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Book Report

Hard Work: Remaking the American Labor Movement is co-written by Rick Fantasia, Smith sociology professor, and Kim Voss, associate professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. It provides a concise overview of the American labor movement, exploring historical perspectives as well as current social and political policies. "Fantasia and Voss make an important and persuasive argument for how and why U.S. employment and labor policies set the standard for pushing down wages, labor rights, and working conditions throughout the world. They put forward an enormous challenge to the U.S. labor movement, but one that needs to be met, not just for workers and unions in the U.S., but for their labor and community allies around the globe," says Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of Labor Education Research, Cornell University. The book is published by University of California Press.

The Jews of Paradise: Creating a Vibrant Community in Northampton, Massachusetts, chronicles the history of Jewish settlers in this western Massachusetts city. The book -- written by Myron Peretz Glazer, the Barbara Richmond Professor in the Social Sciences, and Penina Migdal Glazer, the Marilyn Levin Professor of History at Hampshire College -- was commissioned by the Northampton 350th anniversary celebration committee. Smith College figures prominently in The Jews of Paradise, which combines Smith's history and that of the larger local Jewish community, from the earliest days when Jewish students joined the predominantly Protestant student body and worked to make a place for themselves to the more recent evolution of Jewish studies as an academic program and field of study.

What does it take for a teacher to get to those "teachable moments" in the classroom, when the students are highly attuned and enthusiastic about learning? Sam Intrator, assistant professor of education and child study, seeks answers in his recently published Tuned In and Fired Up: How Teaching Can Inspire Real Learning in the Classroom. Intrator offers five detailed case study portraits of "teachable moments" in the classroom in this new book, which was published by Yale University Press.

It became apparent during the 2004 presidential campaign that religion and spirituality are still powerful forces in contemporary American culture. The Best American Spiritual Writing 2004 features essays chosen by senior editor Philip Zaleski, research associate in Smith's religion department, that represent many perspectives, including Christian, Muslim, Jewish, secular and pan-Hindu. The book is described by publisher Houghton Mifflin as "spiritual writing at its very best."

Belonging: Los Alamos to Vietnam, a monograph of photographs and installations by Meridel Rubenstein, the Harnish Visiting Artist in the Smith art department, was published in October by St. Ann's Press. In addition to more than 140 photographic images and plates compiled by Rubenstein over a quarter-century of photographic and multimedia artistry, the book includes written contributions by several renowned authors and critics, such as Terry Tempest Williams and James Crump. "Sociopolitical and environmental concerns and the issue of belonging -- where and to whom one belongs -- have occupied Rubenstein for the past 25 years," according to the publisher. Rubenstein is in the second year of her two-year appointment.

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