I Cried, by Josh Webb ’90 and
Rodey Webb, JS Publishing, Hilton Head, SC, 2004 (www.jspublishing.com).
Josh Webb succumbed to leukemia in January 1998. His mother,
Rodey Webb, explains how this book came about: “Josh’s
dying request to me was to see what I could do with his short
stories, poems and journals. Seven years after his death,
my promise is fulfilled.”
The book recounts Josh’s terrifying battle with leukemia
and provides a brief glimpse into the heart of his family struggling
to come to terms with his death, partly by including several
chapters by Josh himself; a few by his mother; and one by his
sister, Julie, who was his bone marrow donor. And so this is
a book of many voices: according to the Introduction, “The
patient agonizes as mortality is faced; a fraternity brother
mourns the loss of youth…; a fiancée grieves
for a love unfulfilled; and a younger sister, struggling for
recognition, reveals her conflict and turmoil.”
Born on October 25, 1968 , in Oneonta, N.Y., Josh graduated
from Sherburne-Earlville High School in 1986 and St. Lawrence
in 1990 with majors in philosophy and English. At the
time of his death he was vice-president of Webb & Sons,
Inc./Lok-N-Logs, Inc. where he headed the handcrafted log building
division and was a member of the Board of Directors.
Books can be ordered online at www.joshwebb.com. The
cost of $15 includes shipping and handling.
Alofs ’58, Jack Plus 5: Secrets, Strategies, Experiences
and Fundamentals in Coaching Winning Basketball, AuthorHouse,
Bloomington, Ind., 2005.
In 20 years of coaching at Herkimer County Community College,
Jack Alofs compiled a 391-155 record (an outstanding 72-percent
winning percentage); one of his teams finished fourth in the
national Division I Junior College Tournament, and another
won the Division III national championship. He was twice named
the New York State Basketball Coach of the Year, and upon his
retirement he was inducted into the Greater Utica ( New York)
Sports Hall of Fame.
The book has been endorsed by Jim Boeheim of SU, who says, “Jack’s
book provides all coaches with some great stories and even
better ideas on how to get the job done,” and P.J. Carlesimo
of the NBA, who says Alofs “breaks down all the individual
fundamentals and reveals a multitude of useful drills (and)
covers team-building and offensive and defensive philosophy,
including his legendary 1-3-1 Trap Zone.” Explanations
(and diagrams) of drills are interspersed with anecdotes from
his 32 years of coaching, making this an attractive volume
for both the serious coach and the dedicated fan.
Burrall ’76, Captured By the Russians—A
True Story, PublishAmerica, 2004 (www.Charlesburrall.com).
Charley Burrall lives a relatively quiet life in Maryland with his wife and
six children, teaching public high school English. But it was not always
so. A press release for this book begins, “On September 11, 1984, I was
taken hostage by the Soviet Union and held captive in Siberia. I had
obtained work (as a cook) on a merchant ship skippered by one of the youngest
ship captains in the U.S. On a freight-hauling mission to the Arctic, our ship
was seized by the Soviet Union. Held at gunpoint and threatened with 30 years
in prison, this is the story of our interrogation and interaction with high-ranking
officers in the Soviet military.”
He adds, “I know the story sounds pretty ‘out
there’ but that's where we were--out there!” It
was his students, who he says heard parts of his adventure
from time to time, who persuaded him to put it to paper.
Suffice to say the story is compelling, the kind of stuff
of which movies are made. With the Cold War still going on,
this was not playtime. Burrall describes his nine-day confinement
(or 10; the International Date Line complicates calculations
such as this), his relations with his captors, and how a letter
outlining his religious faith played a part in the resolution
of his and his fellow crew members’ situation. Coincidentally,
his first steps on American soil after his and his companions’ release
were on St. Lawrence Island, in the Bering Strait, where they
faced an interrogation from the American media that Burrall
says was almost as severe as that from the Russians. “A
page-turner,” though a cliché of the book trade,
aptly applies to this volume. --NSB
Family Wound, by Assistant Professor of English
Ngoc Quang Huynh, Starborn Books, Wales, 2005
This novel by a new member of the English department is described as “a
young Vietnamese woman's desperate search for inner peace after surviving the
horrors of war and the corruption and violence left in its wake.” Huynh
was born in 1957 in South Vietnam . He attended Saigon University until he
was thrown into a concentration camp simply, he says, for being a student.
After a year of torture and extreme degradation he managed to escape, and eventually
found a new life in America . He spoke no English when he arrived in the United
States in 1978. His first book, the memoir South Wind Changing (Graywolf
Press 1994), was named by Time magazine as a “best book.” The
Family Wound, while dealing with imprisonment, escape and flight to America
, is fiction, with a young woman as the protagonist. She is in love with a
student teacher, but her family forbids the union, and he vanishes; she is
subsequently pressured by her mother to take a job with a corrupt Vietcong
official. After suffering extreme abuse she finds herself accused of murder
and is forced to flee. The central portion of the book is a kind of inner journey
with touches of magic realism, and marks the transition or emancipation from
the "old" world of Vietnamese tradition, culture and society to the "new" world
of the United States where she eventually comes to live. But the past, with
all its pain and guilt, is a wound that will not heal, until at last, not without
further tragedy, she finds her way to a kind of peace.
Politics of Power: A Critical Introduction to American Government,
5 th ed., by Alan Draper et al., Wadsworth Publishing, 2005.
This widely used textbook on American politics is described
as providing “a lively, comprehensive, critical perspective
of the American political system by highlighting how political
conflicts, institutions and processes are influenced by deep
inequalities generated by the country's political economy.
Building on the coverage of all of the major topics typical
of an American Government course, the critical analysis in
this text is based on the theme that American democracy is
limited by fundamental inequalities in power and economic resources.” New
material in this edition includes:
· A chapter examining economic policy, emphasizing
the outcomes of government institutions and political behavior.
· A chapter that answers key questions about how well
informed the American public is about politics, what it believes
and what influences public opinion.
· Detailed analysis of the first Bush administration,
including his economic policies, foreign policies and changes
to political institutions (such as an increase in presidential
· Analysis of the 2004 election, focusing on the strong
continuities with previous elections and the emergence of the
Republican Party as the majority party in the U.S.