F&M Bookshelf

This magazine article is part of Summer 2015 / Issue 82
“The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life”

Sheldon Solomon, Ph.D., ’75, Jeff Greenberg, Ph.D. and Tom Pyszczynski, Ph.D.

More than a century ago, philosopher William James dubbed the knowledge that we must die “the worm at the core” of the human condition. In 1974, cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker won the Pulitzer Prize for his book “The Denial of Death,” arguing that the terror of death has a pervasive effect on human affairs. Now Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski clarify with wide-ranging evidence the many ways the worm at the core guides our thoughts and actions, from the art we create to the wars we wage. Emerging from their research is a distinctive approach to these deeply existential issues: terror management theory, which proposes that human culture infuses our lives with order, stability, significance and purpose, and that these anchors enable us to function moment to moment without becoming overwhelmed by the knowledge of our ultimate fate. (Random House, 2015)


“Maryland’s Public Gardens & Parks”

Barbara Schoenbrun-Glickman ’75

Showcasing 52 of Maryland’s public gardens and natural parks, this book includes descriptions of their horticultural highlights and histories and almost 240 color photos illustrating their magnificence. It highlights 13 historic sites with extraordinary gardens, such as early settlements, plantations and Gilded Age homes. (Schiffer Publishing, 2015)


“Says Seth: Life Observations From A Six-Year-Old Perspective”

Gary Zenker ’84 and Seth Zenker

This book shines a light on life as observed and explained through the words of one very funny boy named Seth. The innocence of Seth’s comments is enough to make parents laugh and recall all the funny comments their own kids made. (White Lightning Publishing, 2013)

“Hershey (Then and Now)”

James D. McMahon Jr., Ph.D., ’83

The Then and Now series includes side-by-side images of the past and present to give readers a revealing look at the evolution of buildings and towns across time. McMahon’s work focuses on the town of Hershey, Pa., in addition to sites associated with the career of Milton Hershey in Lancaster, where he first made chocolate, and in Cuba, where he produced and refined sugar for use in the manufacture of his chocolate. Other images show changes to product and advertising used by The Hershey Company and the evolution of the campus and facilities of Milton Hershey School. (Arcadia Publishing, 2015)


“Jock Talk: 5 Communication Principles for Leaders as Exemplified by Legends of the Sports World”

Beth Noymer Levine ’83

This business communication book uses stories from sports to illustrate five core communication values for anyone who needs to lead a meeting, talk to the media, make a presentation or deliver a speech. It candidly examines the public comments of athletes, coaches and team owners whose stories serve to illustrate five foundational communication principles—audience-centricity, transparency, graciousness, brevity and preparedness—that will help readers find their best voice and communicate in a way that will build support, reputation and business. (Greenleaf Book Group, 2015)

“Censoring Racial Ridicule: Irish, Jewish, and African American Struggles over Race and Representation, 1890-1930”

M. Alison Kibler, Professor of American Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies

Professor Kibler uncovers powerful and concurrent campaigns by Irish, Jewish and African Americans against racial ridicule in popular culture at the turn of the 20th century. She explores how they resisted harmful representations in popular culture by lobbying behind the scenes, boycotting particular acts and staging theater riots. (The University of North Carolina Press, 2015)


“Pennsylvania School Business: A Guide for Educational Administrators”

Dale Keagy ’71 and David Piper

Now in its third edition, this textbook aims to provide support for non-financial public school administrators in advanced degree certification programs. The first text of its kind, it addresses all facets of public school non-instructional operation. (Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials, 2013)


“Complying With Employment Regulations: Leading Lawyers on Analyzing Legislation and Adapting to the Changing State of Employment Law”

James Castagnera, Ph.D., Esq., ’69 and four others

Experienced partners from law firms across the nation analyze the increase in enforcement actions against employee discrimination and identify best practices for developing effective workplace regulatory compliance programs. The lawyers cover a range of topics, stressing the importance of internal workplace compliance checks to prevent possible violations. (Thomson Reuters, 2014)


“In Good Company: The Body and Divinization in Pierre Teilhard De Chardin, SJ and Daoist Xiao Yingsou”

Bede Benjamin Bidlack, Ph.D., ’92

“In Good Company” answers a question that has confounded Christian theologians: What is the nature of the body that will enjoy resurrection at the end of time? It presents a Christian body theology that draws inspiration from medieval Daoism and provides a translation of Xiao’s text from classical Chinese into a Western language for the first time. (Brill, 2015)


“Visual Leap: A Step-by-Step Guide to Visual Learning for Teachers and Students”

Jesse Berg ’93

A career educator, Jesse Berg has written a book for K-12 educators about how we can teach people to learn in ways that better match how we process information. In step-by-step fashion, Berg presents teachers a universal and visual method to teach students how to think independently and critically, and how to organize their ideas for any instructional purpose. The book offers easy ways to foster dynamic, creative and critical thinking in the classroom, and provides teachers and students with a toolkit of problem-solving and learning strategies designed to serve them throughout their academic and professional lives. (Lamprey & Lee, 2015)



“Gilbert Byron: A Life Worth Examining”

Jacques T. Baker Jr. ’58

Jacques Baker Jr. examines the life of author Gilbert Byron, whose published work includes 14 books, scores of poems, more than 170 short stories and general interest articles and more than 2,000 newspaper columns. Byron’s work is likely the largest collection of writing about the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay areas authored by a single person. (Talbot County Free Library Foundation, 2013)


“Thank You, Goodnight: A Novel”

Andy Abramowitz, Esq., ’93

Teddy Tremble is nearing 40 and has settled into a comfortable groove, working at a stuffy law firm and living in a downtown apartment with a woman he thinks he might love. His days aren’t as exciting as the time he spent as the lead singer of Tremble, the rock band known for its mega-hit “It Feels Like a Lie.” But now he's considering reuniting Tremble for one last shot at rewriting history. Can a once immature, self-involved fallen idol find his way back to the top—and possibly back to the one who got away? (Touchstone, 2015)




To submit a publication for “Bookshelf,” which appears in the summer and winter issues of the magazine, email magazine@fandm.edu.


blog comments powered by Disqus
Story 9/21/2015

Drone's-Eye View

Hovering above F&M’s Carolyn S. and Robert W. Wohlsen Center for the Sustainable Environment, a...

Read More
Story 9/21/2015

Spring Sports Highlights

 Go Diplomats 

Read More
Story 9/21/2015

'Keep Your Style Yours'

For Richard Plepler ’81, the road from aspiring graduate to chairman and CEO of Home Box Office Inc...

Read More