Javier Corrales, Associate Professor of Political ScienceLawrence Douglas, Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social ThoughtProfessor of Physics Jonathan Friedman
Javier Corrales, Jonathan Friedman, and Lawrence Douglas

It’s been a banner couple of weeks for Amherst faculty authors. Political science’s Javier Corrales; law, jurisprudence and social thought’s Lawrence Douglas; and physics’ Jonathan Friedman have all been recognized for various pieces of writing.

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. “Easily the best scholarly treatment of Hugo Chávez’s hybrid electoral autocracy, Corrales and [co-author Michael] Penfold’s book courageously refutes orthodox explanations—from the right and the left—for this unique caudillo’s rise and resilience,” the Foreign Affairs write-up on Dragon reads. “This masterful monograph’s dissection of Chávez’s astoundingly shrewd political tactics will be carefully studied by both his well-wishers and his detractors.”

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.” Meanwhile, Ed Park wrote in New York magazine that “the second novel by Lawrence Douglas gave me delight on every page.”

And a soon-to-be-published paper that Friedman co-authored, 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.