Amherst Magazine

Short Takes

Compiled by Katherine Duke '05

Approaches to Teaching Fitz­gerald’s The Great Gatsby.
Edited by Jackson R. Bryer ’59 and Nancy P. VanArsdale (Modern Language Association of America)
With contributions from dozens of professors of English, this guide presents information about the novel, related resources and a range of critical frameworks for discussing it in the classroom.  

Girlfriend Material.
By Melissa Kantor ’91 (Disney Hyperion Books)
In Kantor’s fourth young-adult novel, Kate has her first taste of romance during a summer with wealthy friends on Cape Cod.

Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue.
Founded by Amherst Director of Religious Life Paul Sorrentino, Joshua Stanton ’08 and Matthew Dougherty ’08, among others
This online journal (irdialogue.org/journal) is intended to encourage the exchange of ideas and to foster a sense of community among scholars from different religious traditions around the world.

Laughter in the Shadows: A CIA Memoir.
By Stuart Methven ’51 (Naval Institute Press)
Methven served in the CIA, in Southeast Asia and Africa, from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Minerva’s Owl: The Tradition of Western Political Thought.
By Jeffrey Abramson ’69 (Harvard Uni­versity Press)
Abramson, a professor of government and law and Fellow of the Frank C. Erwin Jr. Centennial Chair in Government at the University of Texas at Austin, presents an introductory guide to Western political thought dating back to Ancient Greek philosophers.

The Other Night: Dreaming, Writing, and Restlessness in Twentieth-Century Literature.
By Herschel Farbman ’94E (Fordham University Press)
Farbman analyzes the relationship between dreaming and writing and how dreams were used in the literature of the past century.

Reflections on the Columbia Disorders of 1968.
By David B. Truman ’35 (Lulu)
Truman was vice president and provost of Columbia University when student protestors seized and occupied five buildings on the campus. He finished this book in 1995 and died in 2003; his children, including Edwin M. Truman ’63, have recently edited and published it in response to interest from the Columbia community.

Reliable Heat: The H.B. Smith Company of Westfield, Massachusetts.
By John Reed Stifler ’68 (H.B. Smith Co.)
Stifler, a descendant of one of the early di­rec­­tors of the H.B. Smith Co., shows readers the 150-year history of this manufacturer of cast-iron boilers.

Riches Among the Ruins: Ad­­ventures in the Dark Corners of the Global Economy.
By Robert P. Smith, with Peter Zheutlin ’75 (AMACOM)
Showing the development of emerging markets as a major force in the newly globalized econ­omy, Smith and Zheutlin travel to war-torn El Salvador, Russia, Iraq, Nigeria and elsewhere.

Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business Without Losing Your Self.
By Alan M. Webber ’70 (Harper Business)
Over decades, in his work and travels as a journalist, Webber has collected these bits of wisdom for how to thrive in uncertain economic times.

Speaking of Jews: Rabbis, Intellectuals, and the Creation of an American Public Identity.
By Lila Corwin Berman ’98 (University of California Press)
Berman examines the many ways in which the American Jewish population sought to present and explain Jewish identity to the rest of the country throughout the 20th century.

The Statistical Odyssey of Herkimer and the Stat Pack.
By Sanderson M. Smith ’60 (AuthorHouse)
Smith, a retired math professor, entertains and educates in this fictional tale of 10 students and their leader, Herkimer, as they work through an introductory statistics course.

The Urban Experience: Eco­nomics, Society, and Public Policy.
By Barry Bluestone, Mary Huff Stevenson and Russell Williams ’72 (Oxford University Press)
This book draws from the experiences of students and their families, as well as economics, sociology and political science, to describe the evolution and current status of U.S. cities. It comes with a CD-ROM containing 1970-2005 census information for virtually every city and town in every urban area in the United States.

Verge.
By Z Egloff ’83 (Bywater Books)
Egloff’s first novel is about a film student and recovering alcoholic who forms a complicated relationship with a nun.

What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child—and All the Best Times to Read Them.
By Pam Allyn ’84 (Avery)
Director of the literacy organization LitLife, Allyn has compiled and annotated a list of more than 300 time-tested children’s books on many themes and for many occasions.