New books by SCU faculty and alumni
Clothes of change
Cotton: Odds are, you’re wearing some right now. Maybe you ate some for lunch. (What were your potato chips fried in?) The fluffy white stuff is woven into the fabric of the global economy in ways most of us don’t realize. Particularly in Africa, it is at the heart of hopes and concerns about environmental degradation, technology transfer, and poverty. Offering a comprehensive and compelling look at the economics and ethics of the cotton trade today is Hanging by a Thread: Cotton, Globalization, and Poverty in Africa
(Ohio University Press, 2008, $24), edited by Leslie C. Gray
, executive director of SCU’s Environmental Studies Institute and associate professor of environmental studies and political science, and William G. Moseley, associate professor of geography at Macalester College.
The saddest stories ever told
Why do some mothers kill their children? That question lies at the heart of the seminal new work by SCU’s Professor of Law Michelle Oberman
and Professor of Psychology Cheryl L. Meyer from Wright State University. When Mothers Kill: Interviews from Prison
(New York University Press, 2008, $22.95) devotes its first half to stories told by the women themselves. They are tales of violence, isolation, and hopelessness, delving into memories of happiness, love, and pain, abusive parents, and aggressive men. In 2001, the authors collaborated on Mothers Who Kill Their Children
, which drew from newspaper articles and social science journals with the goal of offering a comprehensive look at the typologies of mothers who kill. Now, from case studies of 40 women incarcerated for maternal filicide, Oberman and Meyer share the stories of these women in their own words. And the authors draw conclusions that include a particularly heavy truth: “These mothers were not that different from any other mothers we know.”
India, Africa, and that ocean superhighway
This spring saw the first-ever India-Africa summit, with 14 African nations visiting Delhi with the goal of fostering cooperation on issues ranging from energy to climate change to terrorism. While this kind of formal cooperation is a new phenomenon, the cultural ties between these two continents bounding the Indian Ocean go back many centuries. And tracing those ties, from the past to the present, is the new collection India in Africa, Africa in India: Indian Ocean Cosmopolitanisms
(Indiana University Press, 2008, $24.95). Edited by SCU Professor and Chair of SCU's Department of English John C. Hawley
, the essays in this volume are informed by fields including history and religious studies, gender studies and dance—tackling topics from slavery to spirituality, from mercenaries to Bollywood.
Envision, enlist, enable
Looking to build a leadership legacy now—but you’re still too young to enter into a binding contract, buy stocks, or vote? No problem. James M. Kouzes
, dean’s executive professor of leadership for the Leavey School of Business, and Barry Z. Posner
, dean of the Leavey School of Business, have drawn from their international best seller The Leadership Challenge
to create The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Exemplary Leaders
(Jossey-Bass, 2008, $25). The book examines challenges, inspired visions, leadership behaviors, and team building for the student leader scaling her first summit or getting things together on ground level. Put the pieces together and you get the Ten Commitments of Leadership, or behaviors that serve as the basis for learning to direct in any type of club, organization, or team.
The unexamined life
Psychologist Nancy Reeves
observes that most books about spirituality counsel the reader to find internal quietude and shut out the world. But what if you’re one of those people more prone to action than contemplation, someone who thrives on the energy from being around lots of other people—you know, an extrovert? Enter Spirituality for Extroverts (And Tips for Those Who Love Them)
(Abingdon Press, 2008, $10), wherein Reeves takes a stand for gregarious folk and their place in the religious world. Reeves teaches in the summer program in pastoral ministries at Santa Clara. In this three-part guidebook, she introduces extroverts to relevant spiritual practices and to activities, discussion questions, and journal entries.
Ridin’ for justice Marjorie Cohn J.D. ’75
is a lawyer, not a sheriff. But she has drawn up her list of cowboys she wants brought in—starting with one at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. You’ll find her reasons why in Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law
(2007, PoliPoint, $14.95). “I thought it was important that people have a clear, succinct analysis of the principal ways the Bush Administration has broken the law,” says Cohn, a professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego and a legal consultant for CBS News. She also currently serves as president for the National Lawyers Guild, which means she shoots from the Left. But she’s done more than pen “yet another anti-Bush book,” writes economist William Fisher: She’s made her case in “exquisite legal detail...[in] language that makes it accessible to ordinary folks who don’t happen to be either lawyers or political junkies.” Cohn is also the co-author of Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice
Cut back on the sweet crude
Imagine, if you will, a world where Americans have weaned themselves off oil from the Middle East and resolved to tackle climate change in earnest. It’s a world that Rinaldo S. Brutoco ’68
says is within reach—achievable within a decade, in fact—using existing technology and forgoing new taxes. Along with co-authors Jerry Brown and James Cusumano, Brutoco lays out the plan in Freedom from Mid-East Oil
(World Business Academy, 2007, $24.95), lauded by Amory Lovins for offering “a roadmap for solving the oil and climate problems simultaneously.” A couple of caveats from the authors: So-called “clean coal” is an illusion and nuclear power will only make a bad situation worse. Brutoco is also the author of Profiles in Power: The Antinuclear Movement and the Dawn of the Solar Age
Meet me at Big Ben
For the young reader who’s travel-inclined, Tracy Langley-Brzycki ’97
has published Dimitri Discovers England
(DLB Publishing, 2006, $19.95), a book of “adventure and learning” that records the travels of her son, Dimitri, in photographs and captions—from the Tower of London to Stonehenge. Bonus feature: a foreword from British MP David Lepper. Langley-Brzycki is a teacher in the California public high schools.
With female entrepreneurs and business divas in mind, Rosemary Hossenlopp MBA ’88
has written Step into Your Future: A Women’s Guide to Business Success
(Morgan James, 2007, $16.95). She offers a logical and humorous step-by- step business action plan, which includes money-making proposals, development skills, and entrepreneurial charting applications. Hossenlopp is founder of Personal Business Plan Group, an educational company that teaches business entrepreneurs how to transition from creative concepts to lucrative returns.
Turn left at Easy Street
If you’re looking to swell your portfolio, it’s fair to say that making informed trading decisions and maximizing profit will be part of the picture. For the investor in search of some expert help with technical analysis, Tim Knight ’88
has poured more than two decades’ experience in financial market charting and trading into Chart Your Way to Profits: The Online Trader’s Guide to Technical Analysis
(Wiley Trading, 2007, $70). Knight is also the founder of Prophet.net, which receives top marks from Barron’s
magazines for its technical analysis tools.