Amherst Magazine

Short Takes

New books and films

Compiled by Katherine Duke ’05

Age of Barbarity: The Forgotten Fight for the Soul of Florida
By Billy Townsend ’94 (CreateSpace)
Townsend tells the little-known story of a pivotal period of violent racial and religious conflict in Florida between 1915 and 1930.

Eighteen-Day Running Mate: McGovern, Eagleton, and a Campaign in Crisis
By Joshua M. Glasser ’10 (Yale University Press)
When he ran for president in 1972, U.S. Sen. George McGovern chose Sen. Thomas Eagleton ’50 as his running mate, only to rescind his endorsement when Eagleton’s history of mental illness quickly came to light. Drawing from personal interviews and unpublished campaign records, Glasser examines the political and human drama.

Gay Rights at the Ballot Box
By Amy L. Stone ’98 (University of Minnesota Press)
Stone provides a comprehensive history of LGBT activism against more than 200 anti-gay ballot measures in the United States since 1974.

Humanitarian Law in Action Within Africa
By Jennifer Moore ’83 (Oxford University Press)
Moore examines the role and application of four branches of international humanitarian law in Uganda, Sierra Leone and Burundi—three nations emerging from civil wars.

The Kissing List
By Stephanie Reents ’92 (Hogarth)
Reents’ first book comprises interconnected short stories about four women embarking on professional and romantic adventures of young adulthood.

Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus
By Bill Wasik ’96 and Monica Murphy (Viking)
Wasik, a Wired magazine editor, and his wife, Murphy, a veterinarian and specialist in public health, illuminate the misunderstood medical history of the rabies virus.

Richard Bowen (1594?–1675) of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, and His Descendants: Volume 1: Generations 1–3
By William B. Saxbe Jr. ’63 (Rhode Island Genealogical Society)
Certified genealogist Saxbe traces the notoriously complicated history of one colonial New England family, uncovering its connections to many other families.

Shark Loves the Amazon
Film on DVD by Mark London ’74
After 30 years of travel in the Amazon region, London reevaluates conventional wisdom about protecting the rain forest, in light of the social and economic realities of the 21 million people who live there. Visit sharklovestheamazon.com.  

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet
By Andrew Blum ’99 (Ecco)
Blum, a correspondent for Wired magazine, explores huge data centers, 10,000-mile undersea cables and other physical components of the Internet.

The Unofficial Mad Men Cook­book: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men
By Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin ’75
This entrée to the culinary world of 1960s New York includes recipes for, and commentary on, the food and drink featured in the AMC television show Mad Men. The book features more than 70 recipes for such dishes as steak tartare, hearts-of-palm salad and stuffed crown roast of pork.

What Ever Happened to Raoul Wallenberg?
By Morris H. Wolff ’58 (The Educational Publisher)
This book presents a history of Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who became a hero to Hungarian Jews during World War II, and Wolff, the American attorney who struggled to free Wallenberg from a Russian gulag. Learn more, and read excerpts, at thewallenbergrescuebook.com.

What is la hispanidad?: A conversation
By Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture Ilan Stavans and Iván Jaksic´ (University of Texas Press)
Two intellectuals discuss the complex and ever-changing nature of Hispanic identity.

A Year in Korea: An American Journal
By David R. Wellens ’90 (Hamilton Books)
Wellens’ account of teaching English at Chung­nam Institute of Foreign Language Education in Gongju, South Korea, from 2009 to 2010