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Spring 2004

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Who, What, When

Centennial spotlight

On campus

Faculty focus

Arts on view



Class notes



Author! Author!

The Communitarian Constitution

Images of the Woman Readerin Victorian British and American Fiction

Adventure Guide to the Champlain and Hudson River Valleys

Where the Long Grass Bends


Good Night Pillow Fight

B Is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC

The Communitarian Constitution
by Beau Breslin, assistant professorof government
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004

Previous critiques of communitarianism have focused on the conflict between individual rights and the communal good. Breslin, according to the publisher, takes a different stance—examining the pragmatic question of whether or not communitarian policies are truly practicable in a constitutional society. Says Wayne Moore of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, “Breslin’s central claim is that communitarian thought is anti-constitutionalist because it elevates the will of the community over objective, clearly discernible constitutional limitations. [He] succeeds admirably in sharpening debates over fundamental matters of constitutional design.” Adds Austin Sarat of Amherst College, “Everyone who reads it will come away with a new understanding of the power, complexity, and problems of communitarian ideas.”

Images of the Woman Readerin Victorian British and American Fiction
by Catherine J. Golden, professorof English
University Press of Florida, 2003

The author examines literary and visual representations of Victorian women reading—a once-controversial activity. A perceived association between excessive novel reading and ill health led critics to debate if, what, when, where, and why middle- and upper-class women should read. Golden presents a historical framework of the topic, discussing heroines in both popular and intellectual works—by writers including Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Louisa May Alcott, and Mark Twain—and depictions of the woman reader by illustrators such as George Cruikshank, Jessie Willcox Smith, and Hablot Knight Browne.

Adventure Guide to the Champlain and Hudson River Valleys
by Patricia Foulke and Robert Foulke, professor emeritus of English Hunter Publishing, 2003

Part of the best-selling Hunter Travel Guides series, this book provides brief histories of regions including the Adirondacks, Green Mountains, Berkshires, Taconics, Palisades, and Catskills, along with details on accommodations and restaurants; scenic walks and drives; places to sail, fish, kayak, hike, ride horses, ski; where to shop for antiques; and listings for festivals and other events.

Patty and Bud Foulke have traveled together for fifty years and have written multiple travel guides, including Romantic Weekends: New England (Hunter, 1998).

Where the Long Grass Bends
by Neela Vaswani ’96
Sarabande Books, 2004

Described at Amazon.com as “spare” and “fierce,” Vaswani’s stories—her debut collection— “subvert conventional narrative by employing Indian lore, Gaelic fable, and historical legend.” Notes reviewer Sena Jeter Naslund, “Through a romp of language—vital, outrageous, unpredictable—the fireworks of Vaswani’s original genius cast shadows and illumine psyches that conventional monovisions never perceive. The stories…are for readers willing to view the shape-shifting of both reality and literary form.”

Neela Vaswani lives in New York. Her short stories have appeared in numerous journals, including Prairies Schooner, American Literary Review, and Global City Review.

by David Schaffer ’82
Lucent Books, 2004

This biography (part of a People in the News series for young readers), tells the story of Bono, the lead singer and principal songwriter for U2, the popular rock band from Ireland. Besides being known as a superstar in one of the world’s most successful musical acts, Bono has been widely hailed for his advocacy on behalf of people throughout the world who have been victimized by war, famine and poverty, and political persecution.

David Schaffer has edited and designed books and magazines for young readers for twenty years. A longtime fan of Bono and U2, he lives in upstate New York.

Good Night Pillow Fight
by Sally Williams Cook ’76; illustrated by Laura Cornell
Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins, 2004

Getting kids to sleep isn’t easy—especially when there are games to be played. In this children’s picture book, author Sally Cook teams up with New York Times best-selling illustrator Laura Cornell in this ode to parents who would do anything to get their kids to sleep—and to kids who would do anything to make the task challenging.

Sally Cook, former columnist for the Associated Press, has written articles and reviews for many publications, including the New York Times, Family Circle, and Parenting. She lives in New York City.

B Is for Bulldozer:
A Construction ABC

by June Sobel ’72; illustrated byMelissa Iwai
Gulliver Books, 2003

For young readers, this book follows builders over the course of a year as they construct a roller coaster using tools and materials that begin with each letter of the alphabet. Bright illustrations depict a bulldozer, crane, dump truck, and other equipment, as well as asphalt, scaffolding, and tools.

June Sobel lives in California. This is her first children’s book.


© 2004 Skidmore College