“The Accidental President,” “Creditworthy” and Other Books of Note


Tuesday, November 28, 2017
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The Accidental President book cover

The Accidental President

A.J. Baime ’94, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Oct. 2017

Harry S. Truman had no college degree and had never governed a state or served as mayor of a city when he became president of the United States in the final days of World War II. Chosen as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s fourth-term vice president for his work ethic, good judgment and everyman likeability, Truman was thrust into the presidency following Roosevelt’s illness and sudden death at a pivotal moment in the United States’ — and the world’s — history. “The Accidental President” is a portrait of Truman’s first four months in office, a breathtakingly action-packed stretch that saw the collapse of Nazi Germany and the liberation of the Nazi death camps, the founding of the United Nations, the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the dawn of the Cold War and the beginning of the nuclear arms race. New York Times bestselling author Baime takes readers into the situation room with Truman during these tumultuous, history-making months, when impossibly high stakes were exceeded only by Truman’s improbably adroit and unifying performance in the country’s most powerful office.

 

Creditworthy: A History of Consumer Surveillance and Financial Identity in America

Creditworthy book cover

Josh Lauer, Columbia University Press, July 2017

Billed as the first comprehensive history of the American institution of credit reporting, associate professor of media studies Lauer’s “Creditworthy” sheds light on the rise of the modern consumer data industry and its central role in creating the “modern surveillance society.” Lauer traces the path from the financial panic of 1837, which prompted entrepreneur Lewis Tappan to launch the first credit-reporting company, to the emergence of credit bureaus Experian, Equifax and TransUnion as three of the most powerful institutions in modern life, tracking our movements, spending behavior and financial status. It’s a rigorous look at the intersection between creditworthiness and other measures of citizens’ “worth” that takes on even greater resonance following the massive data security breach announced by Equifax in September.

 

Ghettos, Tramps, and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen

Ghettos, Tramps, and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen

Stephen Pimpare, Oxford University Press, June 2017

Pimpare, a nationally recognized expert on poverty and homelessness, takes on American movies from the silent era to today to examine how poor and homeless people are portrayed on the silver screen. “Ghettos, Tramps and Welfare Queens” looks at nearly 300 films released between 1902 and 2014 to consider whether cinematic descriptions of homelessness and poverty have changed over time and if there are patterns that can be identified. A lecturer in UNH Manchester’s politics and society program and a faculty fellow and professor in the master’s in public policy program at Durham’s Carsey School of Public Policy, Pimpare brings his expertise to bear on provocative questions about why these portrayals are as they are, and whether they are a reflection of American attitudes and policies toward marginalized people — or if they in fact help create them.

 

The Old Mainer and the Sea

The Old Mainer and the Sea

Jean Thyng Flahive ’69, Islandport Press, Oct. 2017

In Mainer Flahive’s sixth book for young readers, Eben York sets out on his daily fishing trip, rowing six miles from his Chebeague Island home toward Portland Harbor, hauling in cod as he goes. But a porpoise tangles his lines, fog rolls in and an accident leads to a broken oar. Lonely, tired and adrift, the old fisherman is on the verge of giving up when rescue comes in an unexpected form in this allegorical tale about the nature of hope and deliverance.

 

Dive In! Immersion in Science Practices for High School Students

Dive In! Immersion in Science Practices for High School Students

Karen Graham, Lara Gengarelly, Barbara Hopkins & Melissa Lombard, National Science Teachers Association Press, April 2017

What is it really like to plunge into the world of science learning and teaching? UNH faculty members Graham, Gengarelly and Lombard teamed up with Hopkins of the New Hampshire Department of Education to provide the answer to that question, which grew out of a project to promote active learning and the use of science practices in the classroom following 2011’s national Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards. Detailed vignettes, field-tested learning activities and a science practice integration toolkit provide teachers with resources that will enable them to help students shift from only knowing about science to actually investigating and making sense of it.

 

Red Sox vs. Braves in Boston: The Battle for Fans’ Hearts 1901–1952

Red Sox vs. Braves in Boston: The Battle for Fans’ Hearts 1901–1952

Charlie Bevis ’75, McFarland Press, Oct. 2017

For the first half of the 20th century, Boston was home to two Major League Baseball teams, the Red Sox and the Braves. A study of the two teams’ period of coexistence and competition for fan allegiance, “Red Sox vs. Braves in Boston” presents an analysis of the local fan base through trends in transportation, communication, geography, population and employment. Tracing the pendulum of fan preference between the two teams over five distinct time periods, Bevis — an adjunct professor of English at Rivier University and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and the author of several previous baseball books — makes the case for why the Red Sox remained in Boston and the Braves moved to Milwaukee.

 

Claire & Charlie: An Unlikely Love Story in War

Claire & Charlie: An Unlikely Love Story in War

Warren Watson ’73, Hilltop 30 Publishers, Nov. 2017

New Yorker Charlie Watson and New Hampshire farm girl Claire St. Cyr were both the children of immigrants seeking a better life in the United States, and were among the many thousands of war couples who found themselves separated during World War II. Maine journalist Warren Watson takes on immigration, world war and the erosion of French-Canadian culture in New England through the lens of his parents’ love story, which began in the closing months of the war and continued until their deaths just before the new millennium. “Claire and Charlie” is a deep dive into one family’s roots, and an examination of the role of immigration in shaping not only the Watson family, but America as a whole.

 

Originally published in UNH Magazine Winter 2018 Issue

 

This article is part of the series:

UNH Magazine Winter 2018 cover
Featuring 50 years of UNH’s volunteer ambulance corps, Pulitzer Prize winner Michael D’Antonio ’77 and the latest on CELEBRATE 150: The Campaign for UNH