Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Nicaragua and the Politics of Utopia

Daniel Chavez, Vanderbilt University Press, Dec. 2015

As an impoverished state, Nicaragua has long been the scene of cyclical attempts—and failures—at modern development. In Nicaragua and the Politics of Utopia, assistant professor of Latin American and Latino studies Chavez investigates the cultural and ideological bases of what he identifies as the three decisive movements of social reinvention in Nicaragua: the regimes of the Somoza family of much of the early to mid-twentieth century; the governments of the Sandinista party; and the present-day struggle to adapt to the global market economy. Chavez spent five years conducting research for the book, an intellectual and political history of the 20th century in Nicaragua. Foreign Affairs magazine recognized Nicaragua and the Politics of Utopia as one of the best books of 2016. 


Horse Play!

"Horse Play!" book

Katie Craig ’87 & Deanna Cook, Storey Publishing, May 2016

From crafting a mini barn and pasture to sewing a pony pillow, making a shelf for model horses and coloring a pull-out poster, Horse Play! offers crafts, party ideas and activities for horse-crazy kids. Designer/art director/photographer Craig designed, styled and provided photos and illustrations for this hands-on resource, which was selected for Amazon’s 2016 Holiday Toy List and received both a Mom’s Choice Award and a National Parenting Product Award.


"Bloom Girls" cover

The Bloom Girls

Emily Cavanagh ’99, Lake Union Publishing, Mar. 2017

When the news of their father’s death reaches them, sisters Cal, Violet and Suzy Bloom set aside their own personal crises and their differences to gather in Maine. Arriving in their father’s small coastal town, the Bloom sisters can’t help but revisit the past and confront events that shattered their family nearly 20 years earlier. Writer and teacher Cavanagh’s debut novel is a tender, heartfelt story of sibling love, childhood pain and the power of forgiveness.


"Final Curtain: The DeWolfe Family in Theatre, Music and Film" cover

Final Curtain: The DeWolfe Family in Theatre, Music and Film

Richard Tappan ’67, Peter Randall Publishers, Dec. 2016

Retired English and drama teacher Tappan provides an exceptional window into the history of vaudeville and the musicians—particularly women—who provided music for the silent film era through his own family history.  Working from personal diaries, journals, scrapbooks, letters, photos and other artifacts collected primarily by his grandmother, professional musician Mabel Keyes DeWolfe, in Final Curtain Tappan pieces together an authentic picture of a bygone era.


"War Poet" cover

War Poet

Rob Jacques ’06G, Sibling Rivalry Press, Mar. 2017

A lyrical memoir of Jacques’ experience as an officer and an openly gay man in the U. S. Navy during the Vietnam era, War Poet explores complex intersections between sexuality and violence. Like the military conflicts at the heart of this collection, Jacques’ poems swing from formal rigidity to wild abandon as they explore the lives of soldiers on the front lines and at rest and in tender, often turbulent love affairs.


"Hollywood's Hawaii: Race, Nation, and War" cover

Hollywood’s Hawaii: Race, Nation, and War

Delia Konzett, Rutgers University Press, Mar. 2017

Aloha Hawaii patches

Whether presented as exotic fantasy, a strategic location during World War II or a site combining postwar leisure with military culture, Hawaii and the South Pacific figure prominently in the U.S. national imagination. In Hollywood’s Hawaii, associate professor of English Konzett offers the first full-length study of the film industry’s intense engagement with the Pacific region, highlighting films that mirror the cultural and political climate of the country over more than a century—from the era of U.S. imperialism on through Jim Crow racial segregation, the attack on Pearl Harbor and the civil rights movement to the present day.


Originally published in UNH Magazine Spring 2017 Issue