Amherst Magazine: Summer 2012

Short Takes

Compiled by Katherine Duke ’05

Ad Nomad: The Case Histories of Dane Bacchus
By Eric Jay Sonnenschein ’75 (Hudson Heights Press)
This comic novel, by a veteran of the ad industry, follows the title character through the strange world of pharmaceutical advertising.

All in the Family: On Community and Incommensurability
By Kennan Ferguson ’90 (Duke University Press)
Ferguson considers how actual, rather than idealized, families cope with challenges and what their strategies might teach us about political conflicts.

Busy Hands
Music by Harper Blynn (which includes Peter Harper ’05 and Jay Blynn ’04)
Download the group’s new 13-song album for free from www.harperblynn.com.  

Change Comes to Dinner: How Vertical Farmers, Urban Growers, and Other Innovators Are Revolutionizing How America Eats
By Katherine Gustafson ’01 (St. Martin’s Griffin)
Gustafson introduces readers to a Baltimore program  in which schoolchildren learn to grow their own lunches, a school-bus-turned-grocery-store in Virginia and other promising ideas for solving the nation’s food woes.

The Girls and Boys of Belcher­town: A Social History of the Belchertown State School for the Feeble-Minded
By Robert Hornick ’66 (University of Massachusetts Press)
Hornick’s book, the first detailed history of an American public institution for those with intellectual disabilities, tells of the Belchertown, Mass., school that opened in the 1920s and closed amidst scandal in the 1990s.

North Coast Almanac
By Paul R. Dimond ’66 (Huron River Press)
In Dimond’s first novel, intended for readers ages 8 to 12, a magical family struggles to survive in a majestic and rapidly changing land­scape that is inspired by the northern coast of Michigan.

Pieces of Eight
By Seth E. Frank ’55
The poems in Frank’s eighth book of poetry include “The Brooklyn Public Library,” “Party Favor from the Mice’s Ball” and “Sleeping in Shakespeare’s Third-Best Bed.”  

Puerto Rico City: A Novel
By David R. Martin ’84 (Self-published)
Martin (who was known as David Ramon Martinez while at Amherst) tells the tale of a governor of Puerto Rico who, despite cunning opposition from international politicians and businesspeople, endeavors to build “a city to eclipse all others as the place to be and be seen.”

Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus
By Bill Wasik ’96 and Monica Murphy (Viking)
Wasik and Murphy explore the science, history and mythology of rabies and explain what the deadly virus can teach us about other diseases, such as AIDS and avian flu, that originate in animal populations.

Shakespeare in America
By Alden T. Vaughan ’50 and Virginia Mason Vaughan (Oxford University Press)
Part of the Oxford Shakespeare Topics series, this book traces the history of America’s reception and adaptation of the works of William Shakespeare from the 17th century to the present day.

The Theorist’s Mother
By Andrew Parker, longtime professor of English at Amherst (Duke University Press)
Parker examines to what effects “traces of the maternal” appear—and are “made to disappear”—in the lives and works of critical theorists György Lukács, Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida.

Transitions: Legal Change, Legal Meanings
Edited by Austin Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science (University of Alabama Press)
A series of essays, by various legal experts, on how changes to U.S. law relate to shifts in politics

The Unbreakable Rules of Marketing: 9 ½ Ways to Get People to Love You
By Cathey Armillas and Jeff Berry ’72 (Chili Bomb Press)
The “unbreakable rules” from these two marketing veterans include “Be Creative or Die,” “The Medium is Not the Message”  and “Give Love to Get Love.”