The Colgate Scene
September 2000
Table of contents
Reviews

  Our Time
By Melvyn N. Klein '63, Woolford Publishing, Corpus Christi, TX, 1999. 251 pp. These essays exhibit extraordinary breadth and depth: breadth in the wide range of interests and issues which engaged Mel Klein; and depth in the insights and hidden truths he finds in people and events, great and little known.

     The reader will find within these pages insightful accounts of well-known celebrities during their times of achievement; commentary on important social changes and challenges in our country; informed reports on economics and world politics; and simple stories about South Texas people, events and matters of personal character.

     This book reflects one man's journey through these years as a businessman, attorney, father, husband and teacher. It focuses upon issues -- personal and public -- and upon people who made a difference in shaping what was happening during our time.

-- From the dust jacket


Women Who Become Men: Albanian Sworn Virgins
By Antonia Young, Oxford, New York, NY, 2000. 163pp.

by Nancy Ries

In a patriarchal society, where women's lives are tightly constrained, all marriages arranged (sometimes from birth) and where the perpetuation of the male line in a family or clan is essential, what choice does a woman have if she doesn't want to marry her betrothed? What can a family do if it has no sons to carry on the lineage and protect the family's interests and honor?

     The way Albanians have traditionally solved these problems is the topic of this intriguing study by Antonia Young, research associate in the sociology and anthropology department. Most Albanians accept as a fact of life that in certain circumstances, women can become men. They do this by taking an oath of lifelong celibacy, donning men's clothes, adopting male gestures and habits, performing men's labor and taking on the role of protector and guardian of family honor. After the oath (the breaking of which is inconceivable), these "sworn virgins" are accepted as men for the rest of their lives. They speak, swagger, drink and smoke as men do, discussing local politics at the cafe. They host guests, arrange marriages, guard property and avenge insults to the family's honor -- no small function in a culture where inter-family blood feuds are an inescapable feature of life and may persist for generations. "Sworn virgins" may even go to war.

     All of this is remarkable considering that women in Albanian society are normally quite subservient: they take no part in family decision-making, silently serve while male family members eat or host guests, have no public role and may be sequestered to protect their honor. Among biological females, only "sworn virgins" can inherit homes or property, sit in cafes or take up arms.

     Young traces the history of the "sworn virgin," using reports from many students of the Balkans past and present. She contextualizes this phenomenon within the broad anthropological literature on transgenderism, using examples from India, Samoa, East Africa and Native America. Her own extensive interviews with "sworn virgins" and their families and neighbors in Albania and Kosovo stand at the heart of this book, however, providing a vivid sense of one of the most fascinating aspects of an extraordinary civilization, now in the throes of profound and often violent change. In the end, Young poses a key question: might the ancient institution of "sworn virgins" be one that helps families recover from the loss of so many husbands, brothers, and sons in the 1999 massacres of Kosovar Albanians?


Nancy Ries is an associate professor of sociology and anthropology


Cloth Modeling and Animation
By David Breen '82 and Donald House, AKPeters, Natick, MA, 2000. 344 pp.

Written by leaders in the field of computer clothing design and simulation, Cloth Modeling and Animation is a vital resource for researchers and developers of cloth simulation software as well as computer animators and graphics programmers.

     Readers will learn about cloth's nature and structure, scientific approaches to understanding its behavior and look, and the latest modeling and simulation techniques for automatically animating cloth on the computer. Topics covered include drape models, dynamic models, woven and knit fabrics and appearance models. A special section describes the use of simulated cloth in several recent feature films and animations.

-- AKPeters


David Breen has been working in the field of computer graphics since 1982, first as a graduate student, then as a research scientist. He studied at RPI's Center for Interactive Computer Graphics, followed by two years at the European Computer-Industry Research Centre in Munich, Germany. He has been at Caltech's Computer Graphics Lab for four years.


Wishing My Father Well: A Memoir of Fathers, Sons, and Fly-Fishing
By William Plummer '68, Woodstock, NY and New York City, 2000. 159 pp.

Booklist called Plummer's third book a "jewel-like memoir, with writing as quick and surprising as a trout snatching a fly in a roaring stream." The People editor used his father's fishing journals not only as teaching tools but also as a way to hash out their tumultuous relationship. Plummer is able to explain the arcane artistry of fishing with nymphs but uses it a metaphor for, as Booklist put it, "the challenges parents and children face in understanding each other's worlds. With its perfectly blended mix of fishing detail and reflections on the author's life, loves and relationships, this moving account will appeal equally to anglers and those who enjoy literary memoirs."


The World In Us: Lesbian and Gay Poetry of the Next Wave
Edited by Michael Lassell '69 and Elena Georgiou, St. Martin's Press, New York, NY, 2000. 392 pp.

The first substantial collection of gay and lesbian poetry in more than a decade offers significant work by 46 women and men -- all living, working poets at the height of their creative powers. With selections from major, established poets to emerging artists, The World In Us is poetry with its roots in the active voice.

-- St. Martin's Press


Cat's Paw
By David Platt '52, IstBooks Library, 2000.

A newly published contemporary action-adventure novel about two neighbors involved in serious personal conflict showcases the writing talents of Tucson resident David Platt and is now available from the lstBooks Library, the world's leading distributor of electronic books.

     The story begins with a chance road rage encounter that propels family man Marty Woods into a series of confrontations with his new neighbor, Jim Alberts. From then on, Marty's life is never the same. Marty's trials with Alberts begin with hostile scuffles, including the infamous cat trap incident. Soon, the conflict escalates into acts of child abuse, arson, murder and kidnapping, all fueled by Alberts' sick persona.

     The action ranges from a San Diego suburb to the Sonoran Desert and Tucson, Arizona, as Marty struggles to keep himself and his family alive in the face of Alberts' evil and deadly ways. The gut wrenching final chapter is acted out atop Tucson's Mount Lemmon, where a cat plays a key role in its headlong conclusion.

     Cat's Paw can be downloaded from the World Wide Web as an "eBook" (electronic book) from the lstBooks Library (www.lstBooks.com). Rather than physical objects made of paper and ink, eBooks can be downloaded from the Internet directly to the computers of more than 150 million readers. The new book is also available in soft cover from 1stBooks and from more than 25,000 bookstores worldwide.


David Platt, a retired advertising executive, has "embarked on a second career writing action/adventure novels." He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, then spent 39 years working for several well-known advertising firms.


Loving Life After Sixty: Celebrating the Autumn of Your Life
By Tom Paugh '52, Willow Creek Press, Minocqua, WI, 1999. 176 pp.

Tom Paugh has spent a lifetime writing Loving Life After Sixty. Drawing upon his own rich and varied research (husband, father, sportsman, intelligence officer, editor, artist) and collecting the wisdom of

     great thinkers throughout history (from Shakespeare to the lyricists who wrote "Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries"), Paugh touches on a couple dozen topics. Retirement, love, friendship, sex, religion, strong drink and longevity all receive Paugh's attention. He writes in an easy, engaging style, as if he were leaning across a fence or stopping by for a front porch visit. He concludes, "Concentrate on living, not dying, and your life will be the better for it. And, concentrate on loving, too, and your world after 60 will be a warmer and more wonderful place."

     Tom Paugh speaks as an old friend would and his simple truths are worth heeding.


Founded on Freedom and Virtue: Documents Illustrating American Support of the Greek War of Independence, 1821-1829
By Constantine G. Hatzidimitriou '73, Aristide D. Caratzas, Publisher, New Rochelle, NY, 2000. 440 pp.

In a personal letter to leading Greek-American historian Constantine G. Hatzidimitriou, President Bill Clinton acknowledged that he studied galleys of Founded on Freedom and Virtue as he prepared for his trip to Greece last November.

     President Clinton wrote that the book, edited by Dr. Hatzidimitriou, "was a great help . . . and I quoted from it in two different speeches." The President then added that he is interested in learning more about the "values and the historical ties that the peoples of Greece and the United States share," and praised the Greek-American scholar for his work to "promote a further understanding of them."

     Founded on Freedom and Virtue is an extensive collection of documents which, when taken together, demonstrate that in 1821 much of the leadership of the young American republic had supported the Greeks' rebellion against the Ottoman Empire in an effort to achieve their freedom and independence. Four presidents, including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and John Quincy Adams, made statements on behalf of the Greeks, as did prominent men such as Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and Sam Houston.

     The book also documents the response by ordinary Americans in all walks of life for whom the freedom of Greece was linked to their own sense of justice, democracy and Christian faith. During a time when democracy was under siege by the despotic order that followed the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Greek fight and willingness to suffer in the face of the proverbial Turkish cruelty inspired the American people. As a result, some went to Greece to join the freedom fighters and many more organized support operations throughout the United States. These provided food, clothing, weapons, ammunition and funds, constituting perhaps the first great American foreign aid project.

     Founded on Freedom and Virtue chronicles the many facets of American philhellenism, in education and the press, in public and private life, and the range of spontaneous responses of one democratic people on behalf of another. The book includes introductory chapters providing a historical background and a context for each group of documents. It is expected that, as Senator Paul Sarbanes noted to the publisher, this will become the standard handbook of illustrating the profound ideological kinship between Greece and America, and as such will be used by all those interested in the history of democracy in the United States.

-- Aristide D. Caratzas


The History of Brazil
By Robert M. Levine '62, Greenwood Press, Westpost, CT, 1999. 208 pp.

The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics
Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti, editors, Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 1999. 527 pp.

Cuban Miami
By Robert M. Levine and Moisés Asís, Rutgers University Press, Piscataway, NJ, 2000. 176 pp.

Robert Levine has three new books out. The prolific professor and director of Latin American studies at the University of Miami continues his extensive work on Brazil in two volumes and once again explores Miami, the "Exile Capital," and the enormous impact of Cuban refugees on South Florida.

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