by Jonathan Gould '73 (Harmony Books)
CAN'T BUY ME LOVE by Jonathan Gould '73 (Harmony Books). Gould charts the Beatles' rise from their humble beginnings in the clubs of Liverpool and Hamburg to become one of the most popular musical groups in the world. He delves into the social background of England and America in the Fifties and Sixties, and examines why the Fab Four took the U.S. by storm with their first appearance on the "Ed Sullivan Show." Most notably, Gould's experience as a musician allows him to analyze why, in the words of composer Ned Rorem, "the Beatles are good even though everyone already knows they're good."
NIGHTLIGHT by Janine Avril '98 (Alyson Books). Avril's father was a successful chef and restaurant owner. In her junior year at Cornell, he told her he'd been diagnosed with AIDS, but claimed he didn't know how he had contracted it. During her own process of coming out, Avril discovered that her father had kept his sexuality hidden, little realizing the effect this would have on the family. "The secret that he struggled with was the same secret that I struggled with: the secret of having a need that society does not admire and furthermore vilifies."
A PERSON OF INTEREST by Susan Choi, MFA '95 (Viking). When Professor Lee survives the bomb that kills his star colleague in the next office, he becomes an unlikely hero at his university. While the authorities suspect the work of the anti-technology Brain Bomber, a letter that Lee receives makes him think that the bomb was meant for him. As Lee recalls his failures, he begins to act strangely, and soon the FBI begins to suspect him.
NO TURNING BACK by Gurdon Brewster (DeChant Hughes). In 1961, Brewster was a twenty-four-year-old student at Union Theological Seminary when he went to Atlanta to spend the summer living and working with the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. at Ebenezer Baptist Church, an experience that changed his life. The sheltered young white man was confronted with the realities of racial oppression, but he learned from "Daddy King" to open his eyes to a vision of hope for black and white. Brewster, who later served thirty-five years as Cornell's Episcopal chaplain, left Ebenezer with the sense that he had been given far more than he gave.
GLOBAL UNIONS edited by Kate Bronfenbrenner '76, PhD '93 (Cornell University Press). Labor unions are often at a disadvantage when they bargain with large, powerful transnational corporations that have minimal loyalty to any one industry, product, or country. But in this book, edited by the director of Labor Education Research at the ILR school, a group of union activists, labor lawyers, and academics argues that co-operation between unions in wealthy nations and those in poorer countries can present an effective challenge to global capitalism, saying that a "united global labor movement is the single greatest force for global social change and the single greatest hedge against the global race to the bottom when unions reach across borders to realize that potential."
THE SWORD OF VENICE by Thomas Quinn '73 (Thomas Dunne Books). In the second novel of his trilogy, Quinn sets his story against the backdrop of political machinations in Renaissance Venice. The powerful Soranzo and Ziani families must put aside their blood feud to defend the city and its fleet against threats from rival Italian city-states, the Ottoman Turks, the French, and the papacy.
TOURISTS OF HISTORY by Marita Sturken '79 (Duke University Press). A professor of culture and communication at New York University examines the role of tourism, kitsch, and consumerism in the American public's response to such traumatic events as the Oklahoma City bombing and the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. Sturken argues that consumer culture allows Americans to distance themselves from the realities of history without having to grapple with the root causes of violence.