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New books by SCU alumni and faculty
Am I blue?
A few things have changed in American politics since 1968. For example, writes Mark Stricherz ’93, “The Democratic Party has alienated its most reliable voters”—Catholics and blue-collar workers—“reducing the base of a once-great national party to the coastal enclaves that support its secular values.” In Why the Democrats are Blue: Secular Liberalism and the Decline of the People’s Party (Encounter Books, 2008, $29.95), Stricherz compiles interviews with Democrat presidential nominees, politicians, activists, and over 100 voters to explain how the party platform has shifted in the past 40 years. As for the writer: You’ll find him living in D.C., and you’ll find his political pieces in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Chicago Tribune.
Musician and composer Theo Gonzalves ’90 has been busy: His fifth full-length album of jazz is due out this spring. Recorded in Honolulu, She Loved Zero Tango features Gonzalves on piano with Michael Cueva on tenor sax and Scott Sato on drums. And just out from Meritage Press is Gonzalves’ collection of essays and interviews, Stage Presence: Conversations with Filipino American Performing Artists ($22). Fuse culture, history, jazz, and art—courtesy of dancers, comedians, theatre artists, and musicians—and you get one happening jam session. Gonzalves has also taught at SCU; these days you’ll find him teaching courses on Filipino/American relations at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Painting with passion
Monet and Manet, Cézanne and Pissarro, Gauguin and Van Gogh—they loved color and they let it show. And it’s no longer a given that the Impressionists practiced art without a sense of past or passion. So to capture a more nuanced understanding of these long-revered artists, Mary Tompkins Lewis ’74 has brought together a wide-ranging and beautifully illustrated collection of essays in Critical Readings in Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: An Anthology (University of California Press, 2007, $29.95). Currently serving as visiting associate professor of fine arts at Trinity College, Hartford, Lewis is also the author of Cézanne’s Early Imagery and Cézanne.
Body and soul
Can prayer truly heal physical ailments? Whether you consider yourself a skeptic or a believer, you’ll find an illuminating look at spirituality and health in the new volume co-edited by Thomas G. Plante, professor of psychology at Santa Clara, and Carl E. Thoresen, senior fellow in SCU’s Spirituality and Health Institute. Spirit, Science, and Health: How the Spiritual Mind Fuels Physical Wellness (Praeger Publishers, 2007, $49.95) offers contributions from members of the Institute, covering psychology, nursing, public health, pastoral care, and other disciplines. There are sections for patients dealing with HIV/AIDS, cancer, issues related to adolescents, and people in hospice care—along with chapters on meditation and the ethics of integrating spirituality into patient care.
Solve for X
Looking for an equation for the longevity of a love affair? You’ll find one, along with dozens of other fascinating articles (plus a definition of a mathematician as “a device for turning coffee into theorems”) in The Harmony of the World: 75 Years of Mathematics Magazine (The Mathematical Association of America, 2007, $55.95). Edited by SCU Valeriote Professor of Science Gerald L. Alexanderson and Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Peter Ross, the anthology includes award-winning articles highlighting luminaries such as Carl Gauss and Leonhard Euler, and underscoring major conceptual advances in mathematics.
The boomer bonanza
Advances in medicine, nutrition, and years of peacetime living mean the baby boomer generation is living longer and spending more than any generation before it. To be sure, there is money to be made in tapping into this consumer demographic. But there’s also a value in better understanding who the boomers are becoming—what they want and need, and not just in a materialistic sense. SCU Executive Professor of Entrepreneurship and Women in Leadership Mary S. Furlong has written Turning Silver into Gold: How to Profit in the New Boomer Marketplace (FT Press, 2007, $24.99). The most important insight the book offers, she says, is this: “For boomers today, amassing material possessions is not as important as having experiences that satisfy the mind, body, and spirit.”
A tanuki’s tale retold