Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Spring 2015 (March 25, 2015)

General-Interest Books by Alumni and Faculty Authors

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March 5, 2015

Son of Dewey Beard001.jpgSong of Dewey Beard: Last Survivor of the Little Bighorn 

By Philip Burnham’74

University of Nebraska Press, 2014

In this thoroughly researched biography, Burnham charts a life “as big and bold and astonishing as a Dakota sky in full summer.” His subject, Dewey Beard, was a member of the Lakota nation whose life spanned almost a century. He was present at both Little Bighorn and Wounded Knee, where he lost half his family. Burnham recounts not only the long and engaging life of Dewey Beard, but also the twists and turns involved in recording such a story—including the legacy of the land and the ongoing struggles of the Lakota in South Dakota as seen through the eyes of elderly interviewees who knew this legendary man.

Indeed, there was more to Beard’s life than his status as a former warrior. He was friends with Sitting Bull and a nephew of Crazy Horse who toured with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show and appeared as an extra in Western movies well into his 90s. He even reenacted his time at Wounded Knee on film in 1913.

Beard was also a tireless advocate for the rights of his people, demanding reparations for Wounded Knee and the return of land that had been taken by the government during World War II. Using a mixture of biography, cultural study, and journalism, Burnham captures the story of what one interviewee called a “forever person” whose remarkable life showcases the poignant history of the Native American experience in the 19th, 20th, and even 21st centuries.

Burnham is an assistant professor of composition at George Mason University and a former reporter for Indian Country Today. He is the author of So Far from Dixie: Confederates in Yankee Prisons and Indian Country, God’s Country: Native Americans and the National Parks.


make it stick001.jpgMake it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning 

By Peter C. Brown’70, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel

The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014

“People are generally going about learning in the wrong ways.” So opens the collaborative writing effort of cognitive scientists McDaniel and Roediger and Brown, who serves as the book’s storyteller. The concepts discussed in this book include the importance of growing knowledge and creativity side by side and continually challenging oneself while learning. Elaboration—taking new experiences and contextualizing and reinterpreting them in terms of what you already know—is also key. Additionally, the authors illustrate how our own minds can produce roadblocks to accurate learning and memory through such techniques as cognitive biases, suggestion, and imagination.

These lessons are made even more tangible by the use of individual case studies rather than waves of data. Examples include the stories of athletes, students, pilots, neurosurgeons, and many others who rely on successful retention and application of information for work—or even to survive.




CAP Cornish Pilot001.jpg“Cap” Cornish, Indiana Pilot: Navigating the Century of Flight

By Ruth Ann Cornish Ingraham’60

Purdue University Press, 2014 

Ruth Ann Ingraham’s “Cap” Cornish, Indiana Pilot is as much a history lesson as it is a biography. One can trace the development of flight in the United States through the life of her eponymous subject, also her father.

Born in 1898 in Canada, and raised in Indiana, Clarence “Cap” Cornish first flew an aircraft during World War I. After the Great War, Cornish flew part-time for Goral Airways and later secured a position at Aereco—a sales agent for an airplane manufacturer—as their manager and chief pilot. However, his municipal and commercial interests were put on hold, as he was called back to service during World War II.

While Cornish was most active as an aviator between the mid-1920s and mid-1950s, his legacy extends far beyond that period. He completed his final flight at age 97, breaking his own Guinness World Record as the world’s oldest actively flying pilot.





If Women Have Courage001.jpgIf Women Have Courage … Among Shepherds, Sheiks, and Scientists in Algeria 

By Dorothy L. Pond
(Forward by Chomingwen Pond’50)

Africa Magna Verlag, 2014 

In the 1920s, Dorothy Pond (1900-1987) was a woman operating in a man’s world. The wife of Alonzo Pond (1918), the Logan Museum of Anthropology’s assistant curator, she joined her husband in Algeria during the Logan’s noted field expeditions to North Africa.

From 1925 through 1930 Beloiters excavated dozens of archaeological sites throughout Algeria and recovered more than 100,000 ancient artifacts. Pond’s memoir details these earliest American forays into North African archaeology from the rare perspective of a woman taking part in expeditions during that era.

Dorothy Pond’s daughter, Chomingwen, is donating the book’s royalties to the Logan Museum’s Alonzo and Dorothy Pond Memorial Fund to promote the care and preservation of the museum’s French Paleolithic and Algerian Neolithic collections.




A Heart book_BCMSP15001.jpgA Heart Book 

By Jennifer Westman Hakkarainen’84

Levellers Press, 2013 

The average human heart beats approximately 100,000 times per day, but modern lifestyles seldom reward the organ for all its hard work. From smoking, to poor eating habits, to a lack of exercise, there are a number of ways we mistreat our hearts. Jennifer Hakkarainen’s A Heart Book offers simple answers to many questions relating to the heart and tips for making every beat count. The topics start with basic facts about weight loss and cholesterol and progress to include detailed information on many heart disorders. Sure, there is a lot that can go wrong, but Hakkarainen also focuses on ways to treat your heart right. With the help of A Heart Book, it is easy to see just how important, and achievable, heart health really is.








Interfaith Prayer Book001.jpgThe Interfaith Prayer Book 

Compiled by Ted Brownstein’72

Lake Worth Interfaith Network, 2014

In the foreword to the newly expanded edition of the Interfaith Prayer Book, Ted Brownstein posits: “Nothing reveals the heart of a people more than prayer.” In the collection that follows, prayers from faiths as diverse as Buddhism and Zoroastrianism are juxtaposed with one another—emphasizing their commonalities rather than their differences.

The prayers of many different regions and religions are granted space in this collection. Sikh prayers are preceded by Islamic ones, which are then followed by the guiding words of the Baha’i tradition. The Lake Worth Interfaith Network—the book’s publisher—is committed to promoting tolerance and understanding among all religions.

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