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Spotlight: Popular History

The Incredible Ditch
A Bicentennial History of the Middlesex Canal

Carl Seaburg, A43; Alan Seaburg, A54; Thomas Dahill, A49
The Anne Miniver Press for the Medford Historical Society

Image of the cover to The Incredible Ditch The Middlesex Canal, constructed between 1794 and 1803, has close connections to Medford. Early benefactors hailed from Medford; brick from Medford brickyards went to build the mills in Lowell and New Hampshire; and lumber from northern forests came down the canal to the village's bustling shipyards. So when Carl and Alan Seaburg, Medford residents with a penchant for history, wanted to help celebrate the bicentennial of the building of the canal, they knew that it deserved a special book. Enlisting artist Thomas Dahill as illustrator, they would spend the next six years collaborating on an engaging tribute to the first major engineering feat of the United States. "Although not meant to be a scholarly work, it has the most accurate information to date on the flow of the canal," said Dahill, proudly. "We're also pleased that it has been included in a number of exhibits, including the Tufts Art Gallery ["A Shared History, Medford/Somerville"], the Widener Library at Harvard, and the Bunker Hill Museum in Charlestown." Indeed, this interpretation of the canal, from its construction until its demise in 1853, is as much a pleasure to look at as it is to read. Liberally illustrated with watercolors, archival photos and drawings, sketches of tools used in canal construction, and aerial photographs showing the canal's 27-mile path through seven communities, it invites readers to consider history with new eyes. As such, The Incredible Ditch is a thorough homage to an early commercial venture that changed the face of New England. For more information, write Alan Seaburg, Miniver Press, Box 381364, Cambridge, MA 02238.

Feeding Your Children for Lifelong Health
Susan Roberts and Dr. Melvin Heyman
Bantam Books

In this groundbreaking book, Tufts professor of nutrition and psychiatry Susan Roberts teams up with another leading pediatric nutritionist to introduce research on metabolic programming -the new science that shows how early feeding affects children's development at the cellular level. The authors present evidence showing that how a child is fed is as crucial as what a child eats, and advises parents on how to work with their child's basic instincts to avoid food battles. From breastfeeding techniques to allergies and hyperactivity, the book outlines effective strategies for improving the diets of young children.

Reluctant Disciplinarian
Gary Rubinstein, A91
Cottonwood Press

Gary Rubinstein joined Teach for America after graduating from Tufts and shares the lessons of his first year on the job in this funny and insightful book. Rubinstein traces the path that led from his first "truly disastrous year" to his being named "Teacher of the Year." Offering helpful ideas, Rubenstein shows that idealism matched with skills and confidence is a winning combination.

The Cartographer's Vacation
Andrea Cohen, J83
Owl Creek Press

". . . Might some square inch / harbor the unfamiliar, something less navigable / than my eye along the ridge of one palm's crease?" Such are the questions of The Cartographer's Vision, the first collection of poetry by Andrea Cohen, winner of the PEN Discovery Award for poetry and the Annual Owl Creek Competition. Cohen, whose poetry, stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications, writes on marine-related issues at MIT and is fiction coordinator for the Blacksmith House Reading Series.

Help Your Man Get Healthy:
An Essential Guide for Every Caring Woman

Maria Kassberg Regan, J94, and Dr. Steven Jonas
Whole Cure Paperbacks

Maria Kassberg Regan, a writer in the health-care field, encourages women to "intercede before a crisis arises" in the health of the men in their lives. Pointing to tendencies - stress, being out of shape or overweight, and tobacco or alcohol use - the authors press for simple but effective steps that motivate and educate for "a healthier, happier, longer life together."

Getting Started in 401(k) Investing
Paul Katzeff, A70
John Wiley & Sons

A staff writer at Investor's Business Daily, Katzeff brings extensive knowledge to his second book about the increasingly popular retirement savings plan. With a mixture of humor and down-to-earth language, Getting Started explains the ins and outs of 401(k) plans to help the reader make the most of its wide range of benefits.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Kansas Centennial Edition

L. Frank Baum, Illustrated by Michael McCurdy, Museum 64
University Press of Kansas

To honor the centennial of its publication in 1900, the University of Kansas Press presents this special anniversary edition of L. Frank Baum's classic tale, combining Baum's original text with the beguiling illustrations of Michael McCurdy and Ray Bradbury's thought provoking foreword on the Land of Oz. Michael McCurdy's richly evocative scratch-board drawings and wood engravings grace more than 160 books for both children and adults. Meanwhile, Ray Bradbury, one of America's most popular authors, put fantasy and science fiction on the map of genres worthy of close attention. Together, McCurdy's and Bradbury's contributions enhance one of the best-known and most-read books in the world, "the quintessential American fairy tale."

Doing What Had to Be Done
The Life Narrative of Dora Yum Kim

Soo-Young Chin, J80
Temple University Press

Over the course of many interviews, Soo-Young Chin tells the life story of a woman she greatly admires, Dora Yum Kim, one of the few surviving members of the San Francisco Chinatown Korean community. As a second-generation Korean, Dora describes her struggle for social change. Confronting the barriers of being Korean and a woman, Dora offers a testiment to the power of the human spirit to rise to new challenges. Chin is an assistant professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at the University of Southern California; the book is a part of the series Asian American History and Culture.

Get a Clue!: A Parents' Guide to Understanding and Communicating with Your Preteen
Ellen Rosenberg, Bouvé 65
Owl Books

Ellen Rosenberg shares the questions, fears, frustrations and pressures eight-to-fourteen-year-olds have written about in letters to her. With these insights in mind, she gives suggestions and practical pointers on how parents can approach their children about issues such as self-image, social acceptance, peer pressure, making friends, dating, sex, divorce, stepparents, and more. Rosenberg, a mother of two and the author of Growing up Feeling Good, is a lecturer whose interactive presentations have reached more than a million students, teachers and parents.

Winning with HorsePower!
Achieving Personal Success through Horses

Rebekah Ferran Witter, J69
Trafalgar Square Publishing

Rebekah Ferran Witter, the author of Living with Horsepower, now looks at how the positive effects resulting from that book lead to personal growth and achievement. Through stories from more than 70 renowned members of the horse industry, including top trainers, rodeo greats, Olympic champions and Western starts, she explores lessons such as controling anger, developing partnerships, prioritizing time and money and improving sportsmanship skills.

Food and Whine: Confessions of an End of the Millennium Mom
Jennifer Moses, J81
Simon & Schuster

Journalist and prize-winning short story writer Jennifer Moses humorously chronicles family life, detailing the birth of her first child, the subsequent births of her twins, and her struggle to cope when her mother is diagnosed with cancer. Recounting her transformation from a "way cool hip-chick" to a "harassed and sleep-deprived mother of three, " Moses reveals the chaos and the joys of modern motherhood, and captures the comic underbelly of family life in a story as much about survival as it is about love.

   

 

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