Posted on Aug 1, 1999

The Union Bookshelf regularly features new books written by alumni authors and other members of the Union community. If you're an author and would like to be included in a future issue, please send us a copy of the book as well as your publisher's news release. Our address is Office of Communications, Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. 12308-3169.

James Baar '49

James Baar, author of Understanding Willietalk and Other Spinspeak, says, “You probably thought you once knew the meaning of formerly straightforward words and phrases such as 'sexual relations,' 'process,' and 'customer care,' but that is no longer so. From the White House to the school house, manipulators of once common-sense language are seeking to obscure the negative and enhance the undesirable.” Baar, a veteran public relations executive who lives in Providence, R.I., helps with such definitions as ethnic language competence (“incapacity to speak English”), wiggle room (“cutespeak for speaking with forked tongue”), and deeconstruction (“political rewriting of history to position the losers as the winners”). Baar believes that language pollution should be identified and exposed. His book, an Internet publication by 1stbooks Library, is available at

Steven Zuckerman '62

New Cliches for the 21st Century is chock-full of “Zuckerisms,” from Steve's experiences as a medical doctor to thoughts on his Jewishness. For example: “When my ninety-year-old patients ask me, 'How'm I doing, Doc?', I say, 'You're above ground, aren't you?' ” and, “The most powerful tool for enhancing communication is the appropriate and frequent use of the words 'Thank you.' ” Zuckerman, who has lived in Minneapolis for the past twenty-six years, returns to his native New York frequently to keep his Brooklynese alive and well. The book is available by contacting Zuckerman at

Robert Skloot '63

Robert Skloot, a professor in the Department of Theatre and Drama and the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, drags us into a survivor's hellish memories in the second edition of The Theatre of the Holocaust, a collection of plays by Roy Kift, Leeny Sack, Bernard Kops, Donald Margulies, George Steiner and Howard Brenton. A sample: “In the cattle car she gave the Ukrainian guard her jewelry, her dowry, the last material possessions for a cup of water. 'Give it to me first,' he said. She didn't think he'd bring it, but he did … People write about the camps but they don't know anything. If you weren't there, you can't know ….” Skloot also serves as an associate vice chancellor for academic affairs with a special interest in undergraduate education. This book is available from University of Wisconsin Press at

Steven Glazer '85

Steven Glazer, who lives with his wife and daughter in Patagonia, Ariz., has been an elementary educator, arts administrator, school director, and co-founder of two educational organizations. For his first book, he has collected the thoughts and writings of such important teachers and spiritual leaders as the Dalai Lama, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, and others in The Heart of Learning. The essays give thoughts on how learning can be much more than an intellectual process and provide inspiration and practical insights for infusing today's classrooms with spirit and passion.

Paul Peter Jesep '86

Paul Peter Jesep's most recent accomplishment, Rockingham Park 1933-1969, is the tale of the glory days of gambling in New Hampshire. Specifically, it's the story of Lou Smith and his wife, Lutza. Lou brought gambling to New Hampshire and, whether or not one liked the idea of gambling on horses, his racetrack brought revenues of more than $100 million to the state's general fund. Smith used his gains to distribute millions of dollars to charities through the Lou and Lutza Smith Charitable Foundation, which supported the publication of this book. Jesep, a resident of Portsmouth, N.H., is a freelance writer and political commentator on local and national issues. His first and second books, Lady — Ghost of the Isles of Shoals and A December Gift from the Shoals, introduce children to New England folklore while underscoring the importance of faith, friendship, and persistence. Both were illustrated by John Bowdren, and both were published by Seacoast Publications of New England.

Melissa Stewart '90

A senior editor of the science division at Grolier Children's Publishing, Melissa Stewart '90 has two new books. In Life Without Light, A Journey to Earth's Dark Ecosystems, the author looks at the amazing environments and incredible array of living things found in the sea, in caves, and aquifers, and far below Earth's surface. Geared for ages fifteen and above, the book asks the question, “Could some of these bizarre creatures help us understand how life arose on Earth and possibly on other worlds?” Science in Ancient India, for ages ten through twelve, credits ancient Indians for their basic understanding of gravity and atomic theory, the origins of yoga, some modern drugs, surgical techniques, and the development of the system of counting we use today. This book is part of a series on the examination of science in other cultures.

Stewart has been writing about science and health on a freelance basis for almost ten years.

Lawrence Hollander
Lawrence Hollander, the former dean of engineering at Union, has collaborated with several other authors to produce the Handbook of Electric Power Calculations, Second Edition. The book is a “how-to” for calculation procedures to solve more than 300 commonly encountered problems. Hollander created sections on “DC Motors and Generators,” “Single Phase Motors,” “Electric Power Networks,” and “Short Circuit Computations.” The handbook is published by McGraw Hill. Hollander retired as dean in June 1993.