Bookshelf: Spring 2011

Wisconsin’s Own: Twenty Remarkable Homes

There certainly are some big, beautiful residences in our state, which Zane Williams ’71 of Madison has masterfully photographed for Wisconsin’s Own: Twenty Remarkable Homes (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), by M. Caren Connolly and Louis Wasserman. From 1,500 potential structures considered, the book tells the stories of the people behind the façades of these architectural masterworks.

Awakening In Time

For “everyone who’s concerned with the deeper issues of life, yet struggles with day-to-day time time-management needs,” Pamela Kristan ’68 has linked the spiritual with the practical in Awakening in Time: Practical Time Management for Those on a Spiritual Path (Dog Ear Publishing). She’s a teacher and consultant in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

From the photos, notes, and memories that Neal Ulevich ’68 of Denver collected as a “diversion from the grim work of combat photographer and photo editor,” he’s created The Polaroid Portraits: Indochina 1972–1975 (blurb.com). Ulevich spent decades working for the Associated Press in Asia and won a 1977 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of a violent political confrontation in Bangkok.

Madisonians Caroline Hoffman MA’71 and Bob Kann ’75, PhD’82 have shared the life of an inspirational activist with young readers in Cindy Bentley: Spirit of a Champion (Wisconsin Historical Society Press). Bentley was born with an intellectual disability that diminished her prospects for independent living — until she began to compete, win, and bloom through Special Olympics. Hoffman, now retired, was a longtime policy advocate for the Wisconsin Council on Developmental Disabilities; Kann is a storyteller, juggler, magician, and workshop presenter.

Radicalizing Learning

“It is a bold, ambitious book, beautifully written and uncompromising in its social-justice agenda.” This is just one of the pieces of hefty praise for Radicalizing Learning: Adult Education for a Just World (Jossey-Bass), co-authored by John Holst ’88. He’s an associate professor in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Administration at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.

Martha Taylor ’71 has captured her body of wisdom as a pioneer in women’s philanthropy in a book she’s co-authored, Women and Philanthropy: Boldly Shaping a Better World (Jossey-Bass). Taylor is a vice president of the UW Foundation in Madison; a co-founder of the foundation’s Women’s Philanthropy Council (the first women’s major-gift program at a coed university) and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute; and the first female VP in development in the Big Ten.

Mission Expansion

Mission Expansion in the Federal Home Loan Bank System (SUNY Press) is nothing if not relevant and timely, and it’s the work of Mark Cassell MA’92, MA’94, PhD’98 and Susan Hoffmann PhD’98. He’s an associate professor of political science at Kent [Ohio] State University; she’s a professor of political science at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

In Genetic Twists of Fate (MIT Press), co-author (Henry) Mark Johnston ’74 uses an accessible and engaging style to explain what a personal DNA code is and how even a few differences in that long chain make each person an individual. Johnston is a professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver and editor-in-chief of Genetics.

Mary Clare O’Brian is an ordinary girl who struggles to understand God’s will in the midst of her large family’s troubles and the Vietnam War. She decides that becoming a saint — and having the ear of God — surely couldn’t hurt. Her story is told in (Mary) Elizabeth Fixmer MS’78’s debut work of fiction for middle-graders, Saint Training (Zonderkidz). Fixmer, of Madison, spent twenty years as a child psychotherapist.

The Universe in Miniature

You’ve got to check out Chicagoan Patrick Somerville ’01’s third book: The Universe in Miniature in Miniature (Featherproof Books). It’s a “genre-busting book of short stories” from this winner of the 21st Century Award (for his 2009 novel, The Cradle). A limited- edition cover even turns into a mobile of Somerville’s mini universe! Little, Brown and Company has also purchased his fourth book, Good Sense.

In Congressional Ambivalence: The Political Burdens of Constitutional Authority (University Press of Kentucky), Jasmine Farrier ’92 demonstrates how Congress both desires power and cedes it, and examines how this ambivalence affects the legislative process. She’s an associate professor of political science at the University of Louisville.

Danielle McGuire ’97, MA’99’s first book has already received plenty of prestigious press. It’s At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance — A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power (Knopf). The author is an assistant professor of history at Detroit’s Wayne State University.

Published in the Spring 2011 issue

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