The Colgate Scene
September 2001

Reviews
Social Conflicts and Collective Identities
Edited by Patrick G. Coy and Lynne M. Woehrle '87, Rowman & Littlefield Pubishers, Inc., Oxford, England, 2000. 218 pp.

Conflicts are potentially constructive and destructive social phenomena. Because of their complexities, most conflicts are marked by a combination of constructive and destructive effects, located somewhere along a continuum. Social scientists study conflict at many levels, including interpersonal interactions, group competition and wars between states. Whether viewed as positive or negative, conflict is generally seen as an expected and functional outcome in a social system. Where there are human beings organized in social structures, there will be conflict.

Conflict has too often been labeled as a negative social function due to its perceived destructive and chaotic nature. For Parsonian theorists in particular, conflict was thought to be the state of societies which do not function properly. It was seen as a social dysfunction to be avoided in achieving a harmonious society. And in Elton Mayo's school of industrial sociology, avoiding conflict was characteristic of a healthy society since conflict was viewed as a disease. Typically, various societal structures were used to reduce conflict, introduce strict systems of norms and expectations, limit individual creativity and communication, strive for homogeneity and severely punish social deviance.

Kid With Wrinkles: Inside the Psyche of the Mature Divorcing Male
By Rick Mittleman '51, iUniverse.com, Inc., Lincoln, NE, 2000. 183 pp.

Finally! An inside look at divorce from the male perspective! Kid With Wrinkles: Inside the Psyche Of the Mature Divorcing Male is a personal diary that documents one man's experience in going from the old-shoe comfort of a 30-year marriage to the culture shock of today's singles scene!

A journey that takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster that soars between hilarious and bittersweet sad, Kid With Wrinkles cuts through the typical divorcing male's ego-driven macho veneer to reveal his vulnerability as we explore his most intimate feelings. From the ordeal of apartment hunting after 27 years in a lovely home alive with happy memories to going it alone . . . to wondering if he made a terrible mistake . . . to the fear of eternal celibacy . . . to undergoing psychological counseling . . . to swallowing his pride and placing personal ads . . . to the transitional affair . . . to self-discovery, this book will fascinate men and women alike -- whatever their marital status.

A three-time Emmy Award nominee, writer/producer Mittleman has more than 200 television shows to his credit including The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Tyler Moore, I Spy, M*A*S*H, Simon & Simon and Murder She Wrote.

 
The eProcess Edge
By Peter Keen and Mark McDonald '85, Osborne/McGraw-Hill, Berkeley, CA, 300 pp.

eCommerce has changed business as we know it. No hype, it's reality. New companies, new competitions, new customers -- all challenge existing business rules. The emerging new economy, however, has fundamentals about customers, relationships, service and brand. Customers matter in eCommerce, and gaining their trust and building relationships are critical for success. How does a company create an eCommerce business based on relationships? What must it do to achieve the right balance between vertical operation and virtual integration? What should be on the executive agenda for eCommerce? The answers can be found inside The eProcess Edge, from thought leaders Peter Keen and Mark McDonald.

Keen and McDonald have identified the approaches and steps necessary to create wealth through raising efficiency and combating commodit-ization found on the Web. It's not about just knowing what to do; it's about knowing how to implement processes, and how to turn innovation into execution. This book is a practical roadmap that shows managers and technology decision-makers exactly how to improve their processes and capabilities, gain the competitive advantage and help their companies build wealth. Revealing the advantages of eProcess, the authors show how to combine new technology with business processes to generate faster revenue growth and greater profits through relationships and repeat business.

McDonald is an associate partner and director of the Center for Process Excellence at Accenture, formerly Andersen Consulting.

 
Beyond Renewal
By George Held '57, Cedar Hill Publications, Mena, AK, 2001. 80 pp.

George Held began writing poetry in 1990 and has since published widely. In the process he has, as Vince Clemente notes, "not only mastered traditional verse forms that too many of us, I fear, have forsaken -- sonnet, cinquain, triolet -- he is also master of the sleight-of-hand."

Witty and playful, the poems at first seem simple observations that continue to reveal ever-greater depths with repeated readings.

In "Finding My Way," Held writes, "What does it mean to find my way at sixty-two-/that the path's grown clearer, or my focus?"

Held was a Fulbright lecturer, has taught at Queens College and CUNY and co-edits The Ledge Poetry Magazine.

By Joseph R. Owen V'48, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2000. 237 pp.

Joe Owen tells it like it was in this evocative, page-turning story of a Marine rifle company in the uncertain, early days of the Korean War. His powerful descriptions of close combat in the snow-covered mountains of the Chosin Reservoir and the survival spirit of his Marines provide a gritty real-life view of frontline warfare. As a lieutenant who was with them from first muster, Owen was in a unique position to see the hastily assembled mix of regulars and raw reservists harden into a superb company known as Baker-One-Seven. His fast-moving narrative describes enemy night assaults, foxhole fights, patrols through Chinese lines, and dramatic examples of Medal of Honor gallantry, and he supports his account with tales from other survivors.

"No Marines ever fought under worse conditions. Owen's account of Baker-One-Seven's courageous ordeal is blunt, authentic and compelling -- a fitting tribute to his company and to his Corps," writes Col. Joseph H. Alexander, USMC (Ret.).

Owen served in the Marines during World War II and the Korean War. Now retired from his own marketing company, he is the author of several articles and stories.

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