her background in comparative religion and cultural anthropology to explore through poetry the spread of Western traditions to the East and Eastern traditions to the West. Hunting Down the Monk offers a portrait of the human need for a spiritual life through its descriptions of displaced peoples struggling to re-interpret their conceptions of culture, religion and faith. Kusserow traveled to Nepal and Northern India to study Tibetan Buddhism as a first-year student at Amherst and continues to engage in cross-cultural fieldwork on refugees and the spread of Eastern philosophies to the West. Her poems have been published in a variety of literary journals.

Morning by Morning: How We Home-Schooled Our African-American Sons to the Ivy League. By Paula Penn-Nabrit ’p04. New York: Villard, 2003. 304 pp. $24.95 hardcover.
Paula Penn-Nabrit tells the story of her and her husband’s home schooling their three children—Evan Nabrit ’04 and his brothers Charles and Damon, both students at Princeton University—and their successful navigation of the college admissions process. Penn-Nabrit begins with a discussion of how the traditional educational system failed her sons, pointing to a lack of diversity and role models for her children. After a series of incidents led to her children leaving their day school, Penn-Nabrit and her husband began to home-school the boys. Morning by Morning discusses how the family designed a curriculum while offering the boys exposure to the arts, athletics and volunteer opportunities. The book also examines SAT preparation and the college admissions process. After each chapter, Penn-Nabrit offers commentary on what she would have done differently and describes how she dealt with difficulties as her sons adjusted to the traditional academic setting.

Revolutionary Boston, Lexington and Concord: The Shots Heard ’Round the World (3rd edition). By Joseph L. Andrews, JR., MD ’59. Beverly, Mass.: Commonwealth Editions, 2002. 160 pp. $14.95 paperback.
This, Andrews’ third reincarnation of the popular 64-page first edition, is a comprehensive guide to the history of Revolutionary Boston and surrounding towns. The third edition features separate chapters on the Revolutionary history of Boston, Cambridge, Lexington, Concord and other pivotal points on the Battle Road, including places of historical interest in each town. Andrews also includes a new guide on Boston’s Freedom Trail and chapters on the often-overlooked roles played by women, children, African-Americans, Native Americans and Jews during the American Revolution. Andrews has been widely published in Boston-area newspapers, and is a well-known history buff. He is a licensed Concord Guide, founder and director of Concord Guides Walking Tours, and a former member of the Concord Historical Commission.

—Compiled by Rebecca Binder ’02