Vol. 13. No. 1
Summer 2003

by Nettie Pendley

The Impact of Banking Policy on Trade and Global Stability, by Neil H. Ashdown BA’93 MPA’97 (see “Through the Years” ), “analyzes some of the mainstream theories that policymakers and global leaders use as templates in understanding the international system, and measures their effectiveness in explaining the policies of nation-states, particularly in regard to trade and power.” Ashdown examines the banking history of the United States and how creation of the U.S. Federal Reserve System institutionalized the corporate consolidation process. His conclusion is that “current policies fail to support the national interest by creating policy that allows or ignores sustained trade deficits over consecutive years” (2002; Greenwood Publishing Group, Westport, Conn. 06881-5007; hardcover; $64.95). The debut volume of poetry from the pen of Kimberly Johnson BA’92, Leviathan with a Hook, “was conceived,” she says, “as a postmodern revisitation of Milton’s Paradise Lost.” The approximately 50 poems are divided into three sections: “Angling,” “Seamless, Electric Life,” and “Eastward.” A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and the Johns Hopkins M.A. program, Johnson is currently completing a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Former U.S. poet laureate—and ex-U of U faculty member—Mark Strand says, “[the book] celebrates a world forever ripening into its own generative conclusion,” and notes its “remarkable lucidity, its seductive energy, its lushness, and its music” (2002; Persea Books, New York, N.Y. 10003; hardcover; $23.00).
Using fantastical images, Aaron Dean Hall BA’95 MEd’97 weaves a story for young adults about a girl endowed with an intense and commanding gift who desires to do good. The Sorceress of Atunluck is the story of Zeffa, who resides on the small island of Atunluck, one among the war-torn Leidan Islands. As she stands brokenhearted at the apparent loss of her father in the dark and hostile waters off the island’s shore, she unknowingly uses a “Neal light”—a powerful magician’s tool—to brighten the dark skies so she can see her father’s capsized ship and assist in his rescue. Hall wrote his tale while living in Togiak, a remote Yup’ik Eskimo village in southwestern Alaska, where he taught after graduating from the U (2003; 1st Book Library, Bloomington, IN 47404; paper; $14.50; hardcover; $22.50). I Looked in the Brook and Saw a Face: Images of Childhood in Early Colorado, by David N. Wetzel BA’65 MA’67, with photo editor Mary Ann McNair, is a compilation of the contents of a 1982 exhibit that Wetzel prepared of images depicting childhood in early Colorado. A photo and word study, the book explores those themes that were the primary framework of children’s lives—home, family, school, friends, and play—from the 1880s to the 1920s. Wetzel’s text divides the book into themed sections such as “Play” and “Hanging Around.” Says Sandra Dallas of The Denver Post, “[I Looked in the Brook…] will make you smile at the sheer joy of youth. It’s the best book ever about Colorado childhood.” Wetzel, former editor of the U’s literary magazine, Pen, is currently Colorado Historical Society publications director (2002; Westcliffe Publishers, Englewood, Colo. 80150-1261; hardcover; $34.95).
In That Water, Those Rocks, Katharine Haake PhD’85 calls on her lifelong experience as a Californian to develop a story set amid the farnorthern rivers of the state, the people who lived along them, the dams that contain them, and the men who envisioned and constructed the dams. The author has combined fiction with nonfiction in creating a passionate story of people who were affected by the changing purpose of the area. Included are the narrator’s grandparents, maternal and paternal, who met and married in a mining town that is now submerged by Shasta Dam; a girlhood friend who was blinded in a construction accident at a dam site; and the engineers who changed the landscape forever. Haake is a professor of English at California State University, Northridge, where she directs the creative writing program (2003; University of Nevada Press, Reno, Nev. 89557- 0076; paper; $18.00). An Accidental Soldier; Memoirs of a Mestizo in Vietnam, by Manny Garcia BA’77 JD’82, provides an emotional account of a young soldier caught up in the gruesome reality of combat in Vietnam. Garcia’s story begins in late 1947 in the San Luis Valley of California and moves to Utah where, in 1965, as a cocky teenager, he enlisted in the army—almost accidentally—for three years. At the age of 18, “he became an Air Ranger, a combat infantryman with the crack First Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles.” Garcia’s account of his up-close experiences with killing, booby traps, and the heat of the jungle, among other miseries, leaves the reader to understand on a profound level the impact of the Vietnam War on a young man. He writes, “I rolled the body over and realized the corpse at my feet was an old woman. . . . I had killed before I had lived.” Garcia returned to school and earned his law degree following his military experience. He is now in private practice in Salt Lake, specializing in criminal defense (2003; University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, N.M. 87131-1591; hardcover; $24.95).
With its unique setting overlooking the Salt Lake Valley, Emigration Canyon has often been the subject of controversy. In The History of Emigration Canyon: Gateway to Salt Lake Valley, Jeffrey Carlstrom and Cynthia Mahoney Furse BS’85 MS’88 PhD’94 depict the colorful individuals and events that are integral to the story of the canyon. The account is detailed and well illustrated, extending from the early days of pioneer settlers, overland wagon trains, freight and mail lines, and the pony express, to the days of development as a Salt Lake City suburb. The disputes over water, development, annexation, and zoning are delineated, as are the attempts to balance quality-of-life issues with development of the area. Furse is an associate professor and director of the Center of Excellence for Smart Sensors in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the U (2003; Utah State University Press, Logan, Utah 84322-7800; paper; $21.95; hardcover; $34.95).