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State Failure and State Weakness in a Time of Terror
Edited by Robert I. Rotberg '55
Brookings Institution Press, 2003

Why did some developing-world nations fail and others collapse after the Cold War? Contributors to this book, all participants in Harvard University's Failed States Project, examine 11 nations in various states of disrepair, including Somalia, Colombia, and Fiji, to determine the causes of failure and the possibilities for reconstruction. Rotberg is president of the World Peace Foundation and a program director at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank
By Robert W. Fuller '56
New Society Publishers, 2003

Rankism, the abuse of power over a lesser-ranking individual or nation, leads to indignity, humiliation, and even war, says Fuller, Oberlin College president from 1970 to 1974. Be it rankism by teachers, employers, parents, or others, the behavior transcends race and gender, he says, and can be eliminated by returning to the basic ideals of democracy. Fuller served for many years as chair of Internews, a nonprofit corporation.

Except for One Obscene Brushstroke
By Dzvinia Orlowsky '75
Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2003

"Dzvinia Orlowsky's new poems, unabashedly carnal and spiritual, bring me face to face with the human struggle to befriend the strangeness of being here," writes reviewer Franz Wright '77. "In reading this book I had the most vivid sensation that I was being allowed to look inside a woman's head and soul in a way I don't think I have ever experienced." Orlowsky, a founding editor of Four Way Books, teaches poetry at the Stonecoast MFA Program for Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine.

Last Man Out: The Story of the Springhill Mine Disaster
By Melissa Fay Greene '75
Harcourt, 2003

Greene, an award-winning journalist, recreates the lives and deaths of the 19 men trapped one mile underground for nine days following the 1958 collapse of a coal mine in Nova Scotia. Based on archival reports and interviews with survivors and their families, Greene retells the experience through the eyes of everyone involved, from the rescuers and media to entrepreneurs hoping to cash in on the tragedy. She is the author of Praying for Sheetrock and The Temple Bombing, both National Book Award finalists.

Reinventing the World Bank
Edited by Jeffrey Winters '82 and Jonathan Pincus '83
Cornell University, 2002

The World Bank is failing and can be reformed only through increased accountability and scrutiny from the outside, say the authors, who base their observations on the findings of U.S. and British scholars. Still the world's leading development institution in size and influence, the bank has failed to implement a strategy to reduce world poverty. The authors argue the need for a completely reinvented bank that would undertake a "narrower range of lending activities, while maintaining public capital flows for development across a range of countries." Pincus is an economics instructor at the University of London. Winters is associate professor of political economy at Northwestern University.

The Ride Together: A Brother and Sister's Memoir of Autism in the Family
By Paul and Judy Karasik '75
Washington Square Press, 2003

This brother-sister team has created a compassionate account of life with their autistic brother, David, born in the 1960s to a middle-class family in Maryland. Presented in chapters that alternate between Judy's prose and Paul's descriptive comics (his cartoons appear in The New Yorker), the memoir offers snapshots of daily life with David--who recites entire TV shows and uses his own method of communication--while emphasizing the love and strength inherent in his family. A longtime book editor, Judy Karasik writes for The New York Times Book Review and The Boston Globe Magazine.

East toward Dawn: A Woman's Solo Journey around the World
By Nan Watkins '60
Seal Press, 2002

On the eve of her 60th birthday, following the death of her 22-year-old son and the end of a 30-year marriage, Natalie Watkins decided to embark on an around-the-globe trip alone. Traveling across Europe and Asia, she reconnected with friends, examined the changing roles of women in non-Western cultures, and continued her search for the meaning of life. Here, she shares her stories with humor, intelligence, and poetic wonder.

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