. . . Spring 2002
Reading: Books by U-M faculty and graduates, and works published by the
of Michigan Press.
Michigan Today cannot review or acknowledge
all books received.|
GERMAN WOMEN FOR EMPIRE, 1884-1945
By Lora Wildenthal '94 PhD, Duke University Press, 2001, $19.95 paper.
At the height of the "Woman Question" era, when nations across Europe were
debating the appropriate status of women, Germany experienced an interesting social phenomenon: German women were throwing themselves with increased fervor behind their country's growing empire in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.
Wildenthal chronicles this movement, with all its ambiguities, as an example of nationalist colonialism as well as early feminism. She tells the story of a disenfranchised group-German women were excluded from universities until 1908 and from the right to vote until 1918-trying to win a place in its country's national history, and all the while subjugating other women: the female colonial subjects. The German women's colonialist movement, Wildenthal finds, is interesting because of its implications for the study of colonialism. Perhaps more so, it is important because it did not end with the setting of the imperial age, but continued influencing nationalist and racial attitudes all the way into the Nazi era.Shiri Revital Bilik '02.
The Following are Web bonuses, not in the printed edition.
COLD WATER, DRY STONE: NEW MUSIC WITH TRADITIONAL ROOTS
By Evan Chambers '93 PhD, performed by Quorum sextet with soprano Jennifer Goltz, Albany Records, $15.99.
There is a big difference between the haunting and the spooky.
Haunting sticks with you; spooky disappears in a flash. Haunting offers
beauty; spooky a brief thrill. If you prefer the haunting, you'll enjoy
this CD and play it many times. Chambers, an associate professor of composition
at the U-M School of Music,
is forthright in putting the term "new music" right in the CD title. Yes,
"new music" is a label that frightens many lovers of classical music.
Similarly, many fans of "world" or "folk" music steer clear of music carrying
the equally slippery "classical" designation. Chambers may hope to overcome
any partisans' hesitancy with the explanation that his new music has "traditional
roots." In any event, he presents a music that stands firmly in both camps.
Chambers travels widely with his fiddle and tape recorder, and his
compositions evoke the cultures in which his musical roots grow: Ireland,
Albania, Appalachia, Scotland, England and suburban America's mediating
geography. But he transforms his source material into an intense personal
idiom that conveys the feelings of unfortunate romance, wanderlust,
family memories and other archetypal experiences that underlie folk
expression. Chambers's music is not an anthropological exercise, however.
Far from it. He is the director of the School of Music's Electronic
Music Studios, which means this is a CD that is recorded, edited,
mixed and mastered to be a CD. As a result, no one can hear this music
and wonder if it might sound even better in person or on an LP or tape:
Be satisfied, be pleased, to know that it can't.JW.
LANDS AND POLITICAL MEANINGUsing neglected sources from the movement of organized ranchers,
Karen Merrill explores the reality of land-use struggles masked by the
mythic representations of those in so many Western movies. The federal
government owns public lands, mainly in the West, that equate in area
approximately all of the states of the eastern seaboard, including New
York and Pennsylvania. The acquisition and administration of this land
has pitted the government against ranchers who contend that they are
heirs to the pioneer-cowboy mantel and champions of free enterprise
and rugged individualism.
By Karen Merrill ’94 PhD, U. of California Press,
2002, $50 hardback.
The ranchers, however, collect, if not depend, on huge government
subsidies and also use their considerable political clout to stymie
free enterprise. Merrill, an assistant professor at Williams College,
shows how the often ignored and little understood Taylor Grazing Act
of 1934, while resolving some of the conflict over homesteading and
grazing lands, also gave rise to the “continuing battle over defining
the rights of public land ranchers and the federal government.”
What the Wagner Act of 1935 was to union and collective-bargaining
rights, the Taylor Act was to Western land use, Merrill says, yet scholars
and the public recognize the significance of the former, but rarely
explore and show little understanding of the significance of the latter.
She fills that void.
In recent years, environmentalists have entered the fray.
The result is an entwined struggle for property, or control of property,
that marks current political and ecological debates over the range,
forests and other Bureau of Land Management territories.JW.
By Jerry Harju '57, North Harbor Publishing, 2002, $12.95 paper.
This is the fourth in Harju's humorous "Northern" series
about life in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and his college days at U-M,
where he studied mechanical engineering. The stories include the author's
mother trying to learn how to drive a Model A Ford with defective steering,
the agonies of puppy love in the fourth grade (complicated by a pair
of corduroy knickers) and other yarns for readers who enjoy heartwarming
memories. More information about Harju's works are at www.jerryharju.com.
Books may be ordered by fax (906) 226-0663 or regular mail to the publisher
at 528 E. Arch St., Marquette, MI 49855.
MORE STORIES FROM THE ROUND BARN
By Jacqueline Dougan Jackson '51 MA, Northwestern U. Press, 2002, $29.95 hardcover
This is a companion volume to Jackson's earlier memoir, Stories From the Round Barn (197). Jackson, who teaches at the University of Illinois at Springfield, grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm near Beloit in the 1930s and '40s. She and her relatives kept records, correspondence and photographs that, along with her wit, keen intelligence and superb story telling, weave a family history that conveys the extraordinary happenings of seemingly ordinary life. The theologian Maynard Mack sums up the book well: "These are stories with an extra voltage … they delight all who have a proper sense of a vanishing America, the America of the small independent farm."
By Pam Cohen Kalafut '94 PhD and Jonathon Low, Perseus Publishing, 2002, hardback, $27
Forget balance sheets and profit margins. Intangibles are the means and the end to running a better business, according to Pam Cohen Kalafut and Jonathon Low. People investment, brand management and occasionally just doing the right thing the right way at the right time are but a few of the less quantifiable measures of corporate value that are nevertheless transforming the way the world does business. Kalafut and Low intend to provide the “decoder ring to the intangibles economy.”
Written under the auspices of the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Center for Business Innovation, Invisible Advantage certainly fits best as a prescription for future boardroom decisions, but Kalafut and Low solidly ground their recommendations on a multitude of contemporary and readable anecdotes that resonate equally with the New York City CEO and a shift manager on Main Street, USA. McDonald's might not have gained a quarter-pound of popularity were it not for its cheap and tasty hamburgers, but it would have gained little more had one of its partners not developed a shrewd strategy to acquire more land for new franchises. And Kalafut and Low reveal that it is the “softer issues” of cultural mixing and talent retention upon which most mergers and acquisitions founder. Page after page of this informative, accessible book, we are left with the heartening notion that the value of a corporation still has something to do with the value of the people who constitute it.Colin Seals '03
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