Readings before 2012 – https://writingsdls.wordpress.com/readings-since-2005/
1) Belafonte, Harry, with Michael Shinayerson (2011). My Song: A Memoir. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
An entertaining, very honest account of a cultural advisor to the Peace Corps in its early days, filled with first-hand history of the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Kennedys, the early days of television, rock and roll, the record industry, Vegas, dinner clubs, Hollywood in the 1950s, newly independent African and Caribbean nations, Nelson Mandela, and cultural tensions and changes in the last 70 years.
2) Askew, Mike (2012). Transforming primary mathematics. London: Routledge.
This text, written by a veteran teacher and teacher educator who researched primary mathematics learning and teaching in London’s East End, poses four questions: “ is there a ‘problem’ in primary mathematics education?, what is good mathematics teaching?, what is mathematics teaching good for?, and who is mathematics teaching for?”. Professor Mike Askew (King’s College, London) reports that some school districts have experimented with not teaching a separate mathematics class but integrating mathematics learning across the primary curriculum. Others have viewed learning as a collective activity involving becoming as well as acquiring and emerging as children work on rich problems. Arguing that mathematics learning should be a mindful activity, Askew looks to variation theory and its four key features – an acknowledgement of the intentionality of teachings of objects of learning, the critical aspects of these objects, awareness of the essence of the object, and discernment and variation of the learning. Successful learning requires the transformation of the learner into competent, caring, loving, and lovable people, the development of mathematical community in the classroom, the careful planning of tasks, the use of tools and talk, and trust. 011012
3) Cavalier, Stephen (2011). The World History of Animation. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Following an international overview of the development of animation by continental regions, the author chronicles major accomplishments of animation on an annual basis from pre-1900 to the present. Technological advances are discussed for their influences on art and commerce. 011012
4) Rushdie, Salman (2001). Fury. New York: Random House.
Published on 9/1/2001, this novel features a discussion of celebrity. The main character is an East Indian-British academic who became prominent as the developer of a doll – Little Brain – who was featured in movies, television, and starting on web. Fury represents the furies that torment this academic who has left his family to live in New York City, a science fiction novel outline that features a puppet master whose creations are moving to rule society – as a methapor for liberation movements, and the power of sexuality to affect one’s life paths. 011712
5) Storti, Craig; Bennhold-Samaan, Laurette; and Peace Corps (U. S.). (June 1997). Culture Matters: The Peace Corps Cross Cultural Workbook. Retrieved from http://www.peacecorps.gov/wws/publications/culture/index.cfm
6) Paul D. Coverdell Worldwise Schools, . Building bridges [electronic resource]: a Peace Corps classroom guide to cross-cultural understanding. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Education Foundation. Retrieved at http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/websites/peacecorpsgov/www.peacecorps.gov/wws/bridges/bridges.pdf
I make use of these online texts in two of my international and cross-cultural education courses at Eastern CT State University. The Building Bridges guide is a good introductory text on culture and intercultural relations, with activities and exercises for middle and high school classrooms. The Culture Matters workbook is designed for Peace Corps volunteers and focuses on styles of communication, culture in the workplace, adjusting to a new culture, and social relationships. Both explore American culture and generalizations, diversity within our nation, and potential cultural misunderstandings for Americans living in other nations. 011912
7) Bikales, Gerda (2004). Through the valley of the shadow of death: A holocaust childhood. New York: iUniverse , Inc.
The accounting of the struggles of a mother and daughter, who was born in 1931, to escape being captured by the war. With the support of others and traveling companions, Gerda and Blime Birtzonski (Mutti), fled from Breslau to Antwerp, Dunkirk, Zwartberg – as part of a Nazi experiment in dispersing Jews into the hinterland, Antwerp, Lyon, Marseilles, St. Hilaire-le-Chateau, Lyon, Grenoble, and Switzerland, and back to Grenoble and to the US to reunite with her father after the war. In the 1950s, the mother married the grandfather of Dr. Merle Potchinsky, and Gerda and Blime were known to Merle as aunt and grandmother throughout her life. Impressing the reader for the challenges of survival in a hateful world, with the bravery of others who did not stand by to support evil, and with the importance of never forgetting, this tale brings home that history is a human process that combines despair with hope. 012912
8) Morinis, Alan (2007). Everyday holiness: The Jewish spiritual path of mussar. Boston: Trumpeter.
The author introduces mussar – which combines the study of ethics with daily practice and reflection, from the Hebrew for correction or instruction, a tradition spanning the Sa’adia Gaon’s 10th century Book of Beliefs and Opinions in the mid-east, Egypt – Israel – Baghdad, with Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato’s The Path of the Just in 1740 in Italy, and three schools in Eastern Europe in the 19th century – Kelm, Lithuanian school that is highly introspective, a Slabodkan school that is more behaviorial and emphasizes the majesty of people, and a Novarodok school that has an aggressive methodology for inner change, storming the soul. The mussar map is outlined and supported by references to Jewish literature as well as human experiences and includes stops at humility, patience, gratitude, compassion, order, equanimity, honor, simplicity, enthusiasm, silence, generosity, truth, moderation, loving-kindness, responsibility, trust, faith, and yirah (fear/awe). (The author mentions the idea that “yarmulke” may be derived from yireh melekh – awe of the King.) Mussar is seen as a curriculum with daily and weekly routines of mediation – chanting, comtemplation, and visualizations, silence and retreat, and diary practices. The text would be best studied and practiced within a community. 012912
9) Lieberman, Joe with Kinghoffer, David (2011). The gift of rest: Rediscovering the beauty of the Sabbath. New York: Howard Books.
A fine introduction to the Shabbath, enhanced with political and personal stories by CT’s retiring senator. Includes a review of the sections of the 25-hour+ weekly celebration, with chapters on preparation, the Friday night service and siddur, the Friday evening dinner, family relationships, the Saturday morning service, kiddush, Shabbath afternoon activities, the third Sabbath meal, evening prayer, havdalah – making distinctions between the sabbath and the work world, and re-entering the work world. Senator Lieberman also discusses reasons and events that required his cessation of his sabbath rest and whether they were justified according to tradition. The emphasis is on that not only have Jews kept Shabbath but that Shabbath have kept the Jews. 020512
10) Amichai, Yehuda (1984). The World is a room and other stories. Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society of America.
The first story, Battle for the Hill, describes life in Jerusalem in 1956 while the population was waiting to see if the city would be drawn into the battles that centered on the Suez Canal. The second story, The World is a Room, tells of a young romance that is interrupted and lost due to wars and the taking of different paths. The Bar Mitzvah Party relates how immigrant cultures influence the development of traditions in a new nation. Terrible Spring deals in metaphors of Purim costumes serving as stand ins for one’s background that are hidden on a terrible spring evening. Nina of Ashkelon is a mysterious summer romance in the mythical Roman ruins of the Mediterranean coastal town. Dicky’s Death discusses the recovery of the dead from a mass grave holding the remains of soldiers who opened the roads to the Negev in the wars. The Orgy tells of the awkwardness of graduate students exploring their sexuality together. Love in Reverse describes the arc of a relationship in Jerusalem in the early days of the state and The Snow relates the magic and challenges of snow in Jerusalem. The Times My Father Died compares the bowings within the alenu prayer during the High Holidays and dramatic changes in a German immigrant’s life to the death of old life and the resurrection of a new life in a new land. These stories would benefit from a book club. 020512
11) Anton, Maggie (2008). Rashi’s Daughter, Secret Scholar. Philadelphia: JPS.
A novel written for the young which offers glimpses into gender roles, daily lives, rituals, regional fairs, relationships with Notzrim or Edomite, code for European non-Jews, and the start of the yeshivah of Rabbi Salomon ben Issac (Rashi) in Troyes, France. Told from the perspectives of Rashi’s daughters, Joheved and Miriam, as they grow into a novel womenhood allowed to study Talmud with their father and husbands, early disciples of Rashi, and learn from their mother and grandmother the important roles of women in Jewish life. 022612
12) Kristof, Nicholas D. and Wudunn, Sheryl (2009). Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
The authors’, journalists for The New York Times, purpose for this text is “to recruit you to join an incipient movement to emancipate women and fight global poverty by unlocking women’s power as economic catalysts. That is the process under way – not a drama of victimization but of empowerment, the kind that transforms bubbly teenage girls from brothel slaves into successful businesswomen.” They describe the tragedies of sex trafficking and world-wide slavery, in magnitude larger than ever on this planet, through the story of its victims. The efforts of new abolitionists, micro-credit programs, education, and medical interventions in raising the quality of life for women and all members of endangered communities proceed a list of action plans for the reader. They include “four steps you can take in the next ten minutes to make a difference” – 1) open an account at http://www.globalgiving.org or http://www.kiva.org; 2) sponsor a girl or a woman through Plan International, Women for Women International, World Vision, or American Jewish World Service; 3) sign up for e-mails updates on http://www.womensenews.org or http://www.worldpulse.com; and 4) join the CARE Action Network at http://www.can.care.org. This text has been selected as the book of the year being read by the entire UCONN community. 022612
13) Wormser, Baron (2006). The Road Washes Out in Spring: A Poet’s Memoir of Living Off the Grid. Hanover and London: University Press of New England.
A poet and his family live off the grid – without electricity and plumbing – due to the cost of extending the lines to their central Maine home. This text is a collage of poems, descriptions of the seasons and their challenges, literary analyses such as a comparative study of the philosophies within the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman and recent Polish poets, accounts of rural towns people and their community life, and the struggles of raising children in the 1980s. Chosen for Eastern Connecticut State University’s sustainable energy campus book club reading for Spring 2012, this reflection would generate discussion on how one may live a more meaningful, simpler life by appreciating nature and the human condition more. (Read while flying from JFK to Montego Bay to start a global field experience in Jamaican schools for undergraduate at Eastern CSU.) 031812
14) Dawes, Neville (2009). The last enchantment. Leeds, England : Peepal Tree Press Ltd.
A close to reality depiction of a young man coming of age in elite schools and communities in the 1940s and 1950s in Kingston and Oxford. The attempt to integrate Marxism into the lives of the scion of the wealthy in an evolving pre-independent Jamaica is illustrated. (Read on the return flight from our global field experience in public schools in Jamaica on 032412.)
15) Blake Hannah, Barbara Makeda (2006). Joseph: A Rasta reggae fable. Oxford: Macmillan Caribbean.
A fable very near the story of Bob Marley, dealing with the commercial control of music and musicians, the interplay of spirituality and art, and the role of religion and politics in rasta thought. The fable concludes with a conflict between a Jewish reporter who helped to get the word out about Joseph’s social and artistic talent and the rasta group who rise above through triumphalism, the development of a colony in Ethiopia, and the resurrection of Joseph to live anew in his new homeland. (Read on the way back on 032412.)
16) Masahiro Shinoda (1969). Double Suicide (心中天網島, Shinjū: Ten no amijima?). Recommended by Kris Jacobi, a traditional puppet theatre piece that makes use of live actors to present a drama about the obsession of a man with a geisha whom he doesn’t have the funds to redeem, even though his wife is willing to pawn her kikomos brought into the marriage to allow him to maintain his love. Explores the sense of duty, the role of samuraiis, male-female relationships, the role of fathers in the family, honor, and Japanese symbolic theater. 040312
17) Ogawa, Yoko (2003). The Housekeeper and the Professor. New York: Picador.
Novel that will be discussed at the Freeman Institute. Story of a housekeeper and her son who become friends with a mathematics professor who has damaged short-term memory, remembering only the last 80 minutes. Discusses prime numbers, irrational numbers, the wonders of numbers and their connections to the divine. And Japanese baseball, cards, and hero players. The professor, who lives in a cottage in the compound of his widowed sister-in-law, spends his time solving puzzles and mathematics problems for a journal and earning prizes. The housekeeper eventually introduces him to her 10-year son, who becomes a close friend to the professor, taking him to a baseball game and celebrating his 11th birthday by finding a special baseball card for the professor. Explores the roles of women in domestic situations, the challenges of being impaired and growing older, and relationships within single parent families. 041112
18) Learning the virtual life: Public pedagogy in a digital world, ed. by Peter Pericles Trifonas. New York: Routledge.
This collection of essays examines the philosophical foundations in the digital world of literacy, ways of knowing, identity and learning, ecopedagogy, social life, wikilearning, Wikipedia, learner voice, the future of learning, covert intimacy, weblogs, and games. The editor, Professor Trifonas of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, introduces this text by noting that “while some have welcomed the educational challenges of digital culture and emphasized its possibilities for individual emancipation and social transformation in the new information age, others accuse digital culture of absorbing its recipients in an all-pervasive virtual world.” Other scholars from Canada, Finland, US, Great Britain, and Australia expand on these topics by suggesting that the uses of electronic writing tools, wikilearning, and Wikipedia may disrupt the connections between students and lecturers and re-invent the university. Contributors also examine the potentials of Second Life virtual communities, weblogs, viral youth networks, and social networking to change knowledge production. Kahn (University of North Dakota) calls for the reconstruction of technoliteracy in the interest of democratization, ecological sustainability, and progressive individual and cultural transformation to forge a better world out of unfolding technological and ecological crises. 042012
19) Levine, Allan (2003). Scattered among the nations: The Jewish diaspora in twelve portraits. Woodstock: Overlook Duckworth.
Generally depressing histories of Jewish life in Seville (1492), Venice (1516), Constantinople (1666), Amsterdam (1700), Vienna (1730), Frankfurt (1848), St. Petersburg (1881), Berlin (1925), Vilna (1944), and Kiev (1967). Read for the synagogue book club, who discussed the book at the Wolfs’ home on 4/29/12. Our conversations included a discussion of conversos as models for secular Jewish now, why the US allowed so many immigrants into the developing nation from 1880 – 1930, the connections between Shabbati Zevi and the rise of Hassidim, how different groups of Jews structured their religious lives. 042912
20) National Consortium of Directors of LGBT Resources in Higher Education (2002). Inspiration for LGBT students and their allies. http://www.campuspride.org/inspiration/
We read this collection of short essays and display posters as part of on-going discussions organized by the Diversity Council. Poignant essays on individual growth and evolution, implications for one’s community, and the need for supportive, accepting people. 0509112
21) Ogawa, Yoko (2008). Diving pools, translated by Stephen Synder. New York: Picador.
Three novellas – on the relationships of children in an orphanage, the relationship of a sister to her pregnant sister and brother-in-law, and the relationship of cousins around a dormitory where the woman had lived. Needs a good discussion about formalized relationships and status in Japanese society. By the author of the professor and housekeeper novel above. 051012
22) Blum, Jenna (2004). Those who save us. Orlando: A Harvest Book.
Story of a mother’s love for her daughter who protects her by becoming the mistress of a Nazi officer during the war. The daughter, who becomes a German professor at a Minnesotan college, joins a project that interviews Germans who lived in Germany in the war, eventually meeting a man who remembers her Jewish father, the bakery angels who would hide bread in the woods for the prisoners in a camp near Weimar, and connects Trudie’s mother to the angels. 051012
23) Sun, stone and shadows : 20 great Mexican short stories / edited by Jorge F. Hernández. [Mexico] : Tezontle.
35) Shalev, Meir (2011). Beginnings: The First Love, the First Hate, and the First Dream … Reflections on the Bible’s Intriguing Firsts. New York: Harmony Books.
Gift from the Temple Bnai Israel’s board of directors upon the end of my two year term as board president. Author of A Boy and a Pigeon, Shalev’s insightful study of Genesis and other books concludes that the first love was the love between Abraham and his beloved son, Isaac, the first hate was between Jacob and Leah, the first dream was first prophet Abimelech’s dream blaming him for his sin of playing with married Sarah, the first king was Nimrod, the first king of Israel was Saul, the first weeping was Hagar’s after the banishment of Ishmael, the first spies were Joseph’s brothers who were accused of spying in Egypt by Joseph, the first animal were the taninim, unknown now mythological creatures – perhaps great whales or other sea monsters; the first loving women – were Rebecca for her love of her son, Jacob, Ruth who loved her mother-in-law Naomi, and Michal, who loved David; the first laugh was that of Abraham and Sarah’s laughter at hearing the news that they would have a son; the first law was obeyed by Abraham to receive the promise of numerous descendants and a land. read while travelling to California at the end of June
36) Dershowitz, Alan M. (1999). Just Revenge: A Novel. New York: Warner Books.
A justification of the murder of a Lithuanian retiree in the Boston area by a Bible scholar whose family the retiree had murdered outside of Vilna in 1942. Using technology, the scholar and a media savvy colleague convince the retiree, whom they have kidnapped, that they are murdering his family members in present-day metro Boston and encourage him to take his own life. The scholars justify this ruse by a suggestion from Maimonides that Gd did not kill Job’s family but only convinced him that he did. The scholars are defended by friends – a father and daughter team and other law students – and the story includes interesting court drama and philosophical debates on the nature of guilt and revenge. Book bought as we were leaving LA at a $1 bookstore – a former Barnes and Nobles in the Howard Hughes mall in southwest LA. 070512
37) Kaplan, James (2012). Paul McCartney: The Legend Rocks on at 70. New York: Times Home Entertainment.
A history of Sir Paul with an emphasis on his relationships, the musical influence of his father’s taste, the differences in styles with the other Beatles, Wings and Linda, and the range of his influences on music and society. Gift from Aunt Rona. 071212
38) Van Hise, James (1993). Trek vs. Next Generation. Las Vegas, NV: Pioneer Books.
Comparisions of the 1966-69 Star Trek (Original) and the Star Trek: Next Generation series in the 1987-94 – quality of story lines, characters, technology, intergalactic politics, customing, … Highly detailed about stories and a bit repetitive. Concludes that both series had lots to offer. Gift from Danny. 071912
39) Turner, Steve (1999). A Hard Day’s Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song. New York: Harper Collins.
Discussion of the development of songs from the UK and US releases of singles, extended plays, and albums, including the personal, communal, and societal meanings and origins of the songs. Gift from Danny. 072712
40) Pine, Nancy (2012). Educating Young Giants: What Kids Learn (and Don’t Learn) in China and America. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Professor Pine (Mount St. Mary’s College) draws on her years as a language arts teacher, teacher educator, researcher in Chinese schools, and director of a China/US cultural exchange program to compare the history, goals, methodologies, and outcomes of public education in these two nations. She generalizes that Chinese educators and parents stress hard work over natural ability for academic achievement, notes the Confucian influence on intense study and memorization, and finds that Chinese elementary teachers most often teach one subject for four classrooms and participate in intensive collaborative work within teaching research groups each day. The greatest difference between education in the United States and China is China’s reliance on high-stake exams. Chinese educators are surprised at the rising emphasis on testing in the US and seek instead to encourage the individuality and independence characterizes as being common in US schools. Following comparisons of mathematics teaching, the influence of language, classroom environment and discipline, and differing attitudes on performance vs. improvisations, college preparation, and imaginative engagement, Dr. Pine concludes that both nations should borrow best practices from each other and plan comprehensive learning systems which address 21st century realities. 080612
41) Heschel, Abraham Joshua (1951). The Sabbath: The Meaning for Modern Man. New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux.
Contrasting other civilizations’ obessions with monuments of space, Rabbi Heschel characterizes Judaism as building monuments of time with the Sabbath, holidays, and the daily ordering of events in a ritualistic life. The Sabbath is an earthly shadow of the world to come, providing value for the work of the rest of the week. Although poets have used a lot of metaphors for the Sabbath – as a queen, a bride, a king, a very spiritual person, and endless peace, the Sabbath is a day of spirit and of the body comforts with meals and good companionship. 081312
42) Hoffman, Lawrence A. (2000). The Way Into Jewish Prayer. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing.
Rabbi Hoffman discusses the role of prayer in Judaism across the various movements, congregational, home, and individual prayer. He contrasts keva – the orderliness of prayer now stored in books – and kavannah – directing prayer to the spiritual. This text would also serve a good introduction to Judaism, its evolution over time, and the changes developed after prayers were codified into text. 081512
43) King, Stephen (2012). 11/12/63: A Novel. New York: Scribner.
A day-long complex tale about a high school English teacher who goes down a “rabbit hole” in present-day Maine to begin life in 1958, changing fate to murder a man who would have destroyed his family, to save a girl from a hunting accident, and to stop Lee Harvey Oswald. The past resists and places the temptations of love, coincidences, reoccuring individuals and themes in the way. Although he changes history, it is not as it should be and he resets fate, learning that the threads of alternative histories harmonize and may lead to the destruction of reality. 082212
44) Schmidt, William H. and McKnight, Curtis C. (2012). Inequality for all: the challenge of unequal opportunity in American schools. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University.
The authors, professors from Michigan State University and University of Oklahoma, compare mathematics curriculum in the United States and in the top-achieving nations in the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and conclude that in the US, mathematics curricula lacks focus, with more topics taught and repeated in multiple grades. For example, they find while the TIMSS nations focus extensively on algebra in eighth grade, one-third of US 8th graders attend schools where an algebra course is not an option (p. 104). They note that the US is not one nation indivisible due to the influences of social class, race, school funding, and the inequality of opportunity in instructional delivery. Other sources of inequality include variation of content coverage, opportunities to learn, course proliferation, tracking, textbooks, tests, teacher preparation, and grade placement. They conclude that the “greatest source of variation in opportunity to learn is not between local communities, or even schools, but between classrooms” (p. xii). They recommend that the nation support “the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the improvement of teacher preparation programs that prepare future teachers to teach the standards” (p. 216). 090312
45) Mansfield, Harvey C. (2010). Tocqueville: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University.
An introduction to the life, times, politics, philosophy, and writings of Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805-1859. Of note is Tocqueville’s positive attitude to the new United States, the strong role of women in the US, the challenges and benefits of democracy, liberalism. 090912
46) Rothstein, Edward; Muschamp, Herbert; and Marty, Martin E. (2003). Visions of Utopia. New York: Oxford University.
Three essays, from presentations at the New York Public Library, by scholars and cultural critics, on how utopias hold the seed to their own failure, the connections between religious movements – Sabbateanism, Japanese Buddhism, the counterculture’s ties to technology, and quasi-experimental small utopians. 091412
47) Raskin, Jonah (2012). James McGrath: In a Class by Himself. Santa Rosa, CA: McCaa Books.
Jonah Raskin, a professor of communication studies at Sonoma State University, chronicles the life of James McGrath, an artist-teacher-social critic, who lived through the 1950s teaching the children of those who were building atomic bombs in Richland, Washington, leading teachers in post-war European Dept of Defense schools on military bases, taught and served as a spokesperson for the Institute for American Indian Arts, a high school/cultural center in New Mexico, as a professional development coordinator for the arts and the humanities in DoD schools in Asia, in other nations – Brazzaville, Congo, South America, on art education, and back in New Mexico as a teacher in a retirement community and for community development. His students and colleagues have honored him by organizing art shows and testimonials. The text introduced by Bill Ayers, praising McGarth for his dedication with teaching with art, includes a list of McGarth’s quotations, including “to teach is to love again.” 091412
48) Mann, James (2012). The Obamians: The Struggle inside the White House to Redefine American Power. New York: Viking.
Detailed study of the personalities and principles forming foreign policy in the Obama White House. Coming from a post-Vietnam, just war perspective, the president seems to rely on people nearer his own age and philosophies, instead of the older guard influenced more about the history of Vietnam than Bosnia. 092512
49) Barreca, Gina (2005). Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Co-Education in the Ivy League. Dartmouth College: University Press of New England.
An Oceanside High School (OHS) graduate (class of 1975) begins a new life at Dartmouth College, among the few women at the former men’s college. Professor Barreca of UCONN discusses class and gender differences at the college and her own social development. She describes Oceanside as a working class town and relates the need to explain to her aunts why going to college would be life-changing. A good first generation student account. I shared a signed copy, purchased at a silent auction at the Fall 2012 Arts in the Country Art Festival in West Woodstock, CT, with Rona Judith Stoloff Fischman, who graduated from OHS in 1976. 100712
50) Dan Rather; Digby Diehl (2012). Rather outspoken: My life in the news. New York: Grand Central Pub.
Entertaining and revealing autobiography of this Texas journalist, who seems to be like a Forrest Gump of US history from the 1960s on. He explains the causes of this loss of position at CBS news while reporting on President GW Bush’s military service, his rise from local radio and television reporter, weather Dan covering a hurricane, reporting nationally on presidents and world events – in London, Vietnam, Afghanistan, … Mr. Rather spoke at Eastern on October 9 at an Arts and Lecture series presentation. I asked students to seek his inscription on the university’s copy. 100912
51) Kolitz, Zvi (1999). Yosl Rakover talks to God. New York: Vintage Books.
The author created a letter by a Warsaw ghetto fighter to an absent god, who has hidden God’s face from the world; posted at http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/k/kolitz-god.html. When released, some accepted that it was a document that had been stored in bottles in the ghetto. In third person, the author describes his life after the war, his development of this fictional exchange while he lived in Buenos Aires in the late 1940s, after service in the underground in Israel during the struggle for independence, and his life later in New York. A discussion by philosopher Emmanuel Levinas on the absence of god leads another philosopher, Leon Weiseltier, to ponder the uniqueness and universality of the holocaust. 101012
52) Ostrer, Harry (2012). Legacy: A genetic history of the Jewish people. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
A detailed look at the genetics, history, sociology, and anthropology of people who claim the Jewish people as their ancestors. Although there is some evidence that there is genetic commonalities of Jewish groups, although there is often more genetic connections with neighbors. Using genetics to define Jewish identity may be problematic as the author describes “Jewishness … as a tapestry with the threads represented as shared segments of DNA and no single thread required for composition of the tapestry” (p. 218). 101712
53) Telushkin, Rabbi Joseph (1992). Jewish Humor: What the Best Jewish Jokes Say About the Jews. New York: William Morrow and Company.
Scholarly discussion of the relationship of Judaism and humor. Categories include between parents and children, business ethics, learning, ambition, antisemitism, assimilation, the divine, Israeli jokes, Freud, and religion. 121712
54) Ouaknin, Marc-Alain (1986). The Burnt Book: Reading the Talmud. Translated by LLewellyn Brown. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Details of the books in Judaism followed by a discussion why it is the ideas in the book and not the object that is of prime importance. History of the development of the Talmud, the punctuation in the Torah scrolls, Rav Nahman of Bratslav and his writings influenced by Frankish thought, and the rules on disposing of books. 121912