In 1962, most college-educated women still expected their lives to revolve around marriage and family, but a few had larger ambitions. It’s Good To Be A Woman: Stories from Bryn Mawr Class of ’62 (Publishing Works, 2007) by Alison Baker, PhD ’74, tells the stories of Bryn Mawr College students who were determined to lead their own lives. The book is compiled from classmate anecdotes and details how the women navigated the turbulence of the sixties, confronted crisis, and built careers.
University of South Carolina Professor Harold B. Birch, MSIA ’70, is author of The 101st Pennsylvania in the Civil War: Its Capture and POW Experience (Authorhouse, 2007). The book traces the experiences of a regiment captured by Confederate forces in Plymouth, N.C., and describes how some officers escaped with the help of field slaves and southern Union supporters. This is Birch’s second book on the Civil War from the perspective of a Pennsylvania Union unit.
Marilyn Edelman Borden, BA ’70, co-wrote her first novel, Murder Off the Books (Echelon Press, 2007), under the pen name Evelyn David. The book is a modern comic mystery involving a retired Irish cop, a fast food-loving Irish Wolfhound, and an on-campus murder. It is set in Washington, D.C.
To Love, Honor and Obey (iUniverse, 2007) is based on the story of Emma Miller, the great-grandmother of author Joan Cox, BA ’60. Cox calls Miller one of the first feminists, describing how Miller survived the abuse and abandonment of her husband to raise three children, take a lover, and triumph in personal and professional conflict.
How can democratization, coupled with transnational integration, resolve conflicts over cultural difference in places scarred by a history of nationalist competition? Talk of the Nation: Language and Conflict in Romania and Slovakia (Cornell University Press, 2007) by Zsuzsa Csergo, MA ’92, PhD ’00, explores that question through a comparative study of contested language usages in the heart of the post-Communist region.
Paul D’Ambrosio, BA ’81, wrote his first novel, Cold Rolled Dead (Down the Shore Publishing, 2007), a political thriller set on the New Jersey shore. The book examines modern day corruption and international stock scams, as a forensic computer specialist teams with a headstrong religious sister who discovers a man on the beach with his face and fingerprints burned off. D’Ambrosio is the investigations editor for the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press.
In Ethan, Suspended (Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers, 2007), Pamela Ehrenberg, MEd ’03, tells the story of Ethan Oppenheimer, a junior high student suspended from school and sent to live in Washington, D.C., with grandparents he hardly knows. Ethan has trouble fitting in at Parker Junior High, where he is the only white student. Ethan’s fictional school was inspired by the D.C. junior high where Ehrenberg completed her GW internship.
From its origins as a Southern California radio show dispensing parenting advice, James Dobson’s Focus on the Family has become an immensely influential evangelical alliance. In The Jesus Machine: How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America are Winning the Culture War (St. Martin’s Press, 2007), author Dan Gilgoff, BA ’01, provides the first inside look at this vast national network, which he calls the most powerful web of organizations the Christian Right has ever known. Gilgoff is a senior editor at U.S. News & World Report.
Desperate Engagement: How A Little-Known Civil War Battle Saved Washington D.C., and Changed American History (St. Martin’s Press, 2007) by Marc Leepson, BA ’67, MA ’71, tells the story of the Battle of Monocacy in 1864 and Confederate Gen. Jubal Early’s subsequent move against the capitol. Although it was one of the least-known military encounters of the war, Leepson writes that the battle had significant consequences and the potential to alter the course
Christine L. Nemacheck, MA ’97, PhD ’01, digs deep into the presidential archives to reconstruct the process of judicial nominee choice in Strategic Selection: Presidential Nomination of Supreme Court Justices from Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush (University of Virginia Press, 2007). By revealing the pattern of the presidents’ strategic actions in the filling of Supreme Court vacancies, Nemacheck provides a new understanding of this critical part of the political system. Nemacheck is an assistant professor in the Department of Government at the College of William and Mary.
In Last Stand: George Bird Grinnell, the Battle to Save the Buffalo, and the Birth of the New West (Collins, 2007), Michael Punke, BA ’86, explores the larger-than-life leaders at the origin of the conservation movement. Former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson describes the book as “all that western history should be: a good old rip-roaring adventure, with buffalo, Indians, Yellowstone, cavalry, hunting, Cody, Custer, Roosevelt—why, hell, there’s even dinosaurs!”
Growing up in Atlanta in 1979 meant living under the shadow of the Atlanta Missing Children case, a two-year murder spree that claimed the lives of 29 black children and young adults. In No Place Safe: A Family Memoir (Kensington Books, 2007), Kim Reid, MA ’90, tells the story from a child’s perspective: She was 13 years old at the time, and her mother was a lead detective on the investigation.
A group of 10 fifth-grade girls at Manhattan’s P.S. 171 Patrick Henry School, under the guidance of teacher Stacey Shubitz, BA ’00, came together every weekday morning to write the essays, letters, memoirs, poetry, and interviews in DEAL WITH IT!: Powerful Words from Smart Young Women (Xlibris, 2007). The book is intended to help heal the isolation suffered by many preteens.
Kristin N. Wolfgang, BA ’92, is author of 102 Reading Response Lessons: Improving Comprehension for Test Day and Beyond (Corwin Press, 2006), a guide for teachers who want to enhance and track the improvement of their students’ reading response abilities. For the past seven years, Wolfgang has taught fifth grade at a small public school in Pahala, Hawaii, on the Big Island.