Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America
Ted Steinberg, A83
Oxford University Press

The ten most costly catastrophes in U.S. history have all been natural disasters--seven of them hurricanes--and all have occurred since 1989, a period, ironically, that Congress has dubbed the Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. Ted Steinberg, professor of history and law at Case Western Reserve University, looks at how much of the death and destruction has been well within the realm of human control. Surveying more than a century of losses from weather and seismic extremes, he exposes the fallacy of seeing such calamities as simply random events.
   Acts of God explores the unnatural history of natural calamity, the decisions of business leaders and government officials that have paved the way for the greater losses of life and property, especially among those least able to withstand such blows--America's poor, elderly and minorities. Seeing nature or God as the primary culprit, Steinberg argues, has helped to obscure the fact that, in truth, some Americans are better protected from violence of nature than their counterparts lower down the socioeconomic ladder. Donald Worster, the author of Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s, says, "This compelling book blows away many obscuring clouds of misunderstanding and denial in our national environmental memory."

Alumni Authors

Parenting Tips for the Strung Out Mom and Dad: A Tool Kit
Ruthann Saphier, J65
M&R Enterprises Inc.

Ruthann Saphier, a parenting consultant and educator, has written an action-based book that offers help to busy parents who are working at raising healthy children and becoming positive adult role models. Providing explicit, practical and effective behaviors, Parenting Tips is user-friendly. The beneficial behaviors are printed on perforated pages that can be used as refrigerator notes with the enclosed magnet.

No Miracles Here: Fighting Urban Decline in Japan and the United States
Teodore J. Gilman, A87
SUNY Press

Teodore J. Gilman, an assistant professor of political science at Union College, makes a probing comparison of two struggling company towns, one in Japan and one in the U.S., offering valuable urban revitalization lessons. Gilman compares urban revitalization efforts in Flint, Michigan, the declining automobile industry town, and Omuta, Fukuoka Prefecture, home of the largest coal mine in Japan, from the early 1970s through the early 1990s. Striking similarities emerge, both in the way redevelopment policy is made and in policy content. He finds that although Japanese and American cities rarely achieve truly successful revitalization, the Japanese have been more successful at avoiding the pitfalls of bad redevelopment policy.

An Algonquian Year: The Year According to the Full Moon
Michael McCurdy, A64, Museum 71
Houghton Mifflin Company

As the moon waxes and wanes, her cycles set a pattern of life for those who live beneath her. For the Northern Algonquians in precolonial America, these rhythms serve to measure out their year. Michael McCurdy, an award-winning artist, follows the important path the moon made in Algonquian lives. Using scratchboard illustrations and graceful prose, he brings to life the seasonal cycles of work play and survival--a busy and fulfilling year punctuated by the beauty of the full moon.

The Body in the Moonlight: A Faith Fairchild Mystery
Katherine Hall Page, G74
William Morrow

Mystery writer Katherine Hall Page brings us another Faith Fairchild mystery. Set in New England, this time the caterer and part-time sleuth is busy putting together the latest church fundraiser. The theme is a murder mystery, and several local mystery writers will be there to mastermind the fun and games, while Faith dishes up a savory meal. The event is going well until a beautiful young woman drops dead for real, poisoned by Faith's dessert. Once again it's up to Faith to discover what really happened.

The Maya Diaspora: Guatemalan Roots, New American Lives
Marilyn M. Moors, J55, and James Loucky, editors
Temple University Press

This collection, edited by Marilyn M. Moors, professor emertia from Montgomery College and national coordinator of the Guatemala Scholars Network, and James Loucky, describes the process and the results of a massive exodus of Maya people from Guatemala, following a military reprisal, to Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central America. The chapters discuss the dangers and problems of the migratory/refugee process and the range of creative cultural adaptations that the Maya have developed. It provides the first comparative view of the formation and transformation of this new and expanding transnational population, presented from the standpoint of the migrants themselves as well as from a societal and international perspective.

Roads Not Taken: Rereading Robert Frost
Jonathan N. Barron, A84, and Earl J. Wilcox
University of Missouri Press

Jonathan N. Barron, associate professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi, and Earl J. Wilcox, bring a new look and depth to the study of one of America's greatest poets. Appealing to a wide literary community and in keeping with Frost's own poetic goals, these 12 essays fall into four distinct categories: gender, biography and cultural studies, the intertext, and poetics and theory. The diverse viewpoints and collective expertise make this volume of essays the most significant contribution to Frost criticism to be published in more than 20 years.

The Adonis Complex: The Secret Crisis of Male Body Obsession
Dr. Roberto Olivardia, A94, Dr. Harrison G. Pope, Jr., and Dr. Katharine A. Phillips
The Free Press

Dr. Roberto Olivardia, a clinical fellow in psychology at Harvard Medical School, and Drs. Pope and Phillips, have written the first book to address a health crisis that is striking men of all ages. Men are struggling with the same enormous pressure to achieve physical perfection that women have dealt with for centuries. From compulsive weightlifting to steroid use, from hair plugs to cosmetic surgery, growing numbers of men are taking the quest for perfect muscles, skin and hair too far, crossing the line from normal interest to pathological obsession. This new obsession with appearance, known as the Adonis Complex, afflicts boys and men of all ages and from all walks of the life. This book offers hope and help for men caught in the oppressive cycle of body obsession.

The Magic Lantern: A Fable About Leadership, Personal Excellence and Empowerment
Dr. Joe Rubino, A81
Vision Works Publishing

Dr. Joe Rubino, CEO of the Center for Personal Reinvention, creates a magical world of Center Earth, inhabited by dwarves, elves, goblins and wizards, to teach lessons about personal development. He examines what it means to take on true leadership by telling a story of a group of dwarves and their young leader who go off in search of the secrets to a life that works, a life filled with harmony and endless possibilities and void of the regrets and upsets that characterize most people's existence. With a mission to restore peace and harmony to their village in turmoil, the characters overcome the many challenges they encounter along their journey.

Faculty Authors

Skyscraper Rivals: The AIG Building and the Architecture of Wall
Daniel M. Abramson
Princeton Architectural Press, Inc.

Daniel M. Abramson, assistant professor of art history, examines the architecture of Wall Street between the wars through an amazing array of contemporary and archival images and an informed discussion of the financial, geographical and historical forces that shaped this district. The book focuses on the AIG Building--once known as the Cities Service Building--and three other major towers in the financial district, in their race to be the tallest, the most modern and the most lavish.

The Festive State: Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism as Cultural Performance
David M. Guss
The University of California Press

David M. Guss, associate professor of anthropology, discussing festive behavior, long seen by anthropologists and folklorists as the "uniform expression of a collective consciousness, is contentious and often subversive." He investigates "the ideology of tradition," combining four case studies in a radical multisite ethnography to demonstrate how in each instance concepts of race, ethnicity, history, gender and nationhood are challenged and redefined.






© 2001 Trustees of Tufts University, all rights reserved.