An illustration of a person reading in a bookshop

Jeff Swensson ’72, John Ellis and Michael Shaffer begin Unraveling Reform Rhetoric: What Educators Need to Know and Understand, and guide you with An Educator’s GPS: Fending Off the Free Market of Schooling for America’s Students (Rowman & Littlefield). This may lead you abroad, to PISA and Global Education Policy: Understanding Finland’s Success and Influence, by Jennifer Chung ’97 (Brill), and drop you into The College Dropout Scandal, by David Kirp ’65 (Oxford University Press).


John H. Halpern, M.D., and David Blistein ’74 look back into drug history with Opium: How an Ancient Flower Shaped and Poisoned Our World (Hachette Books). But those affected may find a better future through The Complete Family Guide to Addiction: Everything You Need to Know Now to Help Your Loved One and Yourself, by Thomas F. Harrison ’82 and Hilary S. Connery (Guilford Press).


Learn The Consequences of Loyalism: Essays in Honor of Robert M. Calhoon, edited by Rebecca Brannon ’97 and Joseph S. Moore (University of South Carolina Press). G.A. Finch ’77 will help you become The Savvy Executive: The Handbook Covering Employment Contracts, Compensation, Executive Skills, and Much More (Windy City Publishers).


Sink your young canines into Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps: Everything You Need to Know to Raise the Perfect Dog, by Mark Van Wye ’90 (Rockridge Press), and introduce young humans to Señorita Mariposa, by Ben Gundersheimer (Mister G) ’89 (Nancy Paulsen Books).


Editor Jackson R. Bryer ’59 shows Why I Like This Story (Camden House), while George Mathewson ’57 asks The Dried Earth: What Has Happened to Our Water? (independently published). Howard Michael Gould ’84 dips Below the Line (Dutton), where Jackie O. Suffers Two Husbands and Other Poems, by Jessica McEntee ’00 (Finishing Line Press).


Illustration by Minho Jung

Retraction: This edition of Short Takes has been changed from the original to remove a reference to the book Burdens of Freedom, by Lawrence Mead '66, because the book's arguments have been widely condemned as racist. (Additionally, for clarity and transparency, this retraction has been changed from the original to state the name of the author and the title of the book.) Given the volume of books authored by Amherst alumni, faculty and staff, Short Takes has always been a mere listing of books, not an endorsement. We understand that there is limited value and can be significant problems with a section that simply lists everything published by Amherst authors. Going forward, Short Takes will instead focus more substantively on a smaller selection of titles. We regret that we listed the aforementioned book in our magazine and apologize for any pain and harm its inclusion caused our readers. Our deepest gratitude to Luis de Pablo ’22 for bringing our attention to this matter. Change was overdue. --Emily Gold Boutilier, Editor-in-chief