The Colgate Scene
May 2006

Books and media

Books and media information is provided by publishers, authors, and artists.

Jeremiah Eck '67
(American Insitute of Architects/The Taunton Press)

The exterior of a house is what we all see and remember, yet few understand how it is put together or how the outside and inside should work in harmony. In his new book, architect Jeremiah Eck demonstrates how to achieve a well-designed "face of home" that will give a house a unique character and personality. The Face of Home helps readers examine the physical and emotional characteristics in detail, developing an understanding of house exteriors that goes well beyond basic architectural identities. Eck fills each page with his passion for and experience designing beautiful homes. The Face of Home is a personal tour of 22 homes, each one an example of balance, grace, and individuality.

G. Bruce Knecht '80
(Rodale Press)

With all the makings of a great true adventure tale, Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish is an exploration of the ways our culinary tastes have all manner of unintended consequences for the world around us. Knecht chronicles how an obscure fish merchant in California "discovered" and renamed the Patagonian toothfish (known to Americans as "Chilean sea bass"), kicking off a worldwide craze for a fish no one had ever heard of -- and everyone had to have. With demand exploding, pirates were only too happy to satisfy the craving. The story follows the pursuit of the illegal fishing vessel Viarsa by the Australian patrol boat Southern Supporter in one of the longest pursuits in maritime history. Tom Brokaw calls Hooked "a fish story, a global whodunit, a courtroom drama -- and a critically important ecological message all rolled into one. Read this and you'll never look at Chilean sea bass on the menu the same way."

Robert Newcomb '73
(Del Ray)

Robert Newcomb's debut trilogy, The Chronicles of Blood and Stone (The Fifth Sorceress, The Gates of Dawn, and The Scrolls of the Ancients), introduced readers to the strange and wondrous land of Eutracia, and to the characters of Prince Tristan and his sister, Shailiha, the Chosen Ones whose magically endowed blood gives them alone the power to unite the opposing forces of the beneficent Vigors and the evil Vagaries. In Savage Messiah, the first volume in The Destinies of Blood and Stone, a new trilogy of magic, romance, and adventure, Newcomb returns to the world of his epic saga, unlocking fresh secrets and startling surprises.

Kevin Phillips '61
(Viking Adult)

In his two most recent New York Times bestselling books, Kevin Phillips established himself as a critic of political and economic forces in the United States. In American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, Phillips takes an uncompromising view of the political coalition, led by radical religion, that, he says, is driving America to the brink of disaster. From Ancient Rome to the British Empire, Phillips demonstrates that every world-dominating power has been brought down by a related set of causes: a lethal combination of global over-reach, militant religion, resource problems, and ballooning debt -- and makes the case that this same set of ills has come to define America's political and economic identity in the past decade. "By describing a series of major transformations," a New York Times review reads, "by demonstrating the relationships among them and by discussing them with passionate restraint, Phillips has created a harrowing picture of national danger that no American reader will welcome, but that none should ignore."

Sanford Sternlicht MA'55
(Greenwood Press)

Modern British and Irish dramatic works are widely enjoyed by general readers and high school students. But because they are rooted in literary Modernism and generally reflect particular historical and cultural concerns, they can also be difficult for students to understand. Sternlicht's volume introduces 10 masterpieces of British and Irish drama in an accessible manner. The book begins with an introductory essay on the historical content of early Modernism, the nature of theater at the beginning of the 20th century, and the trends that have shaped modern Irish and British drama. Subsequent chapters are devoted to a particular play, with a brief biography, plot summary, discussion of major themes, and more included.

By Kermit E. Campbell
(Wayne State University Press)

Because of the increasing influence of hip-hop music and culture on a generation raised during its dominance, Kermit Campbell addresses hip-hop and African American vernacular not merely as elements of folk and popular cultures but as rhetoric worthy of serious scrutiny. In Gettin' Our Groove On, he not only insists on this worthiness but also investigates the role that African American vernacular plays in giving a voice to the lived experiences of America's ghetto marginalized. Campbell's work shows the persistence and force of the vernacular tradition in the face of increasing criticism from the American mainstream. He addresses issues of language and rhetoric within the historical context of African oral tradition and African American folklore, poetry, popular music, fiction, and film. The book presents gangsta/reality rap as a rhetorical tactic consistent with ghetto hustling culture, rather than just entertainment, and also explores the negation of black vernacular in the classroom that has resulted in misguided approaches to teaching literacy to black students. Itself infused with the hip-hop idiom and a style free of academic jargon, the book presents a provocative contribution to cultural and rhetorical studies.

Campbell is an assistant professor of interdisciplinary writing.
By Mary H. Moran
(University of Pennsylvania Press)

Liberia, a small West African country that has been wracked by violence and civil war, seems a paradoxical place in which to examine questions of democracy and popular participation. Yet Liberia is also the oldest republic in Africa, having become independent in 1847 after colonization by an American philanthropic organization as a refuge for "Free People of Color" from the United States. While many analysts have attributed the violent upheaval and state collapse Liberia experienced in the 1980s and 1990s to a lack of democratic institutions and longstanding patterns of autocracy, secrecy, and lack of transparency, Liberia: The Violence of Democracy is a response, from an anthropological perspective, to the literature on neopatrimonialism in Africa. The book argues that democracy is not a foreign import into Africa, but that essential aspects of what we in the West consider democratic values are part of the indigenous African traditions of legitimacy and political process. In Liberia, Moran challenges many assumptions about Africa as a continent and writes about the meanings of democracy and violence within Liberia.

Moran is an associate professor of anthropology.
Colgate bestsellers at the Colgate Bookstore
The First Americans — Anthony Aveni (astronomy/anthropology/Native American studies)
Black Dog of Fate: A Memoir — Peter Balakian (English)
Girls — Frederick Busch (literature, emeritus)
A Memory of War — Frederick Busch (literature, emeritus)
Losing Moses on the Freeway — Chris Hedges '79
War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning — Chris Hedges '79
What Every Person Should Know About War — Chris Hedges '79
I Got Somebody in Staunton — William Henry Lewis (English)
Black Heart: The Moral Life of Recent African American Letters — Phillip M. Richards (English)
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