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Laurentian Reviews

By Our Alumni

"A highly readable tour of the sights, scares and moral tradeoffs that (the author) encountered in the Earth's most troubled places" is how the publisher describes John Norris '87’s The Disaster Gypsies (Praeger Security International, 2007). “Initially deployed as part of a humanitarian relief team in Rwanda almost by accident, Norris has experienced the tragedies of Rwanda, Bosnia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Liberia over a span of a decade,” according to the publisher. “Rich with poignant human stories, the book captures the reality of modern war with an immediacy and compassion that puts the reader in the front seat for some of the most wrenching events of our times." --MD

A new book by Floyd Sandford ’61 is described as "the entertaining, often humorous, memoirs and adventures of a Peace Corps science teacher, living, traveling and working in Nigeria, West Africa, in the 1960s." African Odyssey: The Adventurous Journeys of a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa (iUniverse, 2007) describes how, in the publisher’s words, “A little-traveled idealistic New Yorker adjusts to teaching biology in a culture infused with superstition. The author describes unusual dining experiences, an embarrassing church visit, his first haircut by an African barber, and an encounter with a traditional Yoruba healer.” --MD

Cisco NAC Appliance: Enforcing Host Security with Clean Access (Cisco Press, 2007), whose lead author is Jamey Heary ’95, is a highly technical manual that explains how to use Cisco’s Network Admission Control (NAC) Appliance, which the book describes as “a powerful host security policy inspection, enforcement, and remediation solution that is designed to meet the new challenges” of modern internal security. Among issues the book addresses is why network attacks and intellectual property losses can originate from internal network hosts. Heary is a security consulting systems engineer at Cisco. --NSB

John Jeffire ’85’s first published book of poems, Stone + Fist + Brick + Bone (Aquarius Press, 2008) is the lead-off text in the Living Detroit Book Series. His novel, Motown Burning (2005), has won Grand Prize in the 2005 Mount Arrowsmith Novel Competition and the 2007 Independent Publishing Awards Gold Medal for Regional Fiction. What prizes await this terrific book? “Jeffire’s tight, unflinching poems pack a real wallop. He knows these people, and he knows these streets….There’s nothing unearned in these deeply felt, authentic poems” writes Jim Daniels. Right on. John was a wrestler as well as an English major, and he was bright and brutal from the get-go. Disciplined. Urban. Hardly, in those days, a “Larry.” But after decades of teaching and coaching, this alum has brought his tough-minded and well-educated creative talent into the public space. As it says in “Small Man on the Skeleton Crew Down at Olympia Stadium”: “You looking at me? / What makes you think / I can’t pop / your eyes out your head, / squeeze your windpipe, / drive a nail / through your eardrum?” I never doubted it.
--Albert Glover, Piskor Professor of English Emeritus

Dane Rafferty is the consummate high-school jerk – completely full of himself because athletic success, tolerable grades and high popularity have always come easily to him. But a frightening disease strikes and sends him into rehabilitation a thousand miles from home. Will he grow up and realize he’s not the center of the universe, or will he wallow in self-pity? This premise of Thaw (Boyds Mills Press, 2008), the first novel by Monica Roe ’00 makes a good read for those who want to learn what’s inside the heads of many of today’s youth. --NSB

[needs scan] Alumni Council member Maureen Collins Baker '57 has written Outrageous Hero (Bryce Hill Publishing, 2008), honoring the memory of her brother B.T. Collins, former California assemblyman and Vietnam veteran who once served as the chief of staff for then-California Governor Jerry Brown and director of the California Conservation Corps.
The book is a biography of the plain-spoken Collins, who earned a law degree from Santa Clara University after losing a leg and arm in Vietnam. He was also California's deputy finance director and director of the California Youth Authority; he died in 1993 at age 52. Baker is a retired professor and author who taught at SUNY Potsdam for over 30 years, specializing in French, linguistics and foreign language education; she received an Alumni Citation from St. Lawrence in 1998 --MD

Scott D. Pomfret ’90 is the author of Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir (Arcade Publishing, 2008). This unusual blend of humor and faith tells two intertwined stories: How a gay Catholic federal prosecutor and erotica writer reconciled faith, gay romance and a hostile church hierarchy; and how advocates defeated an amendment banning same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

By Our Faculty

The origins and development of racism in North America are traced in a new book by Emeritus Professor of Anthropology Richard J. Perry. ‘Race’ and Racism: The Development of Modern Racism in America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) explores the diverse ways in which people in a variety of cultures have perceived, categorized and defined one another without reference to any concept of "race." It follows the history of American racism through slavery; the perceptions and treatment of Native Americans; Jim Crow laws; attitudes toward Irish and Southern European immigrants; the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II; the civil rights era; and other topics.

Perry examines the inception and persistence of the concept of "race," and discusses the biology of human variance, addressing the fossil record of human evolution. Also explored are the relationship between creationism and science; population genetics; and "race-based" medicine. --MD

Having been a professor for over 34 years, Munsil Professor of Government Emeritus Robert N. Wells Jr. says that people in New York State don't know enough about the state's governmental organization and functions. So Wells, until recently the mayor of Canton, has written a book on the subject and put it online, making it widely accessible.

New York State Government and Politics in a Nutshell: A Citizen's Primer s available online at The text, Wells says, is suitable for high school civics and government classes and college-level courses in state government, as well as the general public. --MD

Making a Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights, by Assistant Professor of Sociology Robert J. Torres (AK Press, November 2007), explores the intersections between human and animal oppressions in relation to "the exploitative dynamics of capitalism," according to the publisher. --MD

Assistant Professor of Education Peter D. Ladd is the author of Relationships and Patterns of Conflict Resolution: A Reference Book for Couples Counseling (University Press of America, 2007). The book explores six contemporary relationships and discusses how couples may change from one to another; it also addresses six common styles of conflict resolution that may make relationship changes less painful and difficult. Ladd is also the co-author, with Kyle E. Blanchfield ’78 and Thomas Blanchfield, of Conflict Resolution for Law Enforcement: Street-Smart Negotiating (Looseleaf Law Publications, 2007), which covers conflict resolution skills for professionals in all areas of law enforcement. --MD

Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures Roy C. Caldwell has written a novel, The Springfield Story, published in April 2008 by Authorhouse. It is described as "a short satirical novel, loosely inspired by the first chapters of Candide." --MD

By Others

Former English professor Joe David Bellamy and Connie Bellamy have compiled The Lost Saranac Interviews: Forgotten Conversations with Famous Writers (Writers Digest, 2007). The handsome volume consists of interviews with writers such as Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood and E. L. Doctorow that took place at Canaras Conference Center when Prof. Bellamy directed the Saranac Writers Conference there in the late 1970s. --NSB


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