Amherst Magazine

Very Hot Type

By Caroline J. Hanna

It was a banner winter for faculty authors. Political science’s Javier Corrales; law, jurisprudence and social thought’s Lawrence Douglas; and physics’ Jonathan Friedman all won accolades for their writing.

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Corrales

Reviewers for Foreign Affairs magazine named Corrales’ book Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chávez and the Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela one of the three “Best Books of 2011 on the Western Hemisphere.”

The Foreign Affairs write-up praises Dragon as “easily the best scholarly treatment of Hugo Chávez’s hybrid electoral autocracy” and says that the book, coauthored with Michael Penfold, “courageously refutes orthodox explanations—from the right and the left—for this unique caudillo’s rise and resilience.”

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Douglas

Also garnering high praise was Douglas’ novel The Vices, which appeared on two “best book” lists for 2011 and was named a finalist in the fiction category for the 2011 National Jewish Book Awards. Adam Kirsch of the New Statesman called it a “sharp, stylish, suspenseful tale” and “an elegant parable about the allure of self-invention.” Ed Park wrote in New York magazine that the book “gave me delight on every page.”



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Friedman

A paper that Friedman coauthored, titled “Radicals organized by disk shaped aromatics—polymorphism and co-crystals that tune inter-electron exchange,” has generated buzz among physicists. Exploring magnetism in organic crystal structures, the scholarly work was named a “hot article” by the crystal engineering academic journal CrystEngComm, which will publish the paper this year.

Photos by Samuel Masinter ’04