Tom Cronin, the McHugh Professor of American Institutions and Leadership at Colorado College, has published a new book, “Leadership Matters: Unleashing the Power of Paradox.” The book offers a different view of leadership and does not emphasize specific rules for or characteristics of effective leaders. Instead, Cronin and co-author Michael Genovese, of Loyola Marymount University, see leadership as more nuanced and filled with paradox –for example, they point out that Americans want leaders who are like themselves yet better than themselves. Americans yearn for leaders to serve the common good – yet simultaneously serve particular interests. Leadership, they says, is a realm in which rules only occasionally apply and how-to prescriptions obscure more than they enlighten.
“Ideal leaders help create options and opportunities – help clarify problems and choices, build morale and coalitions, inspire others, and provide a vision of the possibilities and promise of a better organization, community, or world,” states the book. “Asking whether leadership can be taught is the wrong question. Can leadership be learned? is the better question.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian, calls the book “an absolute tour-de-force – one of the most wide-ranging, fascinating, intricate studies of leadership I have ever read.”
Anne Hyde, professor of history and Southwest studies, recently published “Empires, Nations, and Families: A History of the North American West, 1800-1860,” part of a five-volume series that reassesses the entire field of Western history.
The book, published by the University of Nebraska Press, makes clear that the Louisiana Purchase did not involve virgin wilderness discovered by virtuous Anglo entrepreneurs. Rather, the United States was a newcomer in a place already complicated by vying empires.
The period covered in Hyde’s book, 1800-1860, spans the fur trade, Mexican War, gold rushes, and the Overland Trail, usually very male-dominated fields of study. Hyde took a different approach, and, using letters and business records, documented the broad family associations that crossed national and ethnic boundaries. “These folks turned out to be almost entirely people of great wealth and status who loved and married across racial and cultural lines. It turns out that the West of that period is really a mixed race world that made perfect cultural and economic sense until national ideas made that cultural choice impossible in the 1850s,” Hyde said.
“Empires, Nations, and Families” reveals how, in the 1850s, immigrants to the newest region of the United States violently wrested control from Native and other powers, and how conquest and competing demands for land and resources brought about a volatile frontier culture—not at all the peace and prosperity that the new power had promised.
Associate Professor of History Bryan Rommel-Ruiz has a new book out, titled “American History Goes to the Movies: Hollywood and the American Experience.” The research and writing for the book evolved from the film and history class that he teaches at Colorado College. Using films from many different genres, the book draws together movies that depict the Civil War, the Wild West, the assassination of JFK, and the events of 9/11, to show how viewers use movies to make sense of the past. “American History Goes to the Movies” addresses not only how we render history for popular enjoyment, but also how Hollywood’s renderings of America influence the way Americans see themselves and how they make sense of the world.
Michael F. O’Riley, Colorado College associate professor of French and Italian, has recently published “Cinema in an Age of Terror: North Africa, Victimization, and Colonial History.” The book looks at how cinematic representations of colonial-era victimization inform our understanding of the contemporary age of terror. By examining works representing colonial history and the dynamics of viewership emerging from them, O’Riley reveals how the centrality of victimization in certain cinematic representations of colonial history can help one understand how the desire to occupy the victim’s position is a dangerous and blinding drive that frequently plays into the vision of terrorism.
O’Riley also is the author of “Francophone Culture and the Postcolonial Fascination with Ethnic Crimes and Colonial Aura” and “Postcolonial Haunting and Victimization: Assia Djebar’s New Novels.”
Yet talk about irony: He says there were many obstacles in the writing of “Why it is Good to be Good,” including the fact that his computer and all the backups were stolen just as he completed the first draft.
In the book, Riker shows how modernity’s reigning concept of the self undermines moral life and lays the basis for the epidemic of cheating that is devastating social and economic institutions. The aim of the book is to provide a compelling answer to the question of why persons living in modern society should want to adopt an ethical way of being in the world.
Riker says “Why it is Good to be Good” is written for an intelligent lay audience and should be of interest in a world “in which a few too many people think that it is in their best interest to cheat if they don’t get caught.”
The book has just been released by Jason Aronson, an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
“This is the book I have been wanting to write for my entire 40 years at CC,” he says. “Sometimes it takes a long time and many adventures of ideas to finally be able to think and say what you most want to.” The book began seven years ago when he was the Kohut Professor at the University of Chicago. During that year he presented his ideas both at the university and at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. “The response was so positive and strong that I set out to write the book.”
Riker also is the author of “Ethics and the Discovery of the Unconscious,” “Human Excellence and an Ecological Conception of the Psyche,” and “The Art of Ethical Thinking.”
A release party for a new book by Dave Armstrong, CC’s director of information management division, will be held from 3-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17 in the Learning Commons Living Room at Tutt Library. Armstrong’s book, “The Burden of the Beholder – Dave Armstrong and the Art of Collage, features 18 high-quality prints of his collages, as well as poetry and short fiction by well-known writers.
CC English Professor Jane Hilberry edited the book and wrote the introduction. Armstrong and Hilberry invited established poets and writers to visit a website displaying 30 of Armstrong’s pieces of art. Each selected a collage and then wrote a poem or short prose piece inspired by that collage. In the book, each of these responses faces a print of the related collage. The writers are Aaron Anstett, Tom Absher, Harris Barron, Aimee Bender, Russell Edson, Jenn Habel, Jim Heynen, Jane Hilberry, H.L. Hix, Nancy Nye, David Mason, Roger Mitchell, Jim Moore, Kate Northrop, Jessy Randall, Leo Romero, A.E. Stallings, Phillip Sterling and Diane Thiel.
The book is a limited edition (only 100 copies were made, of which 75 will be for sale), handmade fine press book, designed and printed by Colin Frazer at The Press at Colorado College. The images are reproduced as gicleé prints, all text is letterpress printed and the book comes case-bound in red cloth. “The Burden of the Beholder” costs $125 and all profits benefit The Press at Colorado College.
C.J. Pascoe, assistant sociology professor, is co-author of a new book, “Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media.” The book provides a grounded and nuanced description of today’s digital youth culture and practices as they negotiate their identity, peer-based relationships, and relationships with adults. The data comes from an ambitious three-year ethnographic investigation into how young people are living and learning with new media in varied settings—at home, in after school programs, and in online spaces. The book, published by MIT Press, was written as a collaborative effort by members of the Digital Youth Project, a three-year research effort funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.