Posted on Mar 30, 2006

James Baar ‘49
Ultimate Severance
Flim-flam artists, captains of industry, Wall Street piranhas, impatient mobsters, spinmeisters, and assorted mountebanks abound in Ultimate Severance, a satirical novel that serves as a public relations guidebook to the reality of spin and humbuggery in the 21st century.
With the end of the War on Terror through the accidental launch of new “lite'n kleen” nukes, a culture of euphoria, ethical and social impairment, and calls for numerous peace dividends is again in fashion. Clearly an environment of business opportunity for financially bleeding Trotter Pugg Mitchell, a world PR giant, and its clients, such as Old Masters Originals, a maker of “limited edition” reproduction art. And when the agency teams up with Mob Boss Joey Lasagna to abet dicey corporate megamergers, they provide Wall Street raiders with a new quick-fix ultimate severance package: an innovative Corporate Governance Program powered by Trotter's new “language of happiness.”
James Baar is a writer, international corporate communications consultant and software developer, blogger, former business executive and Washington journalist, and sometime college lecturer. He is the author of an earlier satirical novel on business and public affairs, The Great Free Enterprise Gambit; Spinspeak II: The Dictionary of Language Pollution; four books on politics and technology; and a forthcoming collection of short stories, The Real Thing and Other Tales. His initial foray into lexicography, The Careful Voters Dictionary of Language Pollution (Understanding Willietalk and Other Spinspeak), was written as an “act of penance” for earlier contributions to the Art of High Spin. Baar, who majored in philosophy at Union, currently lives in Providence, R.I., with wife and their dog, Fred the Affenpinscher.
Warren F.
Broderick ‘71
Introduction to 2005 edition Granville Hicks' Small Town
Fordham University Press
Granville Hicks was one of America's most influential literary and social critics. Along with Malcolm Cowley, F.O. Matthiessen, Max Eastman, Alfred Kazin, and others, he shaped the cultural landscape of 20th-century America.
In 1946 Hicks published Small Town, a portrait of life in the rural crossroads of Grafton, N.Y., where he had moved after being fired from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for his left-wing political views. In this book, he combines a kind of hand-crafted ethnographic research with personal reflections on the qualities of small town life that were being threatened by spreading cities and suburbs. He eloquently tried to define the essential qualities of small town community life and to link them to the best features of American culture. The book sparked numerous articles and debates in a baby-boom America nervously on the move.
Long out of print, this classic of cultural criticism speaks powerfully to a new generation seeking to reconnect with a sense of place in American life, both rural and urban.  
Warren F. Broderick is an archivist for the New York State Archives in Albany and writes on local, American literary, and Native American history. He lives in Lansingburgh, N.Y., not far from Grafton.
Don Dulchinos '78
Neurosphere: The Convergence of Evolution, Group Mind, and the Internet
Unitarian Universalist Association
According to Donald Dulchinos, the real action on the Internet isn't in the realm of commerce. It is, plain and simple, in the realm of religion. But not exactly that old-time religion. This book is about the spiritual impact of our increasing ability to communicate quickly and with enhanced evolution. It's about our search for meaning, our hunger for a glimpse at humanity's future development in which-frighteningly or excitingly-the trend is clearly toward increasing integration of telecommunications and information technology with the body itself. Electronic prosthetics, direct neural implants, and the brain's control of electronic and mechanical limbs move the boundary that used to exist between human and machine to some undefined frontier inside our bodies, our brains, and, perhaps, our minds.
Dulchinos traces ideas of evolution, anthropology, biology, and theology-all of which point toward a betterment, a unity-and argues that these ideas find their embodiment in the technology of the World Wide Web.
Although other books on new technology and new consciousness touch on many of the ideas in Neurosphere, none do so in quite such a straightforward, logical way. Dulchinos has a way of telling personal stories that make the technical accessible to the dreamer, the spiritual comprehensible to the skeptic, and the future of body technology less fear-inducing to everyone.
Donald P. Dulchinos has spent the last 15 years working in various aspects of cable television. He has been involved in online network communities for at least that long, as a charter member of the Boulder Community Network, and an early, active member and conference host on The Well, an electronic community. He has written two books on consciousness and spirituality, Pioneer of Inner Space: The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow, Hasheesh Eater and Forbidden Sacraments: The Survival of Shamanism in Western Civilization.