Book Review: Two Weddings and a Funereal Professor
Liz Durkee

THAT OLD CAPE MAGIC. By Richard Russo. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 261 pages. $25.95.

O ne afternoon two friends happened to drop by my house. The first arrived in a little sports convertible. When the second showed up in his VW bus he walked inside and said, “It looks like a middle-aged meltdown out there.”

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The Lives Beyond the Legends
Holly Nadler

For the first few pages of Paul Schneider’s Bonnie and Clyde, The Lives Behind The Legend, we see tall, willowy, sultry Faye Dunaway as the infamous gangster moll, Bonnie Parker, and we picture tall, broad-shouldered Warren Beatty as her outlaw boyfriend, Clyde Barrow. It doesn’t take long for the author to get the real people back in focus: Bonnie is petite (under five feet tall), more adorable than sultry, and Clyde also is short but a head taller than his energetic pip-squeak girlfriend.

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Poetry Collection Evokes Potent Memories of Vineyard Summers
Elizabeth Harrington
The poems in Portrait of a Reading Woman convey the tapestry of a life richly lived and richly told. Originally a Bostonian, Helen Gorenstein has spent summers on Martha’s Vineyard for over 40 years. Drawing on memories from her childhood in the 1930s, her marriage, and her “long summers” on the Island, she retraces her steps from childhood into her seventh decade.
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A Few Words from the President
Sheldon Hackney
Believe me, being a college president is dauntingly difficult. Better yet, read Steve Trachtenberg’s perceptive and stimulating discussion of his 30 years on the hot seat. Eleven of those years were at the University of Hartford and nineteen at George Washington University. He was a great success at both institutions, which may account for his conclusion that, despite the frustrations, his career was rewarding. The reader of Big Man on Campus will come away not only with a more subtle understanding of the complexities of university leadership, but also with a sense of why Trachtenberg was good at it.
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Inspirational Healing: Doctor Describes Year in Life of Addict
Gerry Yukevich

THE ADDICT: One Patient, One Doctor, One Year. By Michael Stein. William Morrow. March, 2009. 275 pages. $25.99.

A medical license is a license to ask questions. Ordinary conversation disappears quickly in my office. Business has to be taken care of.”

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Is Racism Undercover in Boston Cops?
Holly Nadler

THE FENCE: A Police Cover-up Along Boston’s Racial Divide. By Dick Lehr. Harper, June, 2009. 400 pages. $25.99.

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Finding in Science What Slave Trade Had Erased, Stories Grow from Roots
Bettye Foster Baker

IN SEARCH OF OUR ROOTS: How 19 Extraordinary Americans Reclaimed Their Past. By Henry Louis Gates Jr. Crown. January, 2009. 424 pages. $27.50.

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Civil War Drama Glories in Details Of Battles Too Close to Island Home
Tom Dresser

SEEN THE GLORY: A Novel of the Battle of Gettysburg. By John Hough, Jr. Simon & Schuster, June, 2009. 420 pages. $25.

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Sports Agent Shows You the Money
Gwyn McAllister

NEGOTIATE LIKE THE PROS: A Top Sports Negotiator’s Lessons for Making Deals, Building Relationships, and Getting What You Want. By Kenneth Shropshire. McGraw-Hill. October, 2008. 224 pages. $19.95.

Professor Kenneth Shropshire is a former all-state athlete who grew up in inner city Los Angeles and attended Stanford on a football scholarship. He is a sports fan who can discuss ESPN news with enthusiasm and will knowledgeably forward his opinions on shady college recruitment practices and sports agent scandals.

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Action is Between the Lines in Tale of Love, Loss, Politics
Bob Drogin

EXILES IN THE GARDEN. By Ward Just. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. July, 2009. 288 pages. $25.

Anyone who has spent time in London, Paris, Tokyo or any other major capital inevitably is dissatisfied in Washington, D.C.

Chosen by compromise, built atop a swamp, and provincial to its core, it offers some of the nation’s most appalling architecture (e.g., the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, or the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building) and weather to match.

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