JUST PUBLISHED

JUST PUBLISHED | 2012 ISSUE 1

Stacy Carlson ’96
Among the Wonderful • STEERFORTH PRESS, 2011

In her first novel, Carlson brings to life 1840s New York City, a time when Phineas T. Barnum as a young man transforms a dusty natural history museum into a place of human wonders and an amazing live animal menagerie, which will become the nation’s most popular attraction. The author focuses on two compelling characters: Emile Guillaudeu, the museum’s grumpy taxidermist, who is horrified by the chaotic change Barnum brings to his beloved institution; and Ana Swift, a professional giantess plagued by chronic pain and jaded by a world of gawkers. They are part of a universe where upper Manhattan is still untrammeled wilderness, the Five Points is at the height of its bloody glory, and within the walls of Barnum’s museum, ancient tribal feuds play out in an unusual community of marvels.

Marty Dobrow ’83
Knocking on Heaven’s Door: Six Minor Leaguers in Search of the Baseball Dream• UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS PRESS, 2010

Dobrow explores the “anguish of almost” as he delves into the lives of six minor league baseball players who are so close to something they have always wanted, but something they still might not get: to play in the majors. The book explores the contradictory culture of the minor league. On one hand, nothing could be more wholesome or family friendly: the kitschy mascots, the hokey promotions, the Little Leaguers hanging over the railing to get autographs from earnest young players. On the other hand, it is a savagely competitive world where the success of a teammate—if he plays the same position that you do—is a bad thing, while his injury represents good news. Dobrow offers a revealing and intimate look at minor league life: the relentless tedium of its itinerant routines and daily rituals; the lure of performance-enhancing drugs as a means of gaining a competitive edge; the players’ wives, girlfriends, and relatives; and the role of agents in negotiating each player’s failures as well as his successes.

Sam Han ’06
Web 2.0 • ROUTLEDGE, 2011

This highly accessible introductory text examines crucial discussions and issues surrounding the changing nature of the World Wide Web. It puts Web 2.0 in context within the history of the Web and explores its position within emerging media technologies. The book discusses the connections between diverse media technologies, including mobile smart phones, handheld multimedia players, “netbooks,” and electronic book readers such as the Amazon Kindle, all of which are made possible by the Web 2.0. The publication considers new developments in mobile computing as it integrates various aspects of social networking and also covers recent controversial debates that have arisen in a backlash to the Web 2.0.

Wendy Lustbader ’76
Life Gets Better: The Unexpected Pleasures of Getting Older • 
TARCHER/PENGUIN, 2011

In her encouraging book, social worker Lustbader writes that, though we’re taught as a society to revere youth, it is not until we’ve passed through our tumultuous 20s and onward toward middle age that we can truly enjoy all of life’s benefits. Lustbader draws on her own life experiences as well as those of her older clients to demonstrate that, for most of us, youth and early adulthood are periods of anxiety, confusion, and self-doubt, and that, as we get older, our lives improve because we become more and more ourselves. We gain the confidence to say what we think and do what we want, without fearing the judgment of others. We become more grateful for all that is good in our lives, and we develop closer bonds with our loved ones. The longer we live, the faster we recognize and dispense with the trivial, and begin to focus on what really matters. The author suggests that each obstacle we face shapes our perspective and helps us become the best possible version of ourselves.

Jack McDevitt MALS ’72
Firebird • ACE, 2011

This sci-fi mystery marks the sixth outing for Alex Benedict, an antiquities dealer living in the far future. An eccentric and well-known physicist, Christopher Robin, vanished 40 years ago during a major earthquake. Before his disappearance, his fringe science theories about the existence of endless alternate universes had earned him both admirers and enemies. Benedict and his partner, Chase Kolpath, are hired to auction his belongings and soon discover that Robin had several interstellar yachts that also went missing. As they try to find out what happened to the physicist, they find their lives threatened. A critical clue relates to the 9,000-year-old Igor Stravinsky symphony The Firebird Suite in this irresistible thriller.

Christopher McKnight Nichols ’00
Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age • HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2011

Nichols’ challenging and illuminating study traces the history of isolationist and internationalist ideas from the 1890s through the Great Depression. He uncovers unexpected connections among individuals and groups from across the political spectrum who developed new visions for America’s place in the world. Nichols explores how reformers, thinkers, and politicians confronted modern society’s challenges, and then struggled with urgent pressures to balance domestic priorities and foreign commitments. Each individual articulated a distinct strain of thought, and each was part of a sprawling national debate over the nation’s global role. Nichols considers such public figures as Henry Cabot Lodge, William James, W. E. B. Du Bois, Jane Addams, Randolph Bourne, William Borah, and Emily Balch. Through these individuals, he transports the reader into the larger community as it strove to reconcile America’s founding ideals and ideas about isolation with the realities of the nation’s burgeoning affluence, rising global commerce, and new opportunities for worldwide cultural exchange.

Mark Reinhardt ’83
Who Speaks for Margaret Garner? • UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA PRESS, 2010

In January 1856, Margaret Garner and her family were at the center of one of the most dramatic and intensely contested fugitive slave cases in American history. Hours after escaping slavery in Kentucky and taking refuge in a Cincinnati dwelling, the Garners were trapped by authorities. As the captors sought to enter the house, Garner killed her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Reports suggested that she also had tried to kill her three other children. Garner’s story inspired Toni Morrison’s celebrated novel, Beloved, but the details of the actual events remain largely unknown. Reinhardt has assembled the most important primary documents concerning the case and its aftermath: newspaper accounts of the Garner family’s escape, capture, and trial; sermons; editorials; legislative debates; and literary responses, opening up a new perspective on American culture and society on the eve of the Civil War. He provides a thoughtful study of antebellum America’s debates over such contentious issues as slavery and freedom, race and gender, party and region, and law and politics.

Michael S. Roth ’78, President
Memory, Trauma, and History: Essays on Living with the Past • COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2011

In his engaging essay collection, intellectual historian Roth employs psychoanalysis to build a richer understanding of history, and then takes a more expansive conception of history to decode the cultural construction of memory. He begins by examining the development in 19th-century France of medical criteria for diagnosing memory disorders, which signal fundamental changes in the understanding of present and past. Next he explores links between historical consciousness and issues relating to the psyche, including trauma and repression, and hypnosis and therapy. Roth considers the work of postmodern theorists in connection with the philosophy of history and then examines photography’s ability to capture elements of the past. He concludes with essays on liberal education’s promises and risks, calling for a pragmatic and reflexive approach to thinking and learning.

James Wallenstein ’85
The Arriviste • MILKWEED, 2011

Neil Fox, the narrator of Wallenstein’s debut novel, laments the suburbanization of his Long Island Arcadia even as he contributes to the process. As a greedy and immoral young man, he made a healthy living on venture capital deals, and along the way developed an inflexible ambition. Now, years later, that same cunning has evolved into an unyielding isolation, which Neil wishes to preserve even as a new neighbor, Bud Younger, builds his home on a lot that Neil himself once owned. But when Neil’s wife moves out, Bud, who has a loving family, interacts with Neil. Soon they share an off-shore business partnership and the affections of a woman—to Neil’s dismay and also, possibly, his advantage. In his compelling tale of influence, power, and solitude, Wallenstein traces Neil’s longing for his own estate in a society obsessed with money and social status—reminiscent of the worlds of 18th- and 19th-century British novels that dealt with the consolidation of property and the formation of great estates.

Brook Wilensky-Lanford ’99
Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden • GROVE PRESS, 2011

Wilensky-Lanford’s carefully researched book traces the stories of various men who have sought over time to find the “real” Garden of Eden all over the globe, often in the most unlikely places, despite scientific advances and the advance of Darwin’s theory of evolution. This obsessive quest consumed Mesopotamian archaeologists, German Baptist ministers, British irrigation engineers, the first president of Boston University, and many others. These relentless Eden seekers all started with the same brief Bible verses, but ended up at different spots on the planet, including Florida, the North Pole, Ohio, China, and Iraq. The author taps into the human urge to understand our origins and how we arrived where we are today. The stories she shares are often weird, wonderful, and highly entertaining.

Richard L. Zweigenhaft ’67 and G. William Domhoff
The New CEOs: Women, African American, Latino, and Asian American Leaders of Fortune 500 Companies • ROWMAN AND LITTLEFIELD, 2011

Zweigenhaft and Domhoff consider closely the women and people of color leading today’s Fortune 500 companies, exploring the factors that have helped them achieve success, and their impact on the business world and society more broadly. The authors combine compelling interview excerpts with new research, as they trace how these new business leaders came to power. The writers question whether they differ from white male Fortune 500 CEOs in meaningful ways, ask whether the companies that hired them vary from other companies, and examine what we can learn about power in America from the emergence of these successful workers in an increasingly globalized world.

—BOOK REVIEWS BY DAVID LOW ’76
If you are a Wesleyan graduate, faculty member, or parent with a new publication, please let us know by contacting David Low at dlow@wesleyan.edu or at Wesleyan magazine, Office of University Communications, Wesleyan University, South College, Middletown, CT 06459.

FICTION AND POETRY

Elizabeth Kincaid-Ehlers P’99How Do I Hate Thee? • ANTRIM HOUSE BOOKS, 2011

George Justice, editor, and Jane Austen, author, Emma: A Norton Critical Edition • W.W. NORTON, 2011

Justin Kurlan ’94The Sunlight Lies Beyond • REGENT PRESS, 2011

NONFICTION

Krishnaroo Appasani P’12, Raghu Appasani ’12Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine: From Molecular Embryology to Tissue Engineering • HUMANA PRESS, 2010

James Clark MALS ’93, Connecticut’s Fife and Drum Tradition • WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2011

Paul Dickson ’61, editor, Baseball Is… Defining the National Pastime • DOVER, 2011

George J. DuPaul ’79 and Lee Kern, Young Children with ADHD: Early Identification and Intervention • AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, 2011; 
George J. DuPaul ’79 and Mark L. Wolraich, ADHD Diagnosis and Management: A Practical Guide for the Clinic and the Classroom • PAUL H. BROOKES PUBLISHING, 2010

Jacklyn Friedman ’93What You Really Really Want • SEAL PRESS, 2011

Rachel Grob ’88, Testing Baby: The Transformation of Newborn Screening, Parenting, and Policymaking • RUTGERS UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2011

Philip S. Kennedy-Grant P’97, P’00, P’03AIA New Jersey Guidebook: 150 Best Buildings and Places RUTGERS UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2011

Daniel Markovitz ’85A Factory of One: Applying Lean Principles to Banish Waste and Improve Your Personal Performance • PRODUCTIVITY PRESS, 2011

Thomas J. Miceli ’81, The Economic Theory of Eminent Domain: Private Property, Public Use •CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2011

Ariel Rubissow Okamoto ’81 and Kathleen M. Wong, Natural History of San Francisco Bay •UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS, 2011

Daniel Schneider ’81, Hybrid Nature: Sewage Treatment and the Contradictions of the Industrial Ecosystem • MIT PRESS, 2011

Peggy MALS ’87 and Murray Schwartz, The Dance Claimed Me: A Biography of Pearl Primus • YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2011

Of Note: Faculty Bookshelf

Faculty Bookshelf is a new Web page that lists and describes recent books written by Wesleyan faculty:
www.wesleyan.edu/academics/faculty/bookshelf.html

David Low

David Low '76 writes about arts and culture for the Wesleyan magazine and Wesleyan Connection. He is associate director of publications in the Office of University Communications. He is also a published fiction writer. E-mail: dlow@wesleyan.edu