Biography & Autobiography

Afternoons with Puppy is a heartwarming account of dynamic relationships and outcomes involving a therapist, his therapy animals, and his patients over the course of almost two decades. It is a narrative of Dr. Fine's experiences and the growing respect for the power of the animals effect on his patients and himself.
This nonfiction picture book is a children’s version of NASA astronaut Jerry L. Ross’s autobiography, Spacewalker: My Journey in Space and Faith as NASA’s Record-Setting Frequent Flyer, designed for ages 7–12. Told in friendly first-person narration, it represents how Ross followed his dream from rural 1950s northern Indiana to Purdue University and then outer space.   The forty-page book is illustrated with personal photos and memorabilia. It is formatted into twenty-three narratives organized in chronological order illustrating events and experiences in Ross’s life. Pages attractively interweave photos and text while prompts encourage readers to engage in in the story.   Ross possessed specific character traits that helped him make choices and overcome obstacles as he struggled against the odds to realize his dream: curiosity, persistence, and believing in oneself. As the story unfolds and readers begin to make personal connections with Ross, his approach to problem solving and working through setbacks provides a powerful example for children.   Content area concepts are integrated throughout the story, including but not limited to science, technology, engineering, math, visual literacy, financial literacy, geography, flight, and the race to space. Gravity, for example, is a major theme illustrated within the content of the story. Online guides for teachers using the book in a classroom setting (third to fourth grade recommended) are linked to throughout.A map of the United States on the inside front cover invites children to follow the path of Ross’s journey from Crown Point, Indiana, to Kennedy Space Center. A timeline on the inside back cover compares and contrasts benchmark events in Ross’s life and career with important events in flight and space travel history. Further electronic materials are available at www.jerrylross.com.  
A dozen Purdue University Jewish faculty members-10 men and 2 women-who were forced to flee their homes in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary during the Holocaust, tell their stories in a series of interviews conducted by Kleine-Ahlbrandt, a history professor at Purdue and the author of The Burden of Victory: France, Britain and the Enforcement of the Versailles Peace, 1919-1925 (1995). Some of the refugees were unable to escape and survived through hiding and subterfuge or endured the camps. The interviewees, some speaking out for the first time after more than half a century, often found it difficult to recall painful experiences. They discussed the problems of growing up Jewish, especially after the enactment of anti-Jewish legislation; the importance of religion, God, and traditions in their lives; and adjusting to life in the U.S., where finding employment was just one of many obstacles. The author complements the interviews with commentary for readers unfamiliar with the history of World War 1.
Walther Leisler Kiep is one of the most independent and influential German post-war politicians. He is also a successful entrepreneur and longtime chairman of Atlantik-Brücke, the influential German-American friendship organization, which he now serves as honorary chairman.   In his autobiography, Kiep speaks frankly about a life at the center of power: as an independent politician and treasurer of the governing CDU party from 1970 to 1991, who did not shrink from conflict with party leaders Helmut Kohl and Franz Josef Strauss; as Minister of Finance in Lower Saxony; as a longtime member of the Volkswagen Supervisory board for 21 years; and as an ambassador for German-American relations, and confidant of several US presidents. As well as presenting an inside history of the relationship between Germany and the United States, the book sheds particular light on the struggle for German unification and that country’s complex relationship with the Middle East.   "One of Germany’s most distinguished statesmen, Dr. Walther Leisler Kiep has come to personify the commitment of postwar German leaders to close German-American relations. It was a distinct pleasure for me to collaborate with Walther, and I deeply valued his wise counsel. Through his ongoing passionate and persistent contributions as a leading foreign policy voice in Germany and as longtime chairman of Atlantik-Bruecke, Dr. Kiep has played an extraordinary role in building trust and mutual understanding between our two countries. His memoir is an invaluable addition to our understanding of international diplomacy."—Lee H. Hamilton, former Congressman and Co-Chair of the 9/11 Commission, former Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and presently Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University   “Kiep is an entertaining storyteller, and he shows a good sense of narrative pace. His memoirs are also of immediate relevance for scholars of international history. Over the past decade, historians have been eager to uncover the activities of ‘transnational,’ nongovernmental actors, as opposed to formal government-to-government relations. From this standpoint, Kiep’s wide-ranging activities as a diplomatic and financial troubleshooter are illuminating,”—William Glenn Gray, Purdue University.
Unlike other American astronauts, Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom never had the chance to publish his memoirs—save for an account of his role in the Gemini program—before the tragic launch pad fire on January 27, 1967, which took his life and those of Edward White and Roger Chaffee. The international prestige of winning the Moon Race cannot be understated, and Grissom played a pivotal and enduring role in securing that legacy for the United States. Indeed, Grissom was first and foremost a Cold Warrior, a member of the first group of Mercury astronauts whose goal it was to beat the Soviet Union to the moon. Drawing on extensive interviews with fellow astronauts, NASA engineers, family members, and friends of Gus Grissom, George Leopold delivers a comprehensive survey of Grissom's life that places his career in the context of the Cold War and the history of human spaceflight. Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom adds significantly to our understanding of that tumultuous period in American history.  
Part pastiche and part parody, Enlightening Up Postmodernism brings the techniques, values, and terms of the Enlightenment into collision with the strategies, misgivings, and terminology of postmodernism. Resulting from many years of sustained reading of the tart, rigorous literature of the eighteenth century, and almost as many years of university teaching and committeeing, Enlightening Up Postmodernism was written to vex scholars without a sense of theory and theorists without a sense of humor, while diverting able readers of all persuasions. To that end, Johnson's Life of Foucault, supplies the-somewhat judgmental-biography of Foucault that he would surely have written had he had the opportunity, while Lord Chesterfield's Letters To His Daughter On the Tenure Track converts the courtly advice that Chesterfield inflicted on his illegitimate son into something more academic and more mischievous. This critical and scholarly hybrid allows the wisdom and eloquence of the past to probe some weaknesses, oversights, and distortions in the theoretical work of the present and enables recent work in theory to interrogate some of the short-sightedness, prejudice, evasion, and complacency in the writings of the past. Of the remaining chapters, one reworks some papers from The Spectator into wry commentaries on the postmodern lifestyle. Another, in heroic couplets, converts Pope's Essay on Criticism into An Essay on Theery, and a third turns Swift's ironic Argument Against Abolishing Christianity into one Against Abolishing Higher Education. The last chapter inverts the process, wrenching a postmodern text back three centuries, to wrap Fredric Jameson's (deservedly famous) reading of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel around Vanbrugh's neo-classical Blenheim Palace. A brief bonus provides the reply Lord Chesterfield ought to have written to Samuel Johnson's too familiar, whining letter about his treatment as a lexicographer
The sesquicentennial of the birth of the influential American philosopher and educator John Dewey in 2009 marked an opportunity for members of the society that bears his name to reflect on his legacy. This book contains papers also published in the journal of the John Dewey Society, Education and Culture (Volume 25,2). Contents: Introduction: A. G. Rud, Jim Garrison, and Lynda Stone; Looking Forward from A Common Faith (Nel Noddings); Secularism, Secularization, and John Dewey (Larry A. Hickman); How to Use Pragmatism Pragmatically? Suggestions for the Twenty-First Century (Gert J. J. Biesta); Transforming Schooling through Technology: Twenty-First-Century Approaches to Participatory Learning (Craig A. Cunningham); Dewey’s Aesthetics and Today’s Moral Education (Jiwon Kim); Toward Inclusion and Human Unity: Rethinking Dewey’s Democratic Community (Hongmei Peng); More than “Mere Ideas”: Deweyan Tools for the Contemporary Philosopher (Barbara S. Stengel); Reconstruction in Dewey’s Pragmatism: Home, Neighborhood, and Otherness (Naoko Saito); John Dewey’s Contribution to Pragmatic Cosmopolitanism (Leonard J. Waks); Dewey and Cosmopolitanism (David T. Hansen).  
Based on extensive interviews and archival research, this book traces the career of Orville Redenbacher, the “popcorn king,” from his agricultural studies at Purdue University to his emergence as an American advertising icon. Born in Brazil, Indiana, in 1907, Orville began his lifelong obsession with the development of new strains of seed at Purdue where he earned a degree in agronomy while also playing in the All-American Marching Band. After experimenting with thousands of varieties, Orville and his business partner Charlie Bowman launched Orville Redenbacher’s gourmet popping corn in 1970. Through a combination of shrewd marketing and a notably superior product, the partners controlled a third of the market for popping corn by 1976, when their “Chester Hybrids” business was sold to Hunt Wesson Foods. Orville Redenbacher continued to prosper as a larger-than-life brand spokesperson and a symbol of wholesomeness and fun until his death in 1995. Based on interviews conducted in the last few years of Orville’s life, this book paints a fascinating picture of a deeply serious agricultural pioneer and marketing genius, whose image can still be found in almost every North American home. Hear more about this book in an interview broadcast on WBAA, Indiana's oldest radio station, on July 14, 2011.
The late J. Kirby Risk II called himself “a small-town businessman from the banks of the Wabash.” He was much more. The fastidious, dapper man from Lafayette, Indiana, exuded philanthropy and free enterprise. Like a sheepdog, he tended the flock, rounded up strays, darted to key places to close up stragglers, and nudged everyone toward a common goal. Sometimes his stubborn persistence caused clashes. His demanding behavior was for good, no matter what others thought. That was Kirby’s way.   Kirby’s integrity was the basis for his two occupations. His first career was compassion, and his second career was the building of the battery company he cofounded in 1926 with $500 borrowed from his father. Today, Kirby Risk Corporation is a multimillion-dollar electrical products and services industry headquartered in Lafayette, Indiana, and led by Kirby’s son, Jim.   Kirby’s Way captures the essence of this imitable gentleman, who with his wife of fifty-five years, Caroline, raised four children, gave time, money, and meals to strangers, refugees, Purdue University students, and their beloved community, while building from their kitchen table a successful Midwest corporation. He believed in “sacrificial service.” Kirby noticed people. He recognized their importance. In turn, they loved him and wanted to help him. He dwelled on his favorite song, “Mankind is My Business.” Relationships shaped his success. Kirby was quiet about his deeds. He lived the Bible passage, Matthew 6:3—“But when you do a kindness to someone, do it secretly—do not tell your left hand what your right hand is doing.”   Kirby Risk may not have wanted this book. Yet he would have esteemed it as a parable, a spiritual truth that compels readers to discover certainties for themselves. From heaven, he tends the flock and rounds up strays, so more people might live Kirby’s Way.
Sue Petrovski has always been capable, thoughtful, and productive. After retiring from a long and successful career in education, she published two books, ran an antiques business, and volunteered in her community. When her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and until her death eight years later, Petrovski served as her primary caregiver. She even cared for her husband when he also succumbed to dementia. However, when Petrovski’s husband fell ill with sepsis at the age of eighty-two, it threw everything into question. Would he survive? And if so, would she be able to care for him and manage the family home where they had lived for forty-seven years? More importantly, how long would she be able to do so? After making the decision to sell their house and move into a senior living community, Petrovski found herself thrust into the corporate care model of elder services available in the United States. In Shelved: A Memoir of Aging in America, she reflects on the move and the benefits and deficits of American for-profit elder care. Petrovski draws on extensive research that demonstrates the cultural value of our elders and their potential for leading vital, creative lives, especially when given opportunities to do so, offering a cogent, well-informed critique of elder care options in this country. Shelved provides readers with a personal account of what it is like to leave a family home and enter a new world where everyone is old and where decisions like where to sit in the dining room fall to low-level corporate managers. Showcasing the benefits of communal living as well as the frustrations of having decisions about meals, public spaces, and governance driven by the bottom line, Petrovski delivers compelling suggestions for the transformation of an elder care system that more often than not condescends to older adults into one that puts people first—a change that would benefit us all, whether we are forty, sixty, eighty, or beyond.
Bernard Goldstein’s memoir describes a hard world of taverns, toughs, thieves, and prostitutes; of slaughterhouse workers, handcart porters, and wagon drivers; and of fist- and gunfights with everyone from anti-Semites and Communists to hostile police, which is to say that it depicts a totally different view of life in prewar Poland than the one usually portrayed. As such, the book offers a corrective view in the form of social history, one that commands attention and demands respect for the vitality and activism of the generation of Polish Jews so brutally annihilated by the barbarism of the Nazis.   In Warsaw, a city with over 300,000 Jews (one third of the population), Goldstein was the Jewish Labor Bund’s “enforcer,” organizer, and head of their militia—the one who carried out daily, on-the-street organization of unions; the fighting off of Communists, Polish anti-Semitic hooligans, and antagonistic police; marshaling and protecting demonstrations; and even settling family disputes, some of them arising from the new secular, socialist culture being fostered by the Bund.   Goldstein’s is a portrait of tough Jews willing to do battle—worldly, modern individuals dedicated to their folk culture and the survival of their people. It delivers an unparalleled street-level view of vibrant Jewish life in Poland between the wars: of Jewish masses entering modern life, of Jewish workers fighting for their rights, of optimism, of greater assertiveness and self-confidence, of armed combat, and even of scenes depicting the seamy, semi-criminal elements. It provides a representation of life in Poland before the great catastrophe of World War II, a life of flowering literary activity, secular political journalism, successful political struggle, immersion in modern politics, fights for worker rights and benefits, a strong social-democratic labor movement, creation of a secular school system in Yiddish, and a youth movement that later provided the heroic fighters for the courageous Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.    
The storyteller has a fascinating place in our world. Storyteller Sidney Homan tells tales of growing up in Philadelphia in the 1940s and 50s accounts of Bruzzy the Bully; of John Crapp, the television salesman; of Leslie Doober and his rotten banana; of drunken Uncle Eddie, and of the Queen of the mushrooms. Sometimes comic, sometimes bittersweet, A Fish in the Moonlight illuminates the growth of both storyteller and listener.
Story for All Americans: Vietnam, Victims, and Veterans (formerly titled, Touched by the Dragon) details wartime accounts of average servicemen and women-some heroic, some frightening, some amusing, some nearly unbelievable. The work is a historical compendium of fascinating and compelling stories woven together in a theme format. What makes this book truly unique, however, is its absence of literary pretentiousness. Relating oral accounts, the veterans speak in a no-nonsense, matter-of-fact way. As seen through the eyes of the veterans, the stories include first-person experiences of infantry soldiers, a flight officer, a medic, a nurse, a combat engineer, an intelligence soldier, and various support personnel. Personalities emerge gradually as the veterans discuss their pre war days, their training and preparation for Vietnam, and their actual in-country experiences. The stories speak of fear and survival: the paranoia of not knowing who or where the enemy was; the bullets, rockets, and mortars that could mangle a body or snuff out a life in an instant; and going home with a CMH - not the Congressional Medal of Honor, but a Casket with Metal Handles. The veterans also speak of friendships and simple acts of kindness. But more importantly, they speak of healing-both physically and mentally.
One night in 1990, a stranger cut the screen out of Nancy McCabe's bedroom window while she slept and shone a flashlight into her eyes as she woke. A few weeks later, her father came down with temporary amnesia. Although unrelated, these events became linked in her mind, sweeping out from under her the fundamentals many of us take for granted: safety, freedom, the stability of memory, and a general oblivion to mortality. After the Flashlight Man is the story of how one author came to terms with these experiences that threw her life into a whole new light: the self-defense classes, rape crisis volunteer work, writing, and meditation that served as checkpoints along her healing journey while she re- examined events from her childhood and relationships with family and friends. Ultimately, a flashlight turned against her as a bizarre weapon became instead a metaphorical tool that blazed her path, the impetus to reclaim, recast, and tell her own stories, discovering her own power to reinvent her vision of her life.
The story told here of is one of adaptation and determination as the petty noble. Lacger family of Castres in southwestern France evolved -- and sometimes advanced their position--through the tr6ubled times of the Reformation and Wars of Religion, an all too brief period of tolerance, and the later proscription, of Protestantism. In the early 15oos, the family emerged from obscurity, some later attained influential posts and amassed considerable fortunes. While some family members embraced Catholicism for professional gain, family concerns were stiff important, as many then bequeathed their fortunes to Protestant family members.
In Blue Flame, noted regional biographer Robert C. Kriebel devotes his admiring attention to documenting Herman's life and music. No aspect of Herman's career escapes his gaze: the musicians-both famous and obscure who played in his bands, the music they played, the writers and arrangers of that music, the famous recordings, and the ups and downs of band life from the big-band heyday of the 1930s through half a century of changing tastes and changing times. The result of Kriebel's painstaking research is an accurate and detailed picture of the strenuous and frustrating life of' a big-band leader-a life that Herman himself characterized as "a big pain ... you're victimized before you even start, and it never lets up. There is no life, there is no home." Passion for the music, music-making, musicians, and fans kept Herman going. Kriebel captures these trials and passions for the reader in lively prose.
Constance Studer uses her family's story to illustrate larger ethical dilemmas in which modem medical professionals find themselves. The history of why prefrontal lobotomies were performed on patients is explored, and why only a few physicians raised dissenting voices to this mutilating surgery. Both the author and her father were injured by medical treatments that were intended to help. Her father's lobotomy caused irreversible brain damage. Connie's vaccine-related illness caused systemic lupus. She cites an article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. that investigates our government cover-up of a mercury/autism scandal. Thimerosal, the ethylmercury preservative used in vaccine preparation, appears to be responsible for the epidemic of autism and other neurological disorders among our children. In 2007, one child out of 150 suffers from autism or other neurological-cognitive disabilities. This book is a plea to the medical-pharmaceutical-government complex to ban the use of thimerosal in the production of vaccines and to re-evaluate the number of vaccines administered to infants and children.
In this book, prominent Italian American creative writers discuss the ways their heritage has impacted their works. For many, there has been a distinctive separation between their involvement with their families and the culture the immigrants brought to this country and their rise to positions of prominence in academic or literary circles in the United States. In trying to establish a unified identity, they have faced many conflicts between home values and the beliefs of a wider society. As writers, they discuss the ways their conflicts are represented in their works. They also discuss the ways that their childhood memories of immigrants, their practices have been a strong foundation for their creativity. In addition, five scholars in the field of Italian American literature critically analyze works by many of the creative writers in this anthology and discuss the future of the field.
What happens behind the doors of the animal shelter? This book will introduce the reader to the work culture of animal shelter employees, volunteers, activists, educators, and pets. By weaving together her own personal memoirs with interviews with workers, the author describes the traditions, philosophies, history, and current social dynamics of a typical animal welfare community. She examines how the daily interactions, personal philosophies, disparate methods, technology, and life experiences of the humans and pets influence the care of homeless animals, often playing an intricate role in the life or death situation each pet eventually faces.The author also describes her own experience with a "rescued" dog, touching upon the issues of victimization and redemption that she finds characterize the animal welfare field. The animals in the book are presented as active participants in this daily drama, able to communicate their needs to their caretakers and form lasting impressions. Throughout the book, workers, volunteers, and activists tell their own stories-stories that embody the hopes, frustrations, successes, and failures in bridging the bond between homeless pets and new families.
This inquiry into matters of heart, conducted under the shadows of pending surgery, awakens themes of boyhood, education, and marriage and prompt questions about loyalty to a deceased father, connections with immigrant grandparents, loss and rediscovery of faith, and solitude versus community. A medical narrative, the book also chronicles a span of contemporary American life. Throughout Amato's account, the consistent reminder of his upcoming bypass invites readers to reflect on their own lives and selves. This is an intelligent and witty guide to an immensely common operation that nevertheless for each patient constitutes a unique experience-a veritable rite of passage.
Charlie and the Shawneetown Dame is a dramatization of a true story from the Prohibition era, involving one of the more bizarre gang wars in the annals of American crime lore, replete with homemade tank battles, crude bombings from an open cockpit aircraft, and chronicling the life of Charlie Birger, a flamboyant, slightly mad Al Capone wannabe. And then there's the dame, a beautiful young blonde society babe, whose sexual double-dealing entices then infuriates both rival's renegade leaders. A rapid, riveting read, Bain himself considers this his best book.
Stanley Fish opens the collection with a persuasive argument for the role of intention and biography. Michael McKeon, Gordon Turnbull, and Jerome Christensen are concerned with the late eighteenth--and early nineteenth-century English cultural discourse that gave rise to the nearly simultaneous emergence of literary biography, Romantic sensibility, and reflexive human consciousness. The essays by Alison Booth, Cheryl Walker, and Sharon O'Brien reveal that the recognition or lack thereof the biographical subject has received and remains both a problem and an opportunity for women writers and readers. The essays by Valerie Ross, Rob Wilson, Steven Weiland, and William Epstein pursue the question of difference and cultural reification in the theory and practice of a specifically American biography and biographical criticism.
Both accessible and insightful, this collection of personal critical essays employs a formal study of literature as framework for the consideration of universal issues, including grief management, death, and acceptance of, and benefit from, traumatic change. These topics offer Brackett the opportunity to reflect upon the joys and rigors of scholarship as she considers professional issues, such as academic advancement through publication. They stand as testimony to one professional's belief that academia should not only embrace but encourage a number of approaches to self-expression on the part of its scholars. Her personal commentary draws from the work and life stories of many writers, including Elizabeth Cary, Anne Bradstreet, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Rabindranath Tagore, Leo Tolstoy, Katherine Anne Porter, and V.S. Naipaul. Critical and philosophical commentary by notables such as Richard Rorty, Michel Foucault, Jane Tompkins, Lois McNay, Diane P. Freeman, Olvia Frey, Frances Murphy Zauhar, Janice Radway and Patricia Waugh interlace and advance Brackett's own speculations. The book makes clear Brackett's belief that no reasonable explanation exists for the necessity some scholars see in withholding results of literary study from a broader audience, unless it be a reluctance to write with the clarity necessary to make digestible and enjoyable the fruits of their profession.
This is the story of a remarkable life and a journey, from the privileged world of Prussian aristocracy, through the horrors of World War II, to high society in the television age of postwar America. It is also an account of a spiritual voyage, from a conventional Christian upbringing, through marriage to Pastor Martin Niemoeller, to conversion to Judaism.Born during the turbulent days of the Weimar Republic, the author was the goddaughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II (to whom her father was financial advisor). During her teenage years, she witnessed the rise of the Third Reich and her family’s resistance to it, culminating in their involvement in “Operation Valkyrie,” the ill-fated attempt to assassinate Hitler and form a new government. At war’s end, she worked with British Intelligence to uncover Nazis leaders. Keeping a promise to her father, she left Germany for a new life in the United States in the 1950s, working for NBC and raising her son in the exciting world of New York, only to return to Germany as the wife of Martin Niemoeller, the voice of religious resistance during the Third Reich and of German guilt and conscience in the postwar decades. Upon her husband's death in 1984 she returned to America, after having converted to Judaism in London, and turned yet another page by becoming an active public speaker and author. The title reflects a story of three parts: “Crowns,” the world of nobility in which the author was raised; “Crosses,” her life with Martin Niemoeller and his battles with the Third Reich; and “Stars,” the spiritual journey that brought her to Judaism.
Whether or not Haider has followed the ideological path of his compatriot Adolf Hitler, says Austrian political historian Höbelt, he has certainly followed his route to publicity around the world. He explores the politics of modern Austria, and debunks the myth that Haider is driven by passion rather than self-interest.