Monday, May 23, 2011

Accessing CARL's website

We know there have been some issues with accessing CARL's website.  If you are unable to access the website, here are some alternative links.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

History Lessons for Guys

'Badass' Guys: Giving History A Kick (And A Punch)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Book Exposes Secret Presidental Surgery

"The President Is a Sick Man: Wherein the Supposedly Virtuous Grover Cleveland Survives a Secret Surgery at Sea and Vilifies the Courageous Newspaperman Who Dared Expose the Truth" by Matthew Algeo; Chicago Review Press (272 pages, $24.95)

Think of a U.S. president who hid a serious medical problem from the country while in office.
Kennedy, FDR and Wilson all spring to mind.
How about a chief executive who condoned a cover-up and directed his people to discredit a reporter? The list starts with Nixon, but he has company.
Now, who did both of these things while being famous, in his day, for his honesty?
Class, Matthew Algeo would like to introduce you to Grover Cleveland (1837-1908). If you're not a history major and you know him at all, it's probably as an oddity: the only president who served two nonconsecutive terms (1885-'89 and 1893-'97). Cleveland actually won the popular vote three straight times, but Benjamin Harrison defeated him on electoral votes for the in-between term.
Incredibly, shortly after his second term began in 1893, Cleveland boarded a friend's yacht and sailed into the Long Island Sound where surgeons, in a makeshift operating theater, cut away cancerous tissue in his mouth and part of his jawbone.
Why did doctors perform this risky operation in such a haphazard setting? Algeo explains the historical situation crisply. Cancer was virtually taboo in Cleveland's day. He didn't want to lose public confidence or become a spectacle like former President Grant, who had died from cancer.
Also, Cleveland was in a contentious political struggle over whether the U.S. should return to the gold standard to back its money (his position), or continue with a policy that also accepted silver, the view of his vice president, Adlai Stevenson. Cleveland feared that should he become incapacitated, Stevenson would assume power and sway the country's financial direction.
The yacht's crew and surgeons kept mum, except for a dentist serving as anesthetist, who told a fellow doctor. Word found its way to Philadelphia Press reporter E.J. Edwards, who confirmed enough of the tale to print it. Cleveland's circle squatted on the scoop and undermined the reporter's reputation. "The policy here has been to deny and discredit his story," Cleveland wrote to a friend. His people passed off the president's medical event as the pulling of two teeth. Only decades later would one of the surgeons tell all in an article, and make amends to Edwards for the harm done to him.
Algeo, a former public radio reporter, has written two other books with long, amusing subtitles: "Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip" and "Last Team Standing: How the Steelers and the Eagles - 'The Steagles' - Saved Pro Football During World War II." In his Cleveland tale, he mixes narrative and context smoothly, and keeps speculation minimal.
The Cleveland he depicts is a fascinating figure, often a noble one in his dogged dedication to duty. While sheriff of Erie County, N.Y., he pulled the hangman's lever himself on two executions because he refused to delegate such a task to subordinates. "He came to be known as incorruptible," Algeo writes. In four years, in part because of his reputation for honesty and reform, he went from mayor of Buffalo to governor of New York to president. Yet he also legally paid a substitute $150 to serve in the Civil War in his place, was openly accused of fathering an illegitimate child (he may have been covering for a married friend, Algeo suggests), and married a much younger woman while in the White House.
In 1975, pathologists examined tissue from Cleveland's oral tumor, still preserved in a Philadelphia museum. They determined it was a verrucous carcinoma, a rare, slow-growing cancer that can occur in the mouths of men like Cleveland, a cigar chomper, who chew tobacco.

Read more:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Here are some quick guidelines to remember if your library materials are damaged.

Damaged/ Lost item(s) must be replaced with the exact same item in -- NEW condition with No highlights, pen or pencil marks, marginal notes; Award Winning books must be replaced with same Award Winning books; Hardcover for Hardcover; and no damaged items can be replaced with another library’s used item. If the item is “Out-of-Print” a librarian can find a suitable replacement. The library staff has the right to refuse any replacements.
; alibris ;bookfinder ; booksamillion ; or biblio.

If you are PSCing please purchase a replacement before leaving.

If the item is being shipped please provide CARL- Circulation Desk a copy of your purchase receipt in order to clear your account.

Shipping address: ATTN: CIRCULATION DESK 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Military reading lists oddities

This was in the New Yorker magazine, Canon Fodder by Rolf Pott When allegations surfaced that details in Greg Mortenson’s memoir “Three Cups of Tea” had been fabricated, some reports noted that the book, a best-seller about doing good works in Central Asia, is “required reading” for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. These reports were referring to the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center’s Pre-Deployment Afghanistan Reading List, which (in addition to cultural field guides and counter-insurgency manuals) recommends novels such as Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner” and George MacDonald Fraser’s “Flashman.” Reading has been a part of military life since Alexander the Great slept with a copy of the Iliad under his pillow. When the United States Military Academy was founded, in 1802, John Adams advocated an ambitious reading program for officers. “I wished to turn the Minds of such as were capable of it to that great Source of Information,” he wrote. During the Second World War, the Council on Books in Wartime printed more than a hundred and twenty million paperbacks for distribution to American soldiers. Touted as “weapons in the war of ideas,” these Armed Services Editions ranged from “Tristram Shandy” and “Candide” to “My Ántonia.” Harold Bloom, in “The Western Canon,” described the culture’s seminal books as possessing “strangeness, a mode of originality that either cannot be assimilated, or that so assimilates us that we cease to see it as strange.” Today’s military reading lists have a more pragmatic bent. Each major branch of the U.S. military has its own lists, usually targeted to specific ranks; the Marines alone maintain dozens of different reading lists, and the Army has at least six, overseen by such entities as the Chief of Staff, the War College Library, and the Center for Army Leadership. “Three Cups of Tea” appears on the Joint Forces Staff College Commandant’s Professional Reading List and on the list of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force Professional Reading Program. In terms of “strangeness,” the Navy Professional Reading Program recommends, along with Melville’s “Billy Budd,” “Starship Troopers,” the 1959 science-fiction novel about a war between mankind and an arachnoid species known as the Bugs. The self-help genre is well represented, too. Soldiers are encouraged to peruse “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Race relations figure prominently. On a Navy list, alongside “When Affirmative Action Was White,” is “Black Titan: A. G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire.” Business writers like military metaphors, and the military seems fond of business titles. The U.S. Army General Officers Suggested Reading List has a section devoted to them which includes Nassim Taleb’s “The Black Swan” and Chip and Dan Heath’s “Made to Stick.” The Navy list recommends “Freakonomics,” by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt; “The Lexus and the Olive Tree,” by Thomas Friedman; and “Moneyball,” by Michael Lewis. U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Zoltan Krompecher, who has served in Afghanistan and taught English at West Point, says that assembling reading lists is part of a broader effort by the U.S. military to help soldiers understand local cultures. “When you’re going into uncharted territory, you want to know everything about that culture that you can,” he said. “If I’m going out there and talking to an imam or a sheikh, I’ve got to demonstrate that I value his culture. Once you earn their trust, they’ll help you with the bad guys.” As for fiction, Krompecher called it “a way to understand or at least examine how others feel.” He said, “Consider Henry from Stephen Crane’s ‘The Red Badge of Courage.’ That fear of going into battle, when you’re tasting your own mortality: How are you going to react? Are you going to run away? Soldiers can relate to that.” Harold Bloom agrees, at least about Crane. Reached by telephone in New Haven, he listened to a list of some of the military’s recommended titles, among them Kafka’s “The Castle,” “Catch-22,” “The Tin Drum,” “The Brothers Karamazov,” and “Snow,” by Orhan Pamuk. “It’s a very mixed bag,” Bloom said. “The two surprising entries, really quite wonderful, are E. M. Forster’s ‘A Passage to India’ and ‘The Red Badge of Courage,’ which is a considerable work of realization.” He talked about a lecture he once gave at West Point, on Walt Whitman’s “Drum-Taps,” and found that the soldiers were “immensely open to what Whitman was doing.” What did he think about the inclusion of “Starship Troopers”? “I can’t take that seriously, I’m sorry,” he said. “I suppose it’s on the list because that’s the world we’re headed towards.” ♦ Read more

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Star Wars Day!

The penguins at Edinburgh Zoo would like to wish you a happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you!


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