Oberlin Alumni Magazine Spring 2001 vol.96 no.4
Feature Stories
Planet Earth
High Atop Wilder
[cover story] Creating a Scene
You've Got Mail: Now What?
Experience, Exposure & Enlightenment
Body Art
Message from the Board of Trustees
Around Tappan Square
Oberlin Partnership sharpens Economic Development
Composing a Career
President Dye's Sabbatical
Closing Institutional Devides
In Brief
Alumni Notes: Profile
Alumni Notes: Losses
The Last Word
Staff Box
One More Thing
Please send news of your recently published book along with a review copy, if possible, to "Bookshelf," Oberlin Alumni Magazine. Your review copy will be presented to the Oberlin College Library as a gift from you.

The Beforelife
By Franz Wright '77
Alfred A. Knopf, 2001
This slim volume of poems, a new collection, is from the lyric visionary Franz Wright, who creates memorable portraits of the addict in recovery. Balancing between the spell of addiction and mental illness, a place Wright calls "purgatory cove," he describes the seductive legacy of an alcoholic father, the beloved postwar poet James Wright. The accessible verse is a testament to the clarity and humor of images that heal. Wright has won the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and many other honors. He is an accomplished translator, particularly of Rilke. He lives in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Dark Midnight When I Rise:
The Story of the Jubilee Singers
By Andrew Ward '68
Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2000
Before the Jubilee Singers began touring the United States and Europe, black music was simply not acknowledged in the white world, nor was it taken seriously as an art form. Ward describes the troupe of young ex-slaves and freedmen whose odyssey took them from cotton fields and auction blocks to concert stage and throne room.
When they set out in 1871 to raise money for Fisk University, their nearly bankrupt alma mater, they were ejected from hotels and railroad cars as they performed along the Underground Railway. It was in Brooklyn that they sang for Henry Ward Beecher's Plymouth Church and caused a national sensation. The money flowed in, and they soon toured Great Britain, Switzerland, and Germany, eventually performing for Queen Victoria and other crowned heads in Europe. As they often moved their audiences to tears through their music, they denounced segregation from their choir lofts and concert stages, and, in their wake, Northern hotels, schools, and railroads opened their doors to blacks. Ward originated and co-wrote a documentary about the Jubilee Singers for WGBH's The American Experience, to be viewed in May. He lives with his wife in Seattle.
19148  J  
Jazz: A History of America's Music
By Geoffrey C. Ward '62 and Ken Burns
Alfred A. Knopf, 2000
Continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed works Baseball and The Civil War, the Ward-Burns duo has once again struck gold with Jazz, an illuminating and inspiring look at the quintessential American music. The companion volume to the ten-part PBS television series of the same name, these are the stories of the extraordinary men and women who created the music that shaped and defined an era: legends such as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Ella Fitzgerald. Tracing jazz from its roots in turn-of-the-century New Orleans through the present day, the story echoes the history and spirit of 20th-century America. The big-band swing of the Great Depression and World War II, the invention of bebop in peacetime, and the use of jazz as a propaganda weapon during the Cold War--all are here. With more than 500 photographs, some never before published, this book is a necessary addition to any music lover's collection. Ward is the author of 11 books and has written and co-written many documentary films.
Domestic Sources of International Environmental Policy: Industry, Environmentalists, and U.S. Power
By Elizabeth E. DeSombre '88
The MIT Press, 2000
Looking at major regulations on endangeredspecies, air pollution, and fisheries conservation, the author illustrates which of these projects the United States has attempted, and how successful results have been. In discovering how international environmental standards have come into being, she finds that domestic environmental regulations bring groups at odds with each other together--the so-called "Baptist and bootleggers" congruence. DeSombre presents evidence that power and counterintuitive threats play a significant role in the adoption of international regulations, despite the perception of international politics as an arena of friendly interaction over mutual interests. This is an important set of ideas and will work well for advanced undergraduates, beginning graduate students, and instructors of general courses in international political economy. DeSombre is assistant professor of environmental studies and government at Colby College.
19148  I  
Between Mysticism and Philosophy:
Language of Religious Experience in
Judah Ha-Levi's Kuzari
By Diana Lobel '79
State University of New York Press, 2000
Judah Ha-Levi (1075-1141), the medieval Jewish poet, mystic, and sophisticated critic of the rationalist tradition in Jerusalem, is the focus of this study. In one of his philosophical dialogues, written in Arabic and translated into Hebrew, he broke with convention by infusing Sufi terms for religious experience with a new Jewish mythological vision. For anyone interested in the intertwined worlds of Jewish and Islamic philosophy, religion, and culture, this work is an indispensable resource. Lobel is Anna Smith Fine assistant professor of Judaic studies at Rice University.
19148  F  
Dancing in the Landscape:
The Sculpture of Athena Tacha
By Athena Tacha '61
Editions Ariel, 2000
Here are beautiful full-page color presentations of Tacha's outdoor public art of the past 25 years, complete with original proposals for each piece. One of the first designers of site-specific architectural sculpture, Tacha creates diverse forms such as memorials, mazes, waterfalls, fountains, and walkways that appear in parks, courtyards, and on college campuses across the country. Her sculpture Streams, an incline of sandstone-covered steps interspersed with pink pumice rocks, appears near Plum Creek in Oberlin's Martin Luther King Park. Through her candid documentation of successes and failures in working with public commissions, Tacha offers her wide experience with hundreds of architectural competitions. A finalist in more than 135 national and international competitions, she has won 42 commissions, 30 of which have been executed. Tacha, former professor of art at Oberlin, lives in Washington, D.C.
19148  B  
Lost Chicago
By David Garrard Lowe '55
Watson-Guptill Publications, 2000
A handsome, glossy, coffee-table book, tthis will deeply sadden those who love Chicago because it carries the story of the Windy City's architectural losses up to the present. Here are memorable photographs of the great, lost mansions of the McCormicks, the Bordens, the Pullmans, and the Morrises; the missing Stock Exchange; the Sherman and Edgewater Beach hotels; and Mies van der Rohe's dazzling Art Club. The 1893 Columbian Exposition and the 1933 Century of Progress photos include some scenes that have never before been published. America's heartland has been captured, along with a few special historical entries: the Wigwam where Abraham Lincoln was nominated and the Chicago Stadium where Franklin Delano Roosevelt pledged a New Deal to the American people. Lowe is a professor of architectural design and director and curator of the New York School of Interior Design. He lives in Manhattan.
French Pianism
By Charles Timbrell '64
Amadeus Press, 1999
The preeminence of Paris as a center of the piano world dates from the early 19th century. The rigorous standards that are the hallmark of the Paris Conservatoire allowed a characteristically French piano style to be faithfully transmitted to each new generation for over 150 years. First published to critical acclaim in 1992, this edition has been expanded and revised and surveys the historical development, performance practices, and pedagogical philosophies of this school of piano playing. There is a substantial discography and an appendix. The author, professor of music and coordinator of keyboard studies at Howard University, has performed extensively in the U.S. and abroad.

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