The Colgate Scene
September 2003

Bookshelf
 
Notes on Directing cover The Hiking Companion cover What Every Person Should Know About War cover Why the Bubble Burst cover
Russell Reich '85
(RCR Creative Press)

In 1987, British director Frank Hauser quietly handed 12 pages of typewritten notes to his apprentice, American Russell Reich (see page 12). The notes -- gathered over a long career and polished to a sharp edge -- documented the teachings and directions that Hauser shared privately with a host of theatrical and cinematic figures, including Sir Alec Guinness, Richard Burton, Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Judi Dench and many others who called Hauser their director, mentor, teacher or boss.

Now, the former student has expanded and enhanced his mentor's notes into a book-length format suitable for anyone searching for the timeless gems of the director's craft. Drawing on years of training, decades of experience and the distilled wisdom of leading practitioners, Notes on Directing is filled with enduring good advice expressed in assertive, no-nonsense language. More than a "how-to," this is a tool for directors looking to better translate the page to the stage -- or to the screen. With 130 directives supported with explanatory commentary, helpful examples and rare quotes, this deceptively slim volume has the impact of a privileged apprenticeship to a great master.

Whether you are a student or a professional, a theatergoer or enthusiast, Notes on Directing provides a thrilling glimpse into the hidden process of creating a live, shared experience.

Michael W. Robbins '60
(Storey Books)

When it comes to hiking, Michael W. Robbins is all about the experience. "You can see and hear a lot in just one mile of hiking in a mature deciduous forest," he says, "or just one mile of rocky switchbacks up the face of a serious mountain." The way Robbins sees it, someone who is trying to maximize mileage during a day hike is missing the point.

Drawing from his personal experience hiking major trails throughout North America, Robbins offers an overview of the hiking experience in various terrains, from forests to fields, waterside to mountains. He discusses common mistakes and how to avoid them, giving recommendations on trip planning, pacing, appropriate gear and the basics of navigating, such as how to use a compass. There's even a chapter on extending the day hike to become an overnight backpacking trip.

Interwoven with Robbins's expert advice on how to plan and equip yourself for a hike are first-person accounts of his own experiences on trails in Glacier National Park; near Harper's Ferry, W.Va.; and in the Hudson River Valley. His encounters with wildlife, his discovery of forgotten historical or unexplored archaeological sites, his exultation at coming upon a truly magnificent vista -- all are a real inspiration to both beginning and experienced hikers. The Hiking Companion is the perfect combination of hardcore, down-to-earth, expert advice, with exciting stories of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that await you in the wild.

Robbins is the former editor-in-chief of Audubon magazine. He is the author of several books, including High Country Trail: Along the Continental Divide, written for National Geographic Books. He has written articles for New York, Rolling Stone, Reader's Digest, Savvy and Popular Science. He is currently a contributing editor to Mother Jones and Discover magazines.

Chris Hedges '79
(Free Press)

Acclaimed New York Times journalist and author Chris Hedges offers a critical -- and fascinating -- lesson in the dangerous realities of our age: a stark look at the effects of war on combatants. Utterly lacking in rhetoric or dogma, this manual relies instead on bare fact, frank description and a spare question-and-answer format. Hedges allows U.S. military documentation of the brutalizing physical and psychological consequences of combat to speak for itself.

Hedges poses dozens of questions that young soldiers might ask about combat, and then answers them by quoting from medical and psychological studies. What are my chances of being wounded or killed if we go to war?; What does it feel like to get shot?; What do artillery shells do to you?; What is the most painful way to get wounded?; Will I be afraid?; What could happen to me in a nuclear attack?; What does it feel like to kill someone?; Can I withstand torture?; What are the long-term consequences of combat stress?; What will happen to my body after I die?

This profound and devastating portrayal of the horrors to which we subject our armed forces stands as a ringing indictment of the glorification of war and the concealment of its barbarity.

Lawrance Lee Evans Jr. '92
(Edward Elgar)

Why the Bubble Burst provides a comprehensive look at the most dramatic run-up in equity values in U.S. history. Lawrance Evans takes the reader from theory to empirics, illustrating why we need to go beyond the efficient markets hypothesis and the theory of domestic irrational exuberance to fully unpack the unprecedented phenomenon, why the market was destined for a major decline and why the fallout will be severe and protracted.

Quantitative evidence suggests that mutual funds, international portfolio flows and the decline in the amount of corporate equity outstanding all played an integral role in the stock market boom. These ingredients in the context of a supply-and-demand-based theory of equity price determination indicate that supply and demand forces unrelated to corporate profitability elevated U.S. equity valuations to unsustainable levels.

The author's conclusions carry implications for economic theory and policy, retirement security and stock market investments in general. Economists, finance professionals and policymakers will find this volume a unique investigation into the stock market boom and bust.

Also of interest:
Help Me to Heal: A Practical Guidebook for Patients, Visitors and Caregivers
by Bernie Siegel '53 M.D. and Yosaif August
(Hay House)
Spun
a CD by Jim Kremens '89
(Evangeline Recorded Works)
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