Yale Bulletin and Calendar

November 22, 2002|Volume 31, Number 12|Two-Week Issue














In his new book, political scientist Ray C. Fair shows how the tools of his field can be used to make predictions about elections and events in everyday life.

Yale Books in Brief

The following is a list of books recently or soon-to-be published by members of the Yale community. Descriptions are based on material provided by the publishers.

To submit information about books for this column, send e-mail to opa@yale.edu.

Redesigning the American Dream: Gender, Housing, and Family Life
Dolores Hayden, professor of architecture and American studies
(W.W. Norton)

First published in 1984, "Redesigning the American Dream" is a critique of suburban space. In her newly revised book, Dolores Hayden explores the housing patterns that perpetuate Victorian stereotypes of the home as "woman's place" and the city as "man's world," and she argues that this "architecture of gender" carries personal and social costs for the two-earner family, the single-parent family and single people. She traces three models of home in historical perspective to document innovative alternatives for reconstructing neighborhoods. The New York Times Book Review has said of the book, "Many of us are rich in private space but wretchedly poor in ideas about how to shelter two-income families and single-parent households in which at least one parent works a double day. This timely and imaginative book does a soul good."

Predicting Presidential Elections and Other Things
Ray C. Fair, professor of economics
(Stanford University Press)

Economist Ray Fair, who has received notoriety for his model for predicting the outcomes of presidential elections, shows in this book how diverse events can be explained using the tools of the social sciences and statistics. Fair illustrates for the lay person ways these tools can be applied to matters of everyday life, ranging from forecasting an election to appraising the quality of a vintage wine to predicting interest and inflation. Readers can use his step-by-step tutorial on the seven basic tools of his trade to foretell a course grade from the number of classes a student has skipped or to predict the speed of a marathon runner. Robert M. Solow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology described the book by saying, "Just follow Ray Fair through the neat and interesting examples in this clearly written, serious, but unpretentious book. He will show you that there is not only life after statistics, but there is life during statistics."

The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past
John Lewis Gaddis, the Robert A. Lovell Professor of Military and Naval History
(Oxford University Press)

In this short book, John Lewis Gaddis answers such questions as: What is history and why should we study it? Is there such a thing as historical truth? Is history a science? He points out that like cartographers mapping landscapes, historians represent what they can never replicate. In doing so, they combine the techniques of artists, geologists, paleontologists and evolutionary biologists, among others. Gaddis also shows how the historian's craft differs from that of the social scientists, whose constant search for the independent variable to forecast the future, he claims, is less scientific than historians' fusing of fact and imagination. "Employing a wide range of metaphors (from Cleopatra's nose to Napolean's underwear), displaying an extensive knowledge of current thinking in mathematics, physics and evolutionary biology, alluding to figures as disparate as Lee Harvey Oswald, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Lennon and John Malkovich, Gaddis guides us on a genial trip into the historical method and the imagination that informs it," wrote Kirkus Reviews of the book.

In the Deep Heart's Core
Michael Johnston, Law School student
(Grove Press)

In 1997, after graduating from Yale College, Michael Johnston began his two-year assignment for Teach for America, a program that assists schools in some of the nation's most impoverished areas. Truancy, sexual promiscuity and aggression were just some of the problems of students in his Greenville, Mississippi, high school classroom. In "In the Deep Heart's Core," Johnston portrays the hopes, fears and hardships of the students in this all-black school, and describes his own discoveries about teaching students whom, he wrote, have been through "more funerals than honor roll assemblies." Publishers Weekly commented, "What makes Johnston's account noteworthy is his ability to move beyond making generalizations about impoverished schools and students. Rather, he takes readers into the constricted and often doomed lives of individuals... ."

Stars and Other Signs
Marie Borroff, Sterling Professor Emeritus of English
(Yale University Press )

"Stars and Other Signs" is a collection of poems written by Marie Borroff over a period of 50 years. The poems address such subjects as solitude, star-gazing, the passage of time and old age, and describe scenes from the author's Connecticut and Maine landscapes. Poet J.D. McClatchy, editor of The Yale Review, said of Borroff's collection: "Her work recalls those masters, from Sappho to Frost, who are wise to the world. Her wisdom, shaped by an exhilarating technical virtuosity, both questions and consoles. Her poems are built to last, in the memory and in the heart."


Trustee launches book club for city youths

Gilliss reappointed as dean of the School of Nursing

Fossil named in honor of Yale scientist

Zedillo seeks to make globalization more 'inclusive'

Grant supports Divinity School's participation in . . .

Gift boosts collaboration in plant research


In Focus: Yale Library

Olmos argues for more cultural pride but less racial division

Panel to explore relationship between media and . . .

Dr. Orvan Hess, who helped develop fetal heart monitor, dies at 96

Fun begets benefits for New Haven charities

Model Student

Yale Books in Brief

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