Off the Shelf

The View from Nebo: How Archaeology Is Rewriting the Bible and Reshaping the Middle East, by Amy Dockser Marcus '87 (Little, Brown, $25.95)...

The View from Nebo: How Archaeology Is Rewriting the Bible and Reshaping the Middle East, by Amy Dockser Marcus '87 (Little, Brown, $25.95). While she was a Wall Street Journal correspondent in the Middle East from 1991 to 1998, Marcus did the research for this engaging amalgam of Biblical scholarship, archaeology, history, and politics. The pyramids, she reports, probably weren't built by Israelites, and perhaps not even by slaves.

 

The Life and Work of Martin Johnson Heade: A Critical Analysis and Catalogue Raisonné, by Theodore E. Stebbins Jr., J.D. '64, Ph.D. '71, with the assistance of Janet L. Comey and Karen E. Quinn (Yale University Press, $75). All of Heade's 620 known paintings are reproduced here, 70 of them in color, including several of his lush studies of orchids with attendant hummingbirds.

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Blue Fairways: Three Months, Sixty Courses, No Mulligans, by Charles Slack '83 (Holt, $23). Slack left his pregnant wife at home and went off to conduct research for this book, playing public golf courses from the potato fields of Maine to Hemingway country in Key West. He describes his ordeal as a journey of discovery and a tribute to new beginnings, standing on the first tee of a different course with new partners every morning. (He and his wife are still married.)

 

Moth Smoke, by Mohsin Hamid, J.D. '97 (Farrar Straus and Giroux, $23). An admirable first novel portrays young people in a dissolute, drug-infused, violent, fundamentalist, and sometimes comic contemporary Pakistan.

 

Scenes from the End: The Last Days of World War II in Europe, by Frank E. Manuel '30, Ph.D. '33 (Steerforth Press, $20). Professor John Kenneth Galbraith calls this "a truly informed, wholly compelling account of those intense and often terrible days. What one only partially senses is here brilliantly told. There has never been and certainly never will be anything like it--a superb first-hand recapture of the scene after 55 years. No one should miss it."

 

The Mind of the Market: Spiritual Lessons for the Active Investor, by F.J. Chu, M.B.A. '80 (Fraser Publishing Company, $24). Chu is founder and president of an investment management concern and a bit of a Zen monk: "The mind of the market is possessed by a transcendent intelligence and a compelling logic, although it reveals itself to us in elusive and paradoxical ways. It may bring forth the best and the worst in our nature, but it promises profound lessons for those who work to understand it, both financially in our investments and spiritually in the conduct of our lives."

 

Charles Eliot, Landscape Architect, by Charles W. Eliot, A.B. 1853, M.D. (hon.) '09, former president of the University, with an introduction by Keith N. Morgan (University of Massachusetts Press, $50). Less celebrated today than his partner and colleague Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., Charles Eliot, A.B. 1882, was nonetheless a major force in his profession. (And he planted the sycamores along Memorial Drive.) His father wrote this detailed biography, first published in 1902, a few years after his son's death at 38 from spinal meningitis.

 

Death of a Hornet, and Other Cape Cod Essays, by Robert Finch '65 (Counterpoint, $23). Whether he is considering a "natural adventure" involving a hornet caught in a spider's web, or the fragility of the Cape's environment, Finch observes closely and writes agreeably. His publisher, regrettably, employs rather small type.

 

The New Modernist in World Architecture, by Patricia M. Snibbe and Richard W. Snibbe, Ds '41 (McGraw-Hill, $79.95). The authors celebrate modernist architecture, mostly in pictures, and say that it prospers throughout the world, except possibly in the United States.

 

In the South of France, photographs and text by Don Krohn, J.D. '87 (Godine, $45). "O for a beaker full of the warm South...," sighed John Keats. Krohn has captured it nicely in both his chosen media.

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The Hatch and Brood of Time: Five Phelps Families in the Atlantic World, 1720-1880, by Peter Haring Judd '53 (Newbury Street Press, an imprint of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, $40). Judd blends history and genealogy in a well-crafted book about worthy members of the New World gentry.

 

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