Shelf Life

The Cyanide Canary, A Story of Injustice: One Man Caused It, One Man Fought It,
One Man's Life Was Destroyed by It

Joseph Hilldorfer and Robert Dugoni, ’84
Free Press, 2004
$26

Environmental crimes are rarely punished with jail time. This is the gripping account of an exception involving a ruthless entrepreneur who for a decade polluted Idaho with toxic waste unchecked. A horrific, preventable accident causing near-fatal brain damage to a worker prompted a relentless investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency’s special agent Hilldorfer. Dugoni is a writer and former civil litigator.

 
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Harley and Davidson Family Recipes: Celebrating 100 Years of Home Cooking
Margo Manning and Carol Lange, ’58
Ten Speed Press, 2004
$16.95

Granddaughters of the legendary motorcycle makers, Lange (of the Davidson clan) and Manning (of the Harleys) offer 100 family favorites. These range from Great-Grandma Harley’s Irish soda bread to the Davidsons’ traditional birthday dessert to the exotic Blue Motorcycle cocktail featuring five different spirits. Old family photos and company memorabilia are icing on the cake.

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The Colonel and the Pacifist: Karl Bendetsen, Perry Saito and the Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II
Klancy Clark de Nevers, ’55
U. of Utah Press, 2004
$21.95

Bendetsen, ’29, JD ’32, was instrumental in planning and executing the internment of West Coast Japanese; Saito was one of that policy’s victims. Ironically, the two men came from the same hometown—Aberdeen, Wash.—and de Nevers, an independent historian also from Aberdeen, shows how their lives diverged and intersected.

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Lot's Daughters: Sex, Redemption and Women's Quest for Authority
Robert Polhemus
Stanford U. Press, 2005
$29.95

The Stanford English professor looks at relationships of daughters with fathers, or father figures, and coins the term “Lot Complex” for attraction between young females and older males. Surveying famous figures from Lewis Carroll’s Alice to Monica Lewinsky, Polhemus controversially argues that incestuous urges are ingrained in Western tradition and can have an empowering effect on women.

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Closing the Chart: A Dying Physician Examines Family, Faith and Medicine
Steven Hsi, ’77, with Jim Belshaw and Beth Corbin-Hsi
U. of New Mexico Press, 2004
$23.95

Through his own illness, the author experienced the frustrations of patients over the failings of his profession. His journals describe insights into medical practice as well as the ways disease affects spiritual and family life. Hsi died in 1999 at age 44; his wife and journalist Belshaw completed his planned book project.

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The Devil in Silicon Valley: Northern California, Race and Mexican Americans
Steven J. Pitti, PhD ’98
Princeton U. Press, 2004
$19.95

By chronicling Mexican-Americans’ experiences in Santa Clara County—and their contributions to its development—the author aims to counter the preoccupation of other writers with the valley’s more celebrated high-tech players. Pitti, an assistant professor of history at Yale, argues that racism has long been Silicon Valley’s defining feature.

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Prep
Curtis Sittenfeld, ’97
Random House, 2005
$24.95

At age 16, Sittenfeld won Seventeen magazine’s fiction contest; this is her first novel. It’s a coming-of-age story told by protagonist Lee Fiora, a middle-class girl from South Bend, Ind., thrust into an elite New England boarding school. In her narrative of adolescents grappling with sex, race and the foibles of different socioeconomic classes, Fiora emerges as a funny, poignant and perceptive character.

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Access to Justice
Deborah L. Rhode
Oxford U. Press, 2004
$29.95

Stanford law professor Rhode blasts the U.S. legal system for not living up to its promise of “equal justice for all.” Her amply documented study concludes there is “too much law for those who can afford it and too little for everyone else.” One prescription: beef up pro bono activity—Rhode’s national survey showed the average lawyer donates less than a half hour weekly and 50 cents a day.

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Not Really an Alaskan Mountain Man
Doug Fine, ’92
Alaska Northwest Books, 2004
$16.95

In 1998, freelance journalist and world traveler Fine moved from New York to backwoods Alaska and got closer to nature than he’d bargained for. He relates his adventures learning to cope with chainsaws, frostbite and all the skills that distinguish a real mountain man from a cheechako (greenhorn).