June 4, 2003: From the Editor

Photo: Alonzo Church ’24 *27 (office of communications)

This issue includes a feature that we hope will be an annual offering: a list of books, recommended by Princeton faculty members, for summer reading. As part of the package, Michael Cadden, director of Princeton’s Program in Theater and Dance, suggests a handful of plays being staged around the world this summer.

PAW made one request to the professors recommending books: that their selections appeal to an educated but general audience. While most suggested books related to their disciplines, some ventured to other fields. Andrew Dobson h’76, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, says he carries at least three books while traveling, lest he get stranded where the airport shop sells only “a cloned novelette about a lawyer.” His list includes three novels, along with books about blues great Muddy Waters and 20th-century poets. Christopher Eisgruber ’83, director of Princeton’s Program in Law and Public Affairs, offers a beefy book on history and international affairs – but he also has a penchant for mysteries. Musicologist Simon Morrison *97 recommends a classic: Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Notes Morrison: “One billion readers can’t be wrong.”

Most faculty members supplied their own descriptions of the books. We were unable to include all their recommendations and descriptions in the magazine, but they are available at www.princeton.edu/paw.

Summer, and reading, led us to Firestone Library, which recently acquired the first printed book on fishing, dating to 1478. Fishing has been a passion of countless Princeton alumni and professors, from Henry Van Dyke 1873, the first Murray Professor of English Literature, who wrote the bestseller Fisherman’s Luck; to John McPhee ’53, whose latest book, The Founding Fish, concerns all things shad.

The library’s new acquisition, the Halieutics of Oppianus, is a text on fish and fishing methods by Oppianus, a second-century Greek naturalist, translated from Greek to Latin and dedicated by the editor to Lorenzo de Medici.

Not interested in fishing? You may be intrigued by other works acquired by the library this year, many of them contributed by alumni, including 17 Ethiopic “magic rolls” (protective amulets containing prayers or incantations to ease ailments); the papers of mathematician and professor Alonzo Church ’24 *27, whose work helped shape modern computing (his papers include a lengthy letter, complete with postscript and post-postscript, from a graduate student named John Nash); and a collection of the works of Eudora Welty.

Finally, you will find here what may be a first for PAW: recipes, inspired by works studied in a course, The Literature of Gastronomy. The class is the subject of our cover story by Kathryn Beaumont ’96.

So as summer begins, we wish you happy reading, fishing – and eating.


Current Issue    Online Archives    Printed Issue Archives
Advertising Info    Reader Services    Search    Contact PAW    Your Class Secretary