Amherst Magazine

Short Takes

Compiled by Katherine Duke ’05

Absolute Power: How the Unitary Executive Theory Is Undermining the Constitution. By John P. MacKenzie ’52. New York: Century Foundation Press, 2008. 79 pp. $14.95 paperback.
This report criticizes the Bush administration and others for expanding the powers of the president. MacKenzie spent decades writing for The Washington Post and The New York Times and has taught at the New York University School of Law.

The Court and the Cross: The Religious Right’s Crusade to Reshape the Supreme Court. By Frederick S. Lane III ’85. Boston: Beacon Press, 2008. 263 pp. $24.95 hardcover.
The author of three previous books and hundreds of articles on legal matters, Lane criticizes efforts of conservative evangelicals to groom and support Supreme Court justices who will further their positions on abortion, prayer in schools, gay rights and other issues.

The End-of-Life Handbook: A Compassionate Guide to Connecting with and Caring for a Dying Loved One. By David B. Feldman and S. Andrew Lasher Jr. ’95, M.D. Oakland, Calif.: New Harbinger Publications, 2007. 186 pp. $15.95 paperback.
This book includes advice for those coping with a terminal illness in the family. Lasher is director of palliative medicine at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

Farm Friends: From the Late Sixties to the West Seventies and Beyond. By Tom Fels ’67. North Bennington, Vt.: RSI Press, 2008. 407 pp. $19.95 paperback.
In the late 1960s, Fels joined a group of young rebels on a communal farm in rural Massachusetts. In Farm Friends—both a memoir and a work of cultural anthropology—he reconnects with these people and discovers how they have, and have not, stayed true to their antiestablishment ethos.

Funny Stuff: A Cheerful Poetic Romp Through the Puddles and Muddles of This Goofy Planet. By Robert Gardiner ’54. Bloomington, Ind.: AuthorHouse, 2008. 155 pp. $15.49 paperback.
A retired minister, Gardiner shares rhymes about “Geezerhood,” “Vittles,” “Cupid’s Capers” and more.

I Took My Own Path: A Scientific Theology. By The Rev. George G. Brooks ’44. Port Charlotte, Fla.: Book- Broker, 2008. $15 paperback.
This collection of sermons and readings explicates Brooks’s beliefs and spiritual evolution.

Life in the Balance: A Physician’s Memoir of Life, Love and Loss with Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia. By Thomas B. Graboys, M.D., with Peter Zheutlin ’75. New York: Sterling, 2008. 196 pp. $19.95 paperback.
Zheutlin coauthors the story of Graboys, a Boston cardiologist whose career has been cut short by Parkinson’s disease and progressive dementia.

Men of Letters in the Early Republic: Cultivating Forums of Citizenship. By Catherine O’Donnell Kaplan ’89. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2008. 239 pp. $24.95 paperback.
In the years just after the American Revolution, groups such as the Anthologists of the Boston Athenaeum endeavored to serve their country through publications and conversations about philosophy, poetry and art. The author is an associate professor of history at Arizona State University.

Mobilizing the Community to Help Students Succeed. By Hugh B. Price ’63. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2008. 140 pp. $21.95 paperback.
Price has served as president and CEO of the National Urban League and as co-chair of the Commission for the Whole Child. He presents ways for parents, businesses and the media to rally around struggling schools.

Psychology: Six Perspectives. By Dodge Fernald ’52. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2008. 391 pp. $39.95 paperback.
In this textbook for undergraduates, Fernald compares and contrasts biological, psychoanalytical, behavioral, humanistic, cognitive and evolutionary psychology. He is an award-winning lecturer at Harvard.

Relationship Literacy: Relationships are Treasures. By Brian C. Alston ’86. Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2007. 128 pp. $19.99 paperback.
A seminary graduate and a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology, Alston created the Relationship Literacy Program to provide practical, culturally sensitive education in managing interpersonal relationships. Relationships are Treasures is a curriculum for middle-schoolers.

Storm Warnings. By H.R. Coursen ’54. Topsham, Maine: Just Write Books, 2008. 157 pp. $14.95 paperback.
This novel, set in a 21st-century United States that is rapidly turning fascist, follows two siblings and a Vietnam veteran as they escape from a Homeland Security prison.

There is a Cure for Diabetes: The Tree of Life 21-Day+ Program. By Gabriel Cousens ’65, M.D.,
with David Rainoshek. Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books, 2008. 446 pp. $19.95 paperback.

Cousens addresses the causes and risk factors of diabetes and prescribes a vegan diet and lifestyle changes. He is founder and director of the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center.