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.  
A study of the 50-year career of Edward Charles Elliott is a study of the development of American education. Elliott had experience as a high school and college teacher, school system superintendent, state college system chancellor, and president of a Big Ten university, all during a period of change in American attitudes toward public schooling and rapid growth in education institutions. As president of Purdue University from 1922 to 1945, Elliott steered the school through years of expansion in size, prestige, and service. Student enrollment, staff, course offerings, buildings, and campus acreage more than doubled; the total value of the physical plant increased more than five-fold, and the schools of pharmacy, home economics, and graduate study were opened under Elliott’s leadership. This book shows not only how Elliott helped make Purdue University what it is today, but documents educational trends from 1900 to 1950 and includes a lengthy bibliography of Elliott’s writings to assist the student of higher education.
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
Eva and Otto is a true story about German opposition and resistance to Hitler as revealed through the early lives of Eva Lewinski Pfister (1910–1991) and Otto Pfister (1900–1985). It is an intimate and epic account of two Germans—Eva born Jewish, Otto born Catholic—who worked with a little-known German political group that resisted and fought against Hitler in Germany before 1933 and then in exile in Paris before the German invasion of France in May 1940. After their improbable escapes from separate internment and imprisonment in Europe, Eva obtained refuge in America in October 1940 where she worked to rescue other endangered political refugees, including Otto, with the help of Eleanor Roosevelt. As revealed in recently declassified records, Eva and Otto later engaged in different secret assignments with the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in support of the Allied war effort. Despite their vastly different backgrounds, Eva and Otto gave each other hope and strength as they acted upon what they understood to be an ethical duty to help others threatened by fascism. The book provides a sobering insight into the personal risks and costs of a commitment to that duty. Their unusually beautiful writing—directed to each other in diaries and correspondence during two long periods of wartime separation—also reveals an unlikely and inspiring love story.
In My Mother’s House depicts a profound, intergenerational struggle between a powerful, politically engaged mother, Rose, and her spiritually inclined poet and writer daughter, Kim. Framing this collision are two other generations. There is Rose’s mother from the shtetl, a broken woman regularly beaten by her husband but the source of the family’s stories. And Kim’s daughter, a second-generation, fully assimilated girl of eight at the time the book begins. Four generations, from the shtetl to an affluent intellectual household in Berkeley, California, the story is a historical record and reckoning between the old activist left and a beginning feminist movement. The double narrative allows Kim to explore the evolving relationship between mother and daughter, who, through their storytelling, are brought to a profound understanding and reconciliation.
Jan Hus was a late medieval Czech university master and popular preacher who was condemned at the Council of Constance and burned at the stake as a heretic in 1415. Thanks to his contemporary influence and his posthumous fame in the Hussite movement and beyond, Hus has become one of the best known figures of the Czech past and one of the most prominent reformers of medieval Europe as a whole. This definitive biography now available in English opposes the view of Hus that saw his importance primarily as a martyr, subsequently invoked by a variety of religious, national, and political groups eager to appropriate his legacy. Looking for Hus’s significance in his own time, this treatment tells a story of a late medieval intellectual who—through his dedicated pursuit of what he understood as his mission—generated conflict and eventually brought execution upon himself. By investigating the life and death of Jan Hus, one learns not only about the man, but about the church, state, and society in late medieval Europe. The story told in this book is original in structure and purpose. Each chapter takes a major event in Hus’s life as a starting point for a broader discussion of crucial problems connected to his career and the controversies he generated. How did these specific events contribute to Hus’s own convictions? By suggesting parallels to and departures from other late medieval figures and events in Europe, the book liberates Hus from a narrow and nationalist Czech historiography and places him squarely in a broader European context, showing a significance that transcended Czech borders. From a number of different vantage points, it raises a central question critical to understanding the later Middle Ages: why was a sincere ecclesiastical reformer condemned by a church council committed to reform itself?
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.
He was twice the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction: in 1919 for The Magnificent Ambersons and in 1922 for Alice Adams. His play Clarence launched Alfred Lunt on his distinguished career and provided Helen Hayes with an early successful role. His Penrod books continued the American boy-story tradition which started with the works of Mark Twain. Early in this century, through his novel The Turmoil, he warned of sacrificing the environment to industrial growth. Yet, since his death in 1946, Booth Tarkington–this writer from the Midwest who accomplished so much–has faded from the memory of the reading public, and many of his works are out of print. But his memory is fresh and vivid in the mind of his grandniece Susanah Mayberry, and her recollections of him leap from the pages of her book. She recalls that as a small child, before she was aware of her uncle’s fame as a writer, he emerged as the one figure whose outline was clear among the blur of forms that made up her large family. “No one who met Booth Tarkington ever forgot him,” says his great-niece. So, she introduces the reader to this multifaceted individual: the young man-about-town, the prankster, the writer of humorous letters (who drew caricatures in the margins), the bereaved father, the inspiration of the affection of three women (simultaneously), and the lover and collector of art objects and portraits. The author of this volume draws primarily upon her own personal experiences, family lore, and letters (some never published before) to portray her amiable uncle. She tells of the pleasure it gave him to entertain his young nephews and nieces at his Tudor-style winter home in Indianapolis – where they played a spirited form of charades. She recalls vacations which she, as a college student, spent at his light-filled summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine – where she met his famous neighbors. During all of those times, Uncle Booth was the keen observer of youth, who created Penrod and friends from his observations, and the teacher o f youth, who transmitted his own love of art to his young relations. While recapturing memories of the unforgettable Tarkington, Mayberry recreates an era of elegant and leisurely living, when on the dining table “in the fingerbowls . . . were nosegays of sweet peas and lemon verbena or geranium leaves.” Susanah Mayberry shares with the reader a treasure of family photographs including Tarkington at various ages; interiors and exteriors of his homes; her father and uncles as children (the models of Penrod); the writer’s indomitable sister who championed his early work; and his devoted second wife, a “gentle dragon,” who kept his day-to-day life running smoothly. Indiana residents will feel “at home” with the frequent references to the state and its people. Indianapolis of the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries influenced Tarkington and his work. The city was his birthplace and his death place. He spent a year at Purdue University where he met such “brilliancies” as George Ade and John McCutcheon. Other famous and not-so-famous Hoosiers became a part of Tarkington’s life, and they—along with international literary, theatrical, and political luminaries—reappear in Susanah Mayberry’s recollections of her amiable uncle.
Richard Dale Owen was born in 1810 in Scotland to a wealthy textile manufacturer and philanthropist. The youngest of eight children, Richard grew up at the family estate of Braxfield House, where he received his early education from private tutors. He would later go on to study chemistry, physics, and natural sciences, among other subjects, traveling between Scotland and Switzerland for his schooling. Owen arrived in the United States in 1828 to teach in New Haven, Indiana, where his father was running an experimental utopian community of happiness, enlightenment, and prosperity. He would later go on to be Indiana’s second state geologist before enlisting in the army during both the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. Colonel Owen took command of 4,000 Confederate prisoners at Camp Morton in Indianapolis, where he established new daily routines and rules for supervision of the prisoners. Under Owen’s command, prisoners were allowed to read books and form glee clubs, theatrical groups, and sports teams. He also created a camp bakery staffed by prisoners that proved to be a substantial cost savings, allowing for above-average rations for the prisoners under his watch. After his military service came to an end, Owen continued to serve as a state geologist as well as becoming a professor at Indiana University, teaching chemistry, language, and natural philosophy. After failing to help secure IU as Indiana’s land-grant school, Owen was recruited to help establish Purdue University, west of Lafayette. The board of trustees selected him to serve as the University’s first president on August 13, 1872. However, Owen and the trustees disagreed on many early initiatives, including his focus on agriculture and push for more comfortable living arrangements for students. After less than two years serving as president, where he never drew a salary, Owen resigned his position and returned to teaching at Indiana University, until hearing problems caused him to retire in 1879. He spent his remaining years in New Harmony, where he conducted research and published several scientific papers until his tragic death caused by an accidental poisoning at the hand of a local pharmacist.  
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.
More than 20,000 engineering students at Purdue University have been touched in some way by the ides or the warm personality of Andrey A. Potter, who served for 33 years as dean of the Schools of Engineering at Purdue, the world’s largest engineering institution. Awarded the honorary title of “Dean of the Deans of Engineering Universities” in 1949 by his alma mater, MIT, Potter has been a teacher for 48 years and a dean for 40. Among his thousands of colleagues at Kansas State, Purdue, and the professional societies he has headed, he is known with respect and affection simply as “the Dean.” This book, illustrated with photographs, traces his life from his boyhood in Russia and his journey at age 15 to America where, he contends, his life really began. We see him as a student cutting lab classes to attend an afternoon concert of the Boston Symphony, as a young man growing a van Dyke beard to make himself look older for his first job as an engineer with General Electric, and as a new assistant professor at Kansas State, courting his schoolteacher-sweetheart in a horse and buggy. His contributions to the engineering profession are many. He was president of the leading professional societies, prepared an exhaustive state-of-the-art study of engineering, and enhanced the public service aspects of his field by participating in government advisory boards. Greatly admired for his work with the National Patent Planning Commission, where he protected the right of the inventor to the fruits of his ingenuity, he is also respected for his publications in his own area of research, power generation and super-critical steam. A selected bibliography lists his writings. At Kansas State and Purdue, he organized curricula to emphasize study that could be used by engineers to solve problems in agriculture and industry; this brought farmers and businessmen closer to the campus and more aware of the university’s service to their state. He found deepest pleasure, however, not in these accomplishments, but in the personal contacts he established with students and colleagues. In his own words, “the secret of success is to love one’s fellow men.”
This biography details Hovde’s life and times from his birth at Erie, Pennsylvania, through his boyhood at Devils Lake, North Dakota, and includes his student days at the University of Minnesota and in England and Europe as a Rhodes scholar. In addition, it outlines his career from the time he returned to the United States from England in 1932, as well as when he went back again in 1941 as the United States secretary for American-British scientific research and development exchange efforts. Principally, it covers his twenty-five years as president of Purdue University, his impact on higher education generally, and his retirement in 1971. The book depicts Hovde the president and Hovde the man. It focuses on the growth of Purdue University from the post-World War II years through the tumultuous times of the late 1960s and Hovde’s own comments on those periods.
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.