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Taking Women Seriously: Lessons and Legacies for Educating the Majority

by M. Elizabeth Tidball, Skidmore College Trustee; Daryl G. Smith; Charles S. Tidball; and Lisa E. Wolf-Wendel
Oryx Press, 1998; ISBN: 1573560928
Hardcover-224 pages

In 1984 Skidmore College recognized M. Elizabeth Tidball’s pioneering work on the effects of single-sex and coeducational environments on the achievements of female students by awarding her an honorary doctorate of humane letters. In this volume based on 25 years of research, Tidball, a professor emerita of physiology at George Washington University, and her collaborators provide a comprehensive insight into women-centered education. The authors document the campus qualities, programs, and other characteristics of women’s colleges that appear to be key to their production of high-achieving graduates, and they emphasize that these "lessons and legacies" have the potential to improve the collegiate environment as a whole.

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Wedding Jester

by Steve Stern, Associate Professor of English
Graywolf Press, 1999; ISBN: 155597290X
Paperback-224 pages

One follower of Skidmore writer-in-residence Steve Stern proclaims Stern "the poet laureate of Southern Jewish America," describing the Memphis native as one who has managed to "transplant the sardonic magical realism of Bernard Malamud and Isaac Bashevis Singer to the exotic climes of the Mississippi Delta." In Wedding Jester, Stern presents nine new short stories for his loyal following, among whom he can count 1992 Steloff Lecturer and Skidmore honorary-degree recipient Cynthia Ozick. "I am a zealous admirer of his one-of-a-kind imagination and his miraculous sentences," she writes. The tales in this volume fan out from the Delta to a fading Catskills resort and the shtetls of Eastern Europe, but Stern’s themes remain constant. He writes about the tension between religious belief and secular identity, sexual longing, and fear of failure in a success-obsessed culture.

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Money $ense for Kids

by Hollis Page Harman ’71
Barron’s Educational Series, 1999; ISBN: 0764106813
Paperback-204 pages

In this guide to building sound money skills, Los Angeles personal financial planner Hollis Harman offers an interactive approach to an often dryly presented subject. The book’s four sections guide children in seeing money, adding to it, growing it, and having fun with it. Although geared for youngsters nine to 12 years of age, the chapters devoted to investing money could serve as a primer for novice investors of any age. The text throughout is extremely readable and accompanied by dozens of diagrams and cartoon-style illustrations. Harman’s book is published at the same time that the National Association of Securities Dealers and the Council on Economic Education have joined to make financial literacy in high schools their mission over the next five years.

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The Community Justice Ideal: Preventing Crime and Achieving Justice

by David Karp, Assistant Professor of Sociology, and Todd Clear
Westview Press, 1999; ISBN: 0813367662
Paperback

The authors set forth a comprehensive plan for increasing public involvement in criminal-justice practice. They show that public agencies such as citizens’ justice boards will not only reduce crime and fear of crime more effectively than "get tough" approaches, but will also help repair deteriorating social ties in communities across the country. In this way, they contend, community justice practice can make an important contribution to improving and enriching American public life.

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Conatus

by David Baroff ’83
Sterling House Publishers, 1999; ISBN: 1563151405
Paperback-192 pages

No, Conatus is not the name of this novel’s protagonist (that’s Zerrilli a former Catholic priest); rather conatus is a Latin noun meaning "attempt, effort, undertaking, endeavor." And an undertaking it is that the reader is in for as David Baroff melds chaos theory, Buddhism, and Schopenhauerism with his own idiosyncratic beliefs to create a strange fictional world. One reviewer says, "For in-your-face surrealism, combining the mundane with the bizarre, the horrifying with the hilarious, nothing can compare with Baroff’s powerful first novel. It assembles and deconstructs itself over and over again, according to apparently random forces that afflict the characters from out of the void." "Take a look at his work," recommends Baroff’s former English professor Phillip Boshoff. "It is bitingly satiric, genuinely funny, and about serious matters."

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A to Z–Do You Ever Feel Like Me

by Bonnie (Glass) Hausman ’88, photography by Sandi Fellman
Dutton Books, 1999; ISBN: 0525462163
Hardcover

This photo-picture book asks young readers to guess how a child is feeling based on narrative clues and photographs of lively first graders. In Fellman’s photos, children act out emotions, showing that they feel angry, brave, confused, delighted, and so on. The clues – in effect, 26 mini-stories – are drawn from everyday situations that kids will recognize from their own lives. The "answers" can be found in each page’s colorful borders filled with other feeling-words and objects, all beginning with the same letter. Hausman, who holds a master’s degree from Bank Street College of Education and teaches at the Little Red Schoolhouse in Greenwich Village, based this book on an actual first-grade class project. –ACH

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Alumni authors are urged to send copies of their books, publisher’s notes, or reviews, so that Scope can make note of their work in the "Books" column.

 


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