Books & Films ✯ Fall 2017

Hot Time in the Old Town: The Great Heat Wave of 1896 and the Making of Theodore Roosevelt
EDWARD P. KOHN, NEW COLA DEAN
One of the worst natural disasters in American history, the 1896 New York heat wave killed almost 1,500 people in ten oppressively hot days. The heat coincided with a pitched presidential contest between William McKinley and the upstart Democrat William Jennings Bryan. As historian and incoming College of Liberal Arts Dean Edward P. Kohn conveys in his book, Bryan’s hopes for the presidency began to flag amid the abhorrent heat just as a bright young police commissioner named Theodore Roosevelt was scrambling to mitigate the dangerously high temperatures by hosing down streets and handing out ice to the poor. A vivid narrative that captures the birth of the progressive era, Hot Time in the Old Town revives the forgotten disaster that almost destroyed a great American city.

The Marine Corps Way of War:  The Evolution of the U.S. Marine Corps from Attrition to Maneuver Warfare in the Post-Vietnam Era
ANTHONY PISCITELLI M’09
The Marine Corps Way of War examines the evolving doctrine, weapons, and capability of the United States Marine Corps during the four decades since our last great conflict in Asia. The USMC has maintained its position as the nation’s foremost striking force while shifting its thrust from a reliance upon attrition to a return to maneuver warfare. The institutionalization of maneuver philosophy began with the Marine Corps’ educational system, analyzing the actual battle-space of warfare—be it humanitarian assistance, regular set-piece battles, or irregular guerrilla war—and the role that the leadership cadre of the Marine Corps played in this evolutionary transition from attrition to maneuver. Piscitelli explains the evolution by using traditional and first-person accounts by the prime movers of this paradigm shift.

Tradecraft Primer: A Framework for Aspiring Interrogators
PAUL CHARLES TOPALIAN ’71
Tradecraft Primer is a timely and relevant reference manual for the next generation of professionals as we enter a new era in our nation’s interrogation programs. Whether in law enforcement, the military, or intelligence, this book provides fresh insights from the latest empirical-based studies that will enhance results and contribute to best practices. It challenges past beliefs and legacy-interrogation practices by capturing novel approaches that no longer rely on physical and psychological coercion, unethical or questionable ruses, or abusive mistreatment. Importantly, this primer also opens the door to valuable lessons from contemporary experts in human motivation and more effective social-influence methodologies and tactics. A must-read for anyone thinking of entering the interrogation profession.

Gentlemen’s Fury
STARRING JAKE HEAD ’97
Aaron Faust had a promising career as a professional tennis player. But he also had a few issues. Suspended by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for brawling with an opponent, his life has taken a turn for the worse. During a particularly dark period, he encounters Dwayne (portrayed by Jake Head ’97, second from left), an intense and charismatic zealot, who recruits Aaron for Gentlemen’s Fury, an underground tennis league that just might not be strictly about tennis. As Aaron soon finds out, all of the players in Gentlemen’s Fury are former ATP players who, for one reason or another, have been excused from the tour. While the pay is nice, the rules turn out to be ambiguous and increasingly deadly. As the film unfolds, Dwayne transforms from savior to pariah while Aaron struggles at first to keep up, then just to stay alive. Gentlemen’s Fury is available for purchase or rental via gentlemensfurymovie.com.

Lessons from the Little Ones, & Children Know Success. Do You?
NICHOLAS J. BRITTON ’11
Author of the recent best-selling book, Lessons from the Little Ones, Nicholas Britton ’11 has done many jobs since graduating from Norwich, but teaching preschool was one of the most fulfilling and rewarding of his career. Britton’s 2016 book, Children Know Success. Do You?, is another testament that great lessons can be learned from the smallest of children, with one Amazon reviewer writing that the book “highlights the importance of being open minded and having the childlike desire to give, learn, dream, and succeed.”

 

The Omega Project
ANGUS MACM. HODGSON ’75
Dog Ear Publishing’s new novel from Angus Hodgson ’75, The Omega Project, tells the story of Jon Frasier, an Army officer who gets assigned to a secret government site filled with futuristic things that make living and working there very different from the outside world. Jon and his military working dog arrive at the facility and immediately run into shifting paradigms. On top of that, a major natural disaster befalls the world. The Omega Project is part speculative fiction, looking ahead at the development of technology. How will your computer work fifty years from today? How will people get around? The book is also part military fiction that takes on present-day problems. One character is a Norwich graduate; she spent time in Mountain and Cold Weather and self-identifies as an overachiever. Many of the other characters’ names come from Norwich history.

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