Books, music & film

Information is provided by publishers, authors, and artists.

Skip & Go Naked
The Colgate Resolutions

Featuring seven covers of songs ranging from electronic music to ’70s soul to modern folk rock, Skip & Go Naked is the ninth studio album release from Colgate’s first co-ed a cappella group. Thirteen current students and five Class of ’13 alumni worked with producers Garrett Wilkes ’13 and Malcolm Piper ’11 to create a memorable collection of dynamic vocal harmonies. Arrangements from Wilkes and Kevin Blank ’12 promise to “take you on a sonic adventure that keeps the energy rockin’ throughout.” Stream all the tracks for free at

Sing for Life: Tin Pan Alley
Douglas Cowie ’99
(Black Hill Press)

In Sing for Life: Tin Pan Alley, Douglas Cowie drops us in the middle of New York City with a guitar slung over our shoulder. Cowie’s protagonist, Brian, explores the city’s musical milieus and quickly finds himself standing out from the crowd. As Brian’s popularity grows, so, too, does his confusion about who he is and why he is there. The quest to discover himself grows more and more complicated until Brian breaks. Picking up the pieces, it turns out, is part of the journey and all of the fun.

The Rockets’ Red Glare
John Darrin ’68 and Michael Gresalfi
(John Darrin, Inc.)

The Rockets’ Red Glare is a new thriller that depicts an alliance between al Qaeda terrorists and the domestic hate group White Aryan Resistance (WAR) — and their plot to detonate dirty bombs disguised as July Fourth fireworks over 12 American cities. Terrorism expert Cal Bellotta and computer wizard Ray Nassiri must peel away the layers of deception to reveal the conspiracy before Independence Day becomes Doomsday. John Darrin, author and radiological emergency preparedness expert, collaborated with weapons of mass destruction and terrorism expert Michael Gresalfi on this realistic vision of a terrorist attack on America.

The Last Dead Girl
Harry Dolan ’88
(Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam)

On a rainy night in April 1998, a chance encounter draws David Loogan, a crime magazine editor, into a romance with Jana Fletcher, a beautiful young law student. Jana is an enigma, living in a run-down apartment and sporting a bruise on her cheek that she refuses to explain. David would like to know her secrets, but he lets them lie — until it’s too late. When Jana is brutally murdered, the police consider David a prime suspect. But as he sets out to uncover the truth, he begins to realize that he’s treading a very dangerous path — and that her killer is watching every move he makes.

The Politics of Parenthood
Laurel Elder ’94 and Steven Greene
(SUNY Press)

In The Politics of Parenthood: Causes and Consequences of the Politicization and Polarization of the American Family, Laurel Elder and Steven Greene look at the political impact of having and raising children. Using a comprehensive array of both quantitative and qualitative analyses, Elder and Greene systematically reveal how the very personal act of raising a family shapes the political attitudes of Americans on a range of important policy issues. The authors document how political parties, presidential candidates, and the news media have politicized parenthood and the family over the last several decades. This evolution, they say, reflects fundamental shifts in American society and the structure of the American family. Elder and  Greene are both associate professors of political science, at Hartwick College and North Carolina State University, respectively.

If All I Had to Do Was Coach
Brad Hackett ’83
(Coaches Choice Publishing)

In If All I Had to Do Was Coach, Muhlenberg College’s track and field coach Brad Hackett looks at his 30 years of coaching Division I, Division III, and Olympic-level athletes. He also shares anecdotes about the trials and tribulations of his work: equipment failures, facility issues, drug tests, NCAA rules, and recruiting. One humorous incident involves a 54-inch snowstorm,  Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome roof being let down, former Governor Mario Cuomo, the National Guard, and 5,000 people trapped in a field house. Hackett was an assistant coach at Colgate for two years before coaching at Bucknell University and Syracuse University.

Mexico’s Once and Future Revolution: Social Upheaval and the Challenge of Rule Since the Late Nineteenth Century
Gilbert M. Joseph ’69 and Jürgen Buchenau
(Duke University Press)

In this historical analysis of the Mexican Revolution, Gilbert M. Joseph and Jürgen Buchenau discuss the revolution’s causes, dynamics, consequences, and legacies. The authors consider various perspectives, including those of campesinos and workers; politicians, artists, intellectuals, and students; women and men; the well-heeled, the dispossessed, and the multitude in the middle. In the process, they ask questions about the revolution that address the modernization of the economy and political system. Rather than conceiving of the revolution as either the culminating popular struggle of Mexico’s history or the triumph of a new (not so revolutionary) state over the people, the authors examine the textured process through which state and society shaped each other.

12 String Horizons
Jason Kessler ’75

In 12 String Horizons, classical guitarist Jason Kessler experiments with alternate tunings and unusual compositions on the 12-string guitar. “Kessler’s command of an instrument that takes both extreme skill and physical discipline is astounding,” wrote a Syracuse New Times review. Some of what he accomplished on the album — which was recorded live with no overdubbing — has never been done before. For example, Kessler believes he is the first one to ever play “Aerial Boundaries” by Michael Hedges, on the 12-string.

Son of a Mermaid
Katie Flohr O’Sullivan ’87
(Crescent Moon Press)

In this new young adult novel, 15-year-old Shea MacNamara’s life has become complicated after a freak tornado devastated his Oklahoma farm. Now orphaned, he moves to Cape Cod to live with a grandmother he’s never met. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he meets a girl along the shore who changes his life forever. Kae belongs to a hidden undersea world where there is a war between clans. The planned marriage of a princess to a foreign king should put an end to the war, but two things stand in the way: an ambitious regent and rumors of a half-human child who will save the oceans. Sparks fly when Kae meets Shea — but could the cute drylander really be the son of a mermaid?

Also of note:
In the children’s book Watts and the Flashlight (Larch Press) by Gaston Blom ’41 — the sequel to Watts and the Nightlight — Henry sets out to uncover the mystery of his mother’s missing earring with the help of an imaginary character named Watts who lives in a flashlight bulb.

In August, the journal Critical Studies on Security (Routledge) published an issue based on papers from a workshop that Professor Jacob Mundy organized at Colgate in March 2012. The two-day peace and conflict studies workshop, titled Wars Beyond War: Mass Violence in an Age of Terror, Catastrophe, and the Responsibility to Protect, brought international scholars to campus.

Spearheaded by Thomas Vincent ’53, The 21st Century Colgate Song Book features 21 arrangements of 15 established Colgate songs for piano and voice. With a foreword by Oscar Hammerstein III (husband of the daughter of F. Wilson Staub ’53), the book also features a review of Colgate musical heritage, information about well-known Colgaters like Lloyd Huntley ’24, and profiles of the song authors, composers, and contributors. In addition, there are photos of campus scenes and events, with lyric passages. The book is now available at the
Colgate Bookstore.

In the media

“As a woman, she is someone I look up to.”
        — When Hillary Clinton visited Colgate in October, Charity Whyte ’16 told the Daily Beast about meeting Clinton when she came to her first-grade class in Greenville, Ill., in 2001. That visit, she said, inspired her to go to college.

“Get in sync nonverbally with the other person — it’s much easier to agree with someone if you’re on the same wavelength.”
        — Psychology professor Caroline Keating talks to about using body language to influence co-workers
“Young people, like those here today, often tell me that their peers have given up on government. They roll their eyes when you talk about the political system.”
        — Sociology professor emeritus Joan Mandle, during a meeting of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption Moreland Commission, as reported by (Albany)

“The Syrian crisis offers a hugely important test of the moral doctrine embodied in just war theory, which has for centuries been an invaluable factor limiting the destructive potential of war.”
        — Philosophy professor David McCabe, in the Huffington Post

“Democracy brings its own set of threats and vulnerabilities to the good governance cause.”
        — Political science professor and anti-corruption expert Michael Johnston telling the Thomson Reuters Foundation that he does not think democracy is necessarily required for good governance.

“Within one hour, my bed was made, Springsteen posters covered the walls, my parents were headed home, and the stereo system was cranking.”
         — Dean of first-year students Beverly Low blogged about her first day of college on the Huffington Post