The Colgate Scene
November 2004

Bookshelf
 
Mama Dada cover Realigning cover Rise of Vigara cover Solider's Home cover

Henry cover Playmakers cover
Sarah Bay-Cheng
(Taylor & Francis Books, Inc.)

Although many of Gertrude Stein's plays are produced each year and luminaries in American alternative theater regularly cite her as a significant influence, her plays are not often read and even less understood. Mama Dada attempts to demystify Stein's drama and connect her dramatic work to a larger historical and theoretical tradition in European and American theater.

This book is the first major study of Stein's dramatic works within the history of the theatrical and cinematic avant-gardes. Sarah Bay-Cheng offers incisive analyses of Stein's major and minor plays, and the first detailed studies of Stein's screenplays, A Movie (1920), and Film. Deux Soeurs Qui Ne Sont Pas Soeurs (1929). While addressing the impact of Stein as a major influence on the American avant-garde -- in particular her influence on the Living Theater, Richard Foreman, and Robert Wilson -- Bay-Cheng also considers Stein's drama within a larger tradition of avant-garde performance by comparing her plays and dramatic theories to those generated by Dadaists, Surrealists, and Futurists.

Mama Dada argues for Gertrude Stein as a major playwright of the 20th century through her development of a unique playwriting aesthetic based in avant-garde drama, cinema, and queer identity. By examining and explaining the relationship among these three histories, the dramatic writings of Stein can best be understood, not only as examples of literary modernism, but also as influential dramatic works that have had a lasting effect on the American theatrical avant-garde. — From the dust jacket

Sara Bay-Cheng is assistant professor of English
Michele Chang
(Palgrave Macmillan)

Why do currency crises happen? What conditions set the stage for such a crisis? How severe will it be? When will it happen? The answers to these questions have only grown in importance as the number of currency crises has risen through the 1990s.

Realigning Interests seeks to answer these questions by examining exchange rate realignments of the European Monetary System, specifically in France, Italy, and Ireland. It also shows how balancing the tension between domestic and international politics plays a vital part in a government's willingness to uphold its exchange rate commitments. The book pays particular attention to the role of domestic elections, since these may prevent governments from credibly committing to a fixed exchange rate and from responding quickly and coherently to market instability, thus encouraging speculation. — From the dust jacket

Michele Chang is assistant professor of political science
Meika Loe
(New York University Press)

Since its introduction in 1998, Viagra has launched a new kind of sexual revolution. Quickly becoming one of the most sought-after drugs in history, the little blue pill created a sea change within the pharmaceutical industry -- from how drugs could be marketed to the types of drugs put into development -- as well as the culture at large. Impotency is no longer an embarrassing male secret; now it is called "erectile dysfunction," and is simply something to "ask your doctor" about. And more than 16 million men have.

The Rise of Viagra is the first book to detail the history and the vast social implications of the Viagra phenomenon. Meika Loe argues that Viagra has changed what qualifies as normal sex in America. In the quick-fix, pill-for-everything culture that Viagra helped to create, erections can now be had by popping a pill, making sex available on demand -- regardless of age or infirmity, potentially for the rest of one's life.

Drawing on interviews with men who take the drug, their wives, doctors and pharmacists, as well as scientists and researchers in the field, this fascinating account provides an intimate history of the drug's effect on America. Loe also examines the quest for the female Viagra, the impact of the drug around the world, the introduction of new erection drugs like Levitra and Cialis, and the rapid growth of the multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry.

This wide-ranging book explains how this medical breakthrough and cultural phenomenon have forever changed the meaning of sex in America. — From the dust jacket

Meika Loe is assistant professor of sociology and women's studies
Bruce Guernsey '66
(Water Press and Media)

Bruce Guernsey's Soldier's Home, his first full-length collection of poetry since the award-winning January Thaw, is Homeric in every sense of the term. With such craft as this, with such careful attention to the detail of form and line and such music in the language, you almost forget the constant struggle of return and the sorrow of the search. — From the dust jacket

Sharon Pywell MAT'77
(G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Nine-year-old Lauren Cooper is devoted to her brother, Henry. She looks to him for strength, wisdom, and the cool level-headedness that, she is realizing, she lacks. But when a sudden tragedy upsets the balance of her close-knit family, Henry's steadfastness starts to crack, and Lauren is forced to watch out for her onetime protector as he grapples with a strange -- although not altogether negative -- affliction.

As the Cooper children stumble into adulthood, Lauren continues to keep an eye on Henry, whose already loose ties to the world seem to be weakening. Lauren is starting to suspect that there's another layer to her brother's "illness" that everyone is overlooking. And if she can understand what's happening to him, perhaps she will unlock nothing less than the mysteries of the universe itself.

What Happened to Henry is a funny, moving, wise, and powerful tale of the family's struggle to understand their own son -- who is either crazy or blessed, not unlike the cold-war America in which they live. — From the dust jacket

Tim Walsh '87
(Keys Publishing)

Welcome to a celebration of timeless toys and a tribute to the people who brought them to life. The Playmakers is a toy trip of epic proportions, covering nearly 100 years worth of playthings and offering a delightful look back at many childhood favorites.

More than 420 color photographs bring classic toys back to life; more than 130 images of ads, patents, illustrations, and historical photographs support the narrative; 75 toy profiles offer compelling behind-the-scene stories of the creation of Play-Doh, Clue, Frisbee, Lego, Nerf, and many more; images of 15 ultra-rare prototypes provide a glimpse of the scarcely seen predecessors to Monopoly, Barbie, GI Joe, Magic 8 Ball, Operation, and others; in-depth toy timelines, insider profiles, and rare interviews provide a comprehensive look at the business of making and marketing toys.

Author Tim Walsh offers a thoroughly researched examination of the pop culture of playthings. Stuffed full with fun and facts, The Playmakers is a treasured keepsake and a rare invitation to toyland. — From the dust jacket

Colgate bestsellers at the Colgate Bookstore
  1. American Dynasty — Kevin Phillips '61
  2. Birth of Caribbean Civilisation — Nigel Bolland (Caribbean studies, emeritus)
  3. Burning Tigris — Peter Balakian
  4. Hartshorne Speaking — Holmes Hartshorne (philosophy and religion/deceased)
  5. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili — Joscelyn Godwin (music)
  6. Julius Caesar — Robert Garland (classics)
  7. Memory of War — Frederick Busch
  8. Our Hearts are Restless Till They Find their Place in Thee — Coleman Brown (philosophy and religion, emeritus)
  9. Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma — Camilla Townsend (history)
  10. The Rise of Viagra — Meika Loe (sociology and women's studies)
  11. The Proving Ground — G. Bruce Knecht '80
  12. They Don't Play Hockey in Heaven — Ken Baker '92
  13. War is a Force that Gives us Meaning — Chris Hedges '79

For more information, visit www.colgatebookstore.com.

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