Living in Romantic Baghdad: An American Memoir of Travel and Teaching in Iraq, 1924-1947Ida Donges Staudt, edited by John Joseph ’50, F&M’s Lewis Audenreid Professor of History, Emeritus
Ida Donges Staudt, the wife of Calvin Staudt, F&M Class of 1900, wrote this memoir of life in Iraq more than six decades ago. Joseph, who knew the Staudts during their years in Iraq and credits Calvin Staudt for his being able to attend F&M, only came to know of the manuscript’s existence in 2005.
In 1924, the Staudts co- founded the American School for Boys in Baghdad, Iraq, where John Joseph ’50 was educated. Joseph graduated from the American School in 1941 and taught in its intermediate division for the duration of World War II. With Calvin Staudt’s help, Joseph received a full scholarship to F&M. After Joseph finished his postgraduate work at Princeton University, he returned to F&M, where he taught Middle Eastern history for 27 years.
Ida Staudt finished her manuscript in 1950 but did not try to get it published. Claude Staudt died in 1951, a year after attending his 50th Class Reunion at F&M, and Ida died in 1952. Their possessions, including the copy of Ida’s manuscript, were passed on to their nephews, who stored them in a carton in their attic.
The box was set aside and forgotten until 2005, when the nephews moved to a retirement community and donated the items from Iraq to the Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society at the Lancaster Theological Seminary. “The archivist kindly notified me of the
Staudt memoir soon after it was acquired,” Joseph said. “I was encouraged to edit it in any way I saw fit to ensure accuracy.”
Joseph, who also wrote the introduction to the book, said: “Ida Staudt’s engrossing memoir of their work and travels in Iraq is unique because it provides an uplifting historical backdrop to the predicaments that have faced the United States there for the past eight years (2003–2011). For the graduates of F&M, it also memorializes a fellow alumnus who graduated 112 years ago.” (Syracuse University Press, 2012)
Buried in A BookLucy Arlington (Jennifer Briggs Stanley ’92) Lila Wilkins accepts an internship at A Novel Idea, a thriving literary agency in North Carolina, after losing her job as a journalist at age 45. Being paid to read seems perfect to Lila, although it’s difficult with the cast of quirky co-workers and piles of query letters. But when a penniless aspiring author drops dead in the agency’s waiting room—and Lila discovers a series of threatening letters—she is determined to find out who wrote him off. This is Stanley’s 16th mystery novel. (Berkley, 2012)
First Semester: Graduate Students, Teaching Writing, and the Challenge of Middle GroundJessica Restaino, Ph.D., ’99 In this qualitative study of graduate students’ experiences as first-year writing instructors at a large, public university, Restaino follows four students through their first year as teachers. Restaino uses a three- part theoretical construct—labor, action and work, as defined in Hannah Arendt’s “The Human Condition”—as a lens for reading graduate students’ struggles to balance their new responsibilities as teachers with their roles as students. (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012)
The Fruits Of Our SinsJean Mckie-Sutton ’89 In this novel, two women’s lives become tangled in a heated confrontation by the birth of a child—to which each claims a right. The possession of the child represents redemption for one woman and repetition of generational sin for the other. The book chronicles the deeply flawed relationships that the two women, Madeline and Sybil, have with their parents and how those relationships have impact on their lives and ultimately the lives of their children. (Red Lotus Press, 2012)
Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could LoveLarry Levin ’69 In this memoir, Levin documents how Oogy became an integral part of their family after the Levins adopted him when he was four months old. Oogy, whose name is a loving derivative of “ugly,” was found by police in a drug raid. Because he had been used as bait to train fighting dogs, much of the left side of Oogy’s face had been torn away. The book interweaves Oogy’s story with the adoption of Dan and Noah, the Levins’ sons, and explores both adoption and the meaning of rescue. (Grand Central Publishing, 2010)
Performance in the Blockades of Neoliberalism: Thinking the Political AnewMaurya E. Wickstrom ’81 Wickstrom’s new book is a hard-driving investigation of the lives and politics of dispossessed people and their efforts to cope with the aggressions against them through their use of theater. With a focus on the French philosopher Alain Badiou, she cites her visits among the Travellers in Ireland and the Palestinians in their homeland in her critique of neoliberal polity. Wickstrom is an associate professor on the doctoral faculty in theatre at The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY), and the College of Staten Island, CUNY. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
Sanctified Landscape: Writers, Artists, and the Hudson River Valley, 1820–1909David Schuyler, Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of Humanities and American Studies In the early 1800s, artists and writers found new ways of thinking about the human relationship with the natural world in the Hudson River Valley, considered the first iconic American landscape. Here Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper created a distinctly American literature, while painters such as Thomas Cole helped found the Hudson River School, widely recognized as the first truly national style of art. As the century advanced, an aesthetic identity took shape in the region through literature, art, memory and folklore. (Cornell University Press, 2012)
Shades of GrayDennis Moriarty ’69 This contemporary crime drama about deceit, treachery, love and redemption is set amidst the storied backdrop of Southern California. Frank Rossi, the story’s protagonist, is a rich and powerful icon among the “beautiful people” of Orange County, but he has become a star by wheeling and dealing on both sides of the law. Now, approaching 40, his shady past is catching up with him. (Xlibris Corp., 2012)
The Spiritual Awakening of Hayden Caine: Book 1Linnea Bailey, Ph.D., ’83 Based on Bailey’s own life experiences, this novel is about self-empowerment and becoming a spiritual warrior. Hayden Caine is searching for happiness and fulfillment in her life. Battling depression and self-esteem issues, she seeks and finds answers to major existential questions of life from an Eastern and metaphysical perspective, including the existence of God and why bad things happen to good people. (Three Towers Press, 2012)
A Tainted DawnB. N. Peacock (Barbara Nartic Peacock ’74) Set during the French Revolution, this historical-fiction novel, in the genre of C.S. Forester and Patrick O’Brien, follows the events of 1789 through the eyes of three youths: the English son of a naval officer and aristocratic mother; the English son of a widowed carpenter; and the French son of a court tailor. The author advances the idea that “three eyes” provide a more balanced view of historic events. (Fireship Press, 2011)
Utopias: A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual CommunitiesHoward Segal, Ph.D., ’70 This book connects the past and present of utopian thought, from the first utopias in ancient Greece to present-day visions of cyberspace communities and paradise. Segal, professor of history at the University of Maine, explores the purpose of utopias, what they reveal about the societies who conceive them, and how utopias have changed over the centuries. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012)
Word of God, Words of Men: The Use and Abuse of ScriptureA. Daniel Frankforter, Ph.D., ’61 In his book, Frankforter, emeritus professor of history at The Pennsylvania State University, details how the literal readings of sacred texts can be dangerous. He particularly addresses the problems of the use and abuse of scripture in contemporary American social and political affairs. The book contends “most Westerners are alert to challenges posed by Muslim fundamentalism, but few have given much thought to the implications of a similar phenomenon within the Christian communion.” (Circle Books, 2011).
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