Book Notes

Ballistics: Poems

Billy Collins '63

In his newest collection of poems, Ballistics: Poems (Random House), two-term U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins ’63 touches on an array of subjects—love, death, solitude, youth and aging—and delves deeper than ever before. Drawing inspiration from the world around him, Collins strives to find truth in the smallest detail while providing a moving and yet playful take on life. According to The Christian Science Monitor, “Collins reveals the unexpected within the ordinary. He peels back the surface of the humdrum to make the moment new.”

A distinguished professor of English at Lehman College, Bronx, N.Y., Collins was U.S. Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003.


The Executive Action Handbook

Eric T. Rippert '64

In The Executive Action Handbook (Fidler Doubleday Press), Eric T. Rippert ’64 explores the concepts of leadership, character, effectiveness and excellence. The volume is comprised of meaningful insights and quotes from noted leaders—from Lao Tzu to Vince Lombardi—paired with Rippert’s commentary. In presenting the wisdom of leaders throughout the world, past and present, Rippert aims to inspire thought and action in those currently handling leadership roles.

Rippert is a retired U.S. Navy officer and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.


The Faith We Profess: A Catholic Guide to the Apostles' Creed

Monsignor Peter J. Vaghi '70

In The Faith We Profess: A Catholic Guide to the Apostles’ Creed (Ave Maria Press), Monsignor Peter J. Vaghi ’70 examines the Apostles’ Creed as both a treasury of faith and an invitation to entrust oneself more completely to God. Monsignor Vaghi, a noted pastor and teacher, provides a simple introduction to Catholicism, blending sound Catholic teaching with Scripture, the wisdom of the saints, literature and personal anecdotes. With 12 chapters corresponding to the 12 articles of the Creed, this guide offers a fast-paced tour of the Catholic faith and also provides questions for reflection and prayer.

Monsignor Vaghi is pastor of The Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, Md., and a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.


On the Presidency: Teacher, Soldier, Shaman, Pol

Thomas E. Cronin '61

Among the many titles on his resume, author Thomas E. Cronin ’61 can list “Beltway insider” with firm gusto. A White House Fellow in the mid 1960s, the political institute veteran has also run for Congress. So Cronin is acutely prepared to offer his latest work, On the Presidency: Teacher, Soldier, Shaman, Pol (Paradigm Press), a study of America’s presidents. With a keen eye for their human flaws, Cronin has written a book for readers “searching for a richer, more nuanced understanding of the modern American presidency.” By providing a history of the American presidency from George Washington to George W. Bush, Cronin gives us a glimpse of presidents future through the lens of presidents past.

Cronin, author or editor of 10 books on politics and government, is the McHugh Professor of American Institutions and Leadership at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. He is president emeritus of Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.


Sacraments: Revelation of the Humanity of God

Edited by Philippe Bordeyne and Rev. Bruce T. Morrill, S.J., ’81

With Sacraments: Revelation of the Humanity of God (The Liturgical Press), editors Philippe Bordeyne and Rev. Bruce T. Morrill, S.J., ’81 illuminate the work of noted French priest and scholar Louis-Marie Chauvet, whose studies on sacramental-liturgical theology are considered some of the most energizing in the field. With a finger on Chauvet’s six veins of thought—including fundamental theology, ecclesiology and the theological anthropology of symbolism—the editors corral the additional work of leading thinkers who test Chauvet’s theories in the face of new challenges for the church in the modern world.

Fr. Morrill is associate professor and graduate program director in the theology department at Boston College.


Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment

Edited by Peter Emanuel, Kakoli Niyogi and Jason W. Roos ’96

After September 11 and the anthrax attacks of 2001, the danger of a large-scale biological terrorist attack became real. Sampling for Biological Agents in the Environment (ASM Press), edited by Peter Emanuel, Kakoli Niyogi and Jason W. Roos ’96, compiles the information and techniques essential to proper response to a biological attack. Real-world incidents provide the context for instructions on how to establish a containment area, structure a sampling operation and acquire samples of the threat agent. This text combines the disparate expertise of government policy experts, first responders, hazardous material personnel and leading scientists into a clear, accessible resource.

Roos is the director of the Critical Reagents Program, a component of the Department of Defense (DoD); in this capacity, he is responsible for the development and distribution of biological defense test kits and materials used throughout the DoD and federal government.


Social Cognition: Development, Neuroscience and Autism

Edited by Tricia M. Striano ’95 and Vincent Reid

In the past decade, our understanding of how humans process and interpret each other’s actions has increased due to groundbreaking research in the fields of cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology and autism. Social Cognition: Development, Neuroscience and Autism (Wiley-Blackwell), edited by Tricia M. Striano ’95 and Vincent Reid, is the first volume to fully integrate these areas of cutting-edge research on social cognition through contributions from some of the world’s foremost experts in all three disciplines. With sections dedicated to the many facets of this research, including social cognition during infancy, this work provides valuable new insights on how we think and learn.

Striano is associate professor of psychology at Hunter College in New York.


Sugata Saurabha: An Epic Poem from Nepal on the Life of the Buddha

Chittadhar Hrdaya
Edited by Todd Lewis and Subarna Man Tuladhar

With Sugata Saurabha: An Epic Poem from Nepal on the Life of the Buddha (Harvard Oriental Series/Harvard University Press), editors Todd Lewis and Subarna Man Tuladhar provide the English translation to the poem written in the Nepalese language Newari. Composed by Chittadhar Hrdaya while imprisoned by the autocratic Rana regime, Sugata Saurabha tells the life of Buddha within the context of Newar and Nepali Buddhism and conveys his basic teachings with simple clarity. It is considered one of the best-known works of modern Newari literature to emerge after the restrictions of the Rana regime were lifted in 1950—and it may be the last to conform to the traditions of Indic classic poetry. Oxford University Press will publish a popular edition this summer in its International Classics series.

Lewis is professor of world religions at the College.