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James D. Hornfischer '87
Hornfischer brings to vivid life an untold tale of World War II in the Pacific as he chronicles the stunning story of the lost crew of the USS Houston, one of America's most celebrated warships and one of WWII's greatest mysteries. Using exclusive interviews with survivors, personal journals and letters, and rare historical documents, Hornfischer brings to light the truth about the POWs who survived the loss of the Houston only to be enslaved by their Japanese captors, and how their ordeal has been glamorized in novels and by Hollywood. Kirkus Reviews said of Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR's Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of Her Survivors: "Harrowing and frank, this story of a gritty band of men -- starved, isolated, and working under excruciating conditions -- reflects the triumph of will over adversity...[a] long overdue saga of the famous ship."
Rick Marsi '69
The citizens of Borovichi, Russia, have endured poverty, violence, uncertainty, and social upheaval since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Chronicling their plight during 13 visits to Borovichi between 1990 and 2005, journalist Marsi tells their story in Bridge to Borovichi: American Impressions of a Small Russian City, 1990-2005. Introduced to Russia through a Sister Cities International connection between his hometown of Binghamton, N.Y., and Borovichi, Marsi used a small fifth-story walk-up apartment as home during the many fortnights he spent in Russia. From there, he reached out to meet residents from all walks of life: politicians, painters, butchers, policemen, and businesspeople. The book documents how a tumultuous 15-year span changed their lives, and how they adapted, persisted, despaired, and moved forward. Bridge to Borovichi also offers a rare inside look at the natural world surrounding Marsi's adopted city -- a lake-bejeweled land of dense spruce and birch forest where Russians escape to hunt mushrooms, catch pike, and camp under star-studded skies.
David S. Platt '79
Today's software sucks. There's no other good way to say it. It's unsafe, allowing criminal programs to creep through the Internet wires into our very bedrooms. It's unreliable, crashing when we need it most, wiping out hours or days of work with no way to get it back. And it's hard to use, requiring large amounts of head-banging to figure out the simplest operations.
With more than 20 years of experience as a programmer, software development teacher, popular speaker, and author, programming insider David Platt explains in plain, jargon-free English why that's the case and, more importantly, why it doesn't have to be that way. In the end, he suggests what you, as a typical user, can do about this sad state of our software -- how you, as an informed consumer, don't have to take the abuse that bad software dishes out.
As one might expect from the book's title, Platt's writing is laced with humor -- sometimes outrageous, but always dead on. Readers will laugh out loud as they recall software incidents that made them cry. But Platt hasn't written this book just for laughs. He aims to make wiser, happier citizens of our computer-using world.
Lorelei Sharkey '94 and Emma Taylor
(Chronicle Books LLC)
Authors and dating and sex advisers Em and Lo add two more books to their collection of informative but fun tomes. With more than 350 entertaining, fully cross-referenced entries, Rec Sex: An A-Z Guide to Hooking Up contains Em and Lo's definition of every term, phrase, and phenomenon associated with hooking up. In Sex Toy: An A-Z Guide to Bedside Accessories, the "Emily Posts of the modern bedroom" offer a bedside reference guide. Working together for more than seven years, Em and Lo have appeared on the Today Show and CNN Headline News, and authored the popular Position of the Day.
Bernie Siegel MD '53
How much time with you do your kids need? How do you teach your children values? When kids misbehave, how do you mix appropriate anger and discipline with love? What are some ways to help children adjust to separation or divorce? Should you get a family pet? Dr. Bernie Siegel, himself a husband of more than 50 years, father of five, and grandparent of eight, became an expert on how to turn sometimes trying situations into opportunities for personal growth. With a wealth of quotes, anecdotes, parenting tips, and his comforting, caring down-to-earth tone, Siegel addresses the myriad questions that parents face as they strive to guide their kids to happy, healthy adulthood. In Love, Magic & Mudpies: Raising Your Kids to Feel Loved, Be Kind, and Make a Difference, he shares the gems garnered from his practice and his own family life to show readers what he's learned about raising kids with love, wisdom, and humor during his many years working with thousands of patients and their families.
The war in Iraq is present in some of the stories in this collection, and so are the domestic wars; and, in every case, a character seeks to comfort or to save someone. "The Rescue Mission" is narrated by a man who runs a rescue mission out of a trailer in upstate New York. In his attempt to save a young woman from the brutality of her boyfriend, he is forced to confront the reality of his own mother's death. In "Good to Go," an estranged couple try to save their grown son from the scars of war. Physical love, familial love, the need to give comfort -- and the need for comfort -- are themes skillfully rendered by a master of the short story whose achievements have been acknowledged with the PEN/Malamud Award for short fiction and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award of Merit for lifetime achievement in the short story.
The late Frederick Busch was the Edgar W.B. Fairchild Professor of literature emeritus.
(Teachers College Press)
How can we create a classroom in which relationships are a central focus, and why is this important to teaching and learning? In Education for a Caring Society: Classroom Relationships and Moral Action, Johnston brings the conversation about the purpose of education back to the importance of developing critical thinkers who can participate in a democratic society and a rapidly changing world. In order to educate this kind of citizen, teachers must attend to the development of students' ability to think of themselves in relationships. Drawing on 35 years of teaching and thinking about teaching as a guide, Johnston discusses how teachers can develop a classroom in which students learn to trust each other, examines the connections of these classroom relationships to moral theory and moral behavior, and presents the ways teachers think about the many dimensions of classroom relationships. She illustrates how complicated and often difficult it is in a classroom to develop relationships in which people can speak out and trust one another, and offers ideas that are crucial to classroom community and teaching for social justice.
Johnston is professor of educational studies and women's studies.
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