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From the Boston Globe.

Waterworld: How the ocean made us who we are

by Deborah Cramer

"The ocean has shaped human history in deep and surprising ways. In a cave off the coast of South Africa, a pile of mussel, whelk, and giant periwinkle shells attests to the beginning of our romance with the sea — the remains of the earliest recorded human seafood meal, 167,000 years ago. Since then, the sea has provided trade routes and fueled empires. But the ocean’s importance to our story is greater still: With its powerful effect on the planet’s climate, the sea influenced human evolution in the forests of Africa, and today continues to touch us wherever we dwell, whether in mountains, deserts, or cities. World Oceans Day, June 8, gives us a chance to consider the ways the ocean has transformed who we are and how we live. ..."


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The Washington Post's Lisa Bonos has published a positive review of Susan Kushner Resnick's GOODBYE WIFES AND DAUGHTERS. Bonos emphasizes the timelessness of Resnick's depiction of an all-too-familiar tragedy:

The coal-mining tragedy depicted in "Goodbye Wifes and Daughters" occurred nearly 70 years ago but is still an eerily familiar storyline in 2010. While mine safety and regulation have vastly improved, recent headlines out of West Virginia make journalist Susan Kushner Resnick's excavation of the 1943 explosion that killed 75 men in Bearcreek, Mont., seem not so distant from present-day disasters.

Read the entire review here.

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In an op-ed for the Charleston Gazette, Gordon Simmons reviews the new book from Susan Kushner Resnick, GOODBYE WIFES AND DAUGHTERS.  Simmons says Kushner's story "shows how tragedy repeats."

CHARLESTON, W.Va -- Like any great tragedy, West Virginia's explosion and deaths at Upper Big Branch mine captured the attention of the nation. But after the last funerals, investigations by safety experts and legislative hearings are done, it will likely fade from the national memory into a cold statistic occasionally found in official and historical documents.

This consideration makes Susan Kushner Resnick's new book, "Goodbye Wifes and Daughters," all the more timely. The disaster she chronicles is eerily similar to the one West Virginia just witnessed.

You can read the rest of the article here.

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On the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Providence Journal columnist Mark Patinkin offers a thoughtful report on EMISSARY OF THE DOOMED, Ronald Florence's true account of Jewish Hungarian emissary Joseph Brand's noble efforts to save the lives of a million Jews.

Patinkin writes:

If we’re to understand how the Holocaust happened, [Florence] says, it’s too simple to say it was only about evil preying on the innocent. It was also about good nations either too distracted or too mired in political calculations to act out of righteousness.

You can read the entire article by clicking here.

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Kathryn Miles' All Standing:  The True Story of Hunger, Rebellion, and  Survival Aboard the Jeanie Johnston, about the Irish famine and the legendary coffin ship who shuttled thousands of people to safety. Sold to Hilary Redmon at Free Press by Wendy Strothman at The Strothman Agency, LLC. (North American)

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Mine Explosion Echoes Tragedy From Long Ago

by Steve Pendlebury, AOL News

"(April 8) -- When Susan Kushner Resnick heard the news that at least 25 West Virginia coal miners had died in an explosion, she "just started to cry."

Tragedy struck a few weeks after "Goodbye Wifes and Daughters," Resnick's book about Montana's worst coal mining catastrophe, was published. The events unfolding at the Upper Big Branch Mine were all too reminiscent of her heartbreaking story about the blast at the Smith Mine in Bearcreek that killed 74 men in 1943.

"I just thought, 'Again?' And then I got angry," Resnick said. "Why does this keep happening? What lesson are we not learning?"

A mine with a history of safety violations, an owner accused of valuing profits over lives, a methane explosion -- followed by the agony of families waiting for answers. "All of that happens in...

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Katie Hafner reports on the growing trend of academic institutions putting courseware online. A few key college professors--like our client Walter Lewin--have began posting video lectures, syllabuses, and reading materials for free, helping to "dislodge higher education from its brick-and-mortar moorings." 

Hafner writes:

The undisputed rock star academic is Walter H. G. Lewin of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who flies across the room to demonstrate that a pendulum swings no faster or slower when there is an added mass (Professor Lewin) hanging at the end.

. . .

If the mission of the university is the creation of knowledge (via research)...

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When Criminals Clam Up

Black marketeers invade the shellfish racket, and officials try to stop them.


"...It would seem to be a familiar tale of tough-guy law enforcement, with a plotline somewhere between "Kojak" and "CSI." Lawmen track down leads, sift through evidence, set up stakeouts, work informers, cut deals with low-lifes and work their way up the food chain to bust the big guys or expose a conspiracy. They do everything that cops do except shoot somebody...

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From the Boston Globe: Mine disasters and money

By Susan Kushner Resnick, the author of “Goodbye Wifes and Daughters,’’ the story of the Smith coal mine disaster of 1943

"ANOTHER YEAR, another group of men killed in a coal mine. You already know the story, because it rarely changes. Inspectors discover violations. Mine operators ignore them. Miners work through the danger because they need to make a living. Gas builds up and explodes. Some men die instantly from the force of the blast, and some die from the carbon monoxide. There are always a few unaccounted for or trapped, and those mysteries keep everyone’s hope alive for a while. Then, usually, they die, too.

This is what happened Monday in the Upper Big Branch Mine in Whitesville, West Virginia. Though the specifics have yet to be revealed, these are the uncontested facts: 25 miners died after an explosion. And Massey Energy, a firm notorious...

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Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, today announced the acquisition of The Complete Plays of Sophocles, in a new translation by poets and playwrights Robert Bagg and James Scully, for publication in August 2011.

The new translation preserves the intent of the original Greek, while bringing into the text meanings and implications, dramatic tension and momentum, that previous translations have not captured.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Richard Wilbur said of the new translation, “I have often taught Sophocles in my humanities courses at Harvard and Wesleyan, and I know that these accurate, colloquial and vigorous translations would seize the imaginations of students, as indeed of the general reader. Many respectable renderings of Sophocles exist, but too often their themes and passions are muffled by a too ‘...

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