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The Big Picture
In movies, one woman can beat the system, but it doesn't work that way, says a UNH professor

Women Labor Activists in the Movies: Nine Depictions of Workplace Organizers, 1954-2005
McFarland, 2011

See also In Their Own Words

Jennifer Borda

In 1996, a group of strippers marched in a picket line in front of the Lusty Lady exotic dance club in San Francisco, some of them wearing pink T-shirts that said "Bad Girls Like Good Contracts." They were protesting their employer's labor practices, which included allowing them to be featured in online videos without their consent.

Management had told them that "amateur porn stardom was an occupational hazard they had to accept," writes Jennifer Borda, associate professor of communication, in her new book, Women Labor Activists in the Movies: Nine Depictions of Workplace Organizers, 1954-2005 (McFarland, 2011). Their successful effort to form an exotic dancers union inspired the independent documentary "Live Nude Girls Unite!" And it gave Borda material for one of the most memorable chapters in her well-researched book about heroines who fight unjust corporate practices in movies such as "Salt of the Earth," "The Pajama Game," "Norma Rae," "Silkwood" and "Erin Brockovich."

Borda's book holds surprises for anyone who thinks that big-screen female labor activism begins and ends with Sally Field standing on a table and holding a sign reading "UNION" in "Norma Rae." Americans remember Doris Day for her virginal image and celluloid romances. But Borda reminds us that in the 1957 film "The Pajama Game," she played a union member who led a production slowdown at her pajama factory after learning that members of her local didn't get a deserved raise. A few years earlier, "Salt of the Earth" evoked sympathetically the plight of Mexican-American zinc miners and the wives who replaced them on a picket line when an injunction barred the men from striking.

Films like these matter, Borda argues, partly because they both affect and reflect our views on women, organized labor and social class. As unions lost ground in the late 20th century, they also began to disappear from movies, and today "mainstream union films are almost nonexistent," she says. Even so, the subject of female labor activism is rich enough that Borda spent a decade on her book, watching each of her nine films from five to 10 times.

Women Labor Activists in the Movies: Nine Depictions of Workplace Organizers, 1954-2005

Borda says that what surprised her most was that Hollywood's image of labor activism was so dramatically different from the image in independent films. In mainstream movies, women tend to turn to unions—if they do at all—for personal rather than political reasons, as Josie Aimes (Charlize Theron) does in "North Country." And they rarely emerge stronger for their trouble. Independent productions like "Live Nude Girls Unite!" display more sympathy for collective action.

The main thing missing from many mainstream movies, Borda adds, is the collective effort she believes is needed to bring about real social change. "Hollywood films make it seem as if one individual is going to change the system," she says. "It just doesn't happen that way."


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Chick Lit and Postfeminism

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Novels like Bridget Jones's Diary and its many imitators have "monumentally changed the representation of single women in fiction," feminist critic Stephanie Harzewski argues in one of the most comprehensive studies to date of the genre. If authors once tended to cast unmarried female characters as objects of pity or scorn, these books have served up "a cast of funny, usually capable women not looking to settle."

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The Summer Visitors

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Author and illustrator Hayes follows her award-winning The Winter Visitors with a sunny picture-book fantasy about the delights of summer as experienced by a family of bears eager to imitate a human family's vacation activities at their lakeside cottage.

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Sammy in the Sky

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A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and an internationally known painter team up to tell a gentle story about a girl's reaction to the death of a beloved pet, "the best hound dog in the whole world." Much as she misses Sammy, the young narrator ultimately learns a comforting lesson: "He'll always be with us."

In Their Own Words
Descriptions of new and recent written work by the authors themselves

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Science Was Wrong: Startling Truths about Cures, Theories and Inventions "THEY" Declared Impossible

In Science Was Wrong, Stanton T. Friedman, M.Sc. and Kathleen Marden critically examine historical proclamations of "impossibility" in the areas of aerospace, technology, medicine and politics that were later refuted. For example, there were prominent "experts" who thought flight was not to be. The great Lord Kelvin (1824-1907) (President of the British Royal Society) in 1896 proclaimed "I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other than ballooning or of expectation of good results from any of the trials we hear of". Of course, the following year he also called Wilhelm Roentgen's X rays an elaborate hoax. As it happens, Roentgen won the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901 for his X-ray discovery.

Communication techniques didn't start changing until less than 200 years ago. The telegraph, telephone, television, the internet, cell phones were all targets for the impossibilists. Sometimes it required true persistence to overcome the inertia of the traditionalists. Why would one want to sit in front of a box watching pictures? Of what use is a telephone since there is nobody to call?

Germ theory was first advanced in ancient Sanskrit texts and later proposed in 36 BC. But despite observational and experimental data, it was not widely accepted until late in the 19th century. A Viennese physician discovered, in 1847 that pathogenic contaminates on his own hands and those of his students were killing postpartum mothers and their infants. A simple sanitizing solution dramatically decreased mortality in his maternity ward. Yet it was not until years after his death that the scientific establishment officially accepted his germ theory.

Sometimes highly regarded scientists have promoted political ideas that have led to human suffering. For example, Social Darwinism fueled the Eugenics Movement in America and Germany and led to sterilization programs in both countries and the extermination of millions in Germany and its occupied territories.

Marden and Friedman wrap up their book with a section on "The Frontiers of Science," including extraterrestrial visitation and psychic phenomena. Considered unworthy of serious investigation by most mainstream scientists, they may one day gain respectability.


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The Ethics of Voting

I came to UNH to become a philosopher. It paid offI went to the best political philosophy Ph.D. program in the country, and have since been a professor at Brown and Georgetown. One of the biggest lessons I learned from my professors at UNH was that a good philosopher doesnt take for granted what everyone else assumes is true.

The prevailing American attitudes toward voting have always bothered me. We praise voting as if its the height of civic virtue. We praise voters for voting even when theyre ignorant, irrational, or misinformed. We assume citizens who abstain arent doing their part or are free-riding on others.

We would never say, It doesnt matter whether you know how to perform surgery. The important thing is to make your cut! Yet in American culture, we do say, It doesnt matter if you know anything about politics. The important thing is to vote.

The Ethics of Voting challenges all these commonsense ideas. How citizens vote is morally significant. When citizens vote, they can make government better or worse, and in turn, make peoples lives go better or worse. Bad choices at the polls can destroy economic opportunities, produce crises that lower everyones standards of living, destroy jobs, lead to unjust and unnecessary wars (and thus to millions of deaths), lead to sexist, racist, and homophobic legislation, help reinforce poverty, produce overly punitive criminal legislation, and worse.

I argue that citizens have no duty to vote. They can exercise civic virtue, pay debts to society, and serve the common good without voting or even being involved in politics at all. However, I argue that if people do vote, they must vote wellon the basis of sound moral and empirical beliefs in order to promote the common goodor otherwise they are morally obligated to abstain. On my view, commonsense American attitudes about voting are backwards. We shouldnt praise irresponsible voters. Instead, we should advise people that there are countless ways outside politics to make a positive difference.

For more, and to read the first chapter, see


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Reforming Urban Labor

Every evening, as I stood on the platform in the Brussels' Central Station waiting for my train home to Leuven, waves of exhausted commuters shoved past me, rushing to catch their own trains departing every three minutes for villages spread throughout the small, densely-populated, government-less country of Belgium. I wondered, as we jostled for seats in the over-crowded, stuffy second class train compartment, why they all endured the commute. Why did they all work in the center of Brussels, so far from their villages? Alternatively, why did they live in other cities and rural villages so far from their jobs?. They clearly did not enjoy standing, newspapers, purses, shopping bags, lunch pails, and briefcases in hand, on the often-delayed train that lurched along over century-old tracks. I had my excuse for commuting daily between Brussels and the university town of Leuven. I was In Belgium for only one semester on a Fulbright research grant and my family had taken up residence in the Begijnhof, the restored seventeenth-century university housing complex.

I had not quite finished the biography I had come to Leuven to write, but my questions launched me into my next book. Reforming Urban Labor: Routes to the City, Roots in the Country, was just published by Cornell University Press.

Industrial production required a massive labor force, but the uprooted workers brought disease and disorder into the centers of London and Brussels, the capitals of the two industrial powerhouses of Europe. At night, after the factories closed, workers and their families sheltered in the dark and shadowy alleyways between the monuments and grand boulevards. Reformers pioneered commuting schemes. Governments subsidized workmen's trains and constructed public housing outside of the industrial centers.. Every night workers were to journey home by rail to cozy cottages planted out in the suburbs and villages.

I was still curious. Why, in 1869, had a very conservative Belgian deputy collaborated with a very liberal minister to pioneer this "social engineering?" How had the newly-formed London County Council seized the initiative to build the first municipal housing estates? And what had happened to the descendants of the workers set into motion on the rails by this first generation of urban planners who separated home from work? Were these the men and women who jostled for a place on the trains in 2011? Is commuting sustainable in the twenty-first century?


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Race in the Age of Obama—Research in Race and Ethnic Relations, Volume 16

Co-edited by Donald Cunnigen, M.A. '76 and Marino A. Bruce (Bingley, England: Emerald Group Publishing, Ltd., 2010)

When I arrived in Durham, New Hampshire to enroll in the University of New Hampshire as a sociology graduate student, I started a life changing academic adventure that continues to this day. With the exception of a brief week-long visit to Providence, Rhode Island during my older brother's days as a Danforth Fellow and biology graduate student at Brown University, I had no exposure to life in New England. As a result, UNH holds a very special place in my life.

Through the graduate sociology program, I was given exposure to leading figures in the discipline who expanded the very provincial horizons of a young man who had spent his entire life in the rural South, Mississippi. They helped to refine my sociological knowledge of research methods and understanding of sociological theories. Most important, they provided the tools necessary to delve into my primary area of scholarly research, i. e., race and ethnic relations. Thus, my latest edited work owes much to my UNH training.

Race in the Age of Obama provides the first in-depth examination of the impact of the key sociological issues faced by the new Obama Administration and explores conventional topics on race and ethnic relations as well as delving into new areas of intellectual inquiry regarding the changing scope of race relations in a global context.

In the book, leading scholars examine a variety of topics, including African and American relations through the prism of an American scholar; the impact the Obama family and their presence in the White House have on existing ideas about the concept of family and related issues; social justice issues with an emphasis on understanding their sociological context relating to the Obama Administration; the Tea Party movement and other conservative anti-Obama groups; and the 2008 Presidential Election, with emphasis on Obama's road to success.

With the upcoming 2012 election, many scholars are reviewing the real accomplishments of the administration. The volume provides an important critique of some aspects of the Obama Administration' early years.

Donald Cunnigen, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Rhode Island


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Little Tate and the "Say Hey" Glove

Writing a children's book was never one of my life's ambitions. When my first son, Carter, was born, we received close to thirty children's books from family and friends. In all of these books, I noticed there was no strong male, father-type character. It got me thinking about my own experiences to develop a story on my own. The story of my baseball experience marinated in my head for several months. When I finally decided to sit down and write it, the story basically wrote itself. It was a very strange experience, as writing never came easily for me in the past. When it was finished, I had several of my closest friends and family members read it to give me feedback. They all loved it and hoped I'd pursue it further, possibly even going so far as to publish it.

Getting into the traditional book publishing business became a passion of mine, only to have me face the harsh reality of the challenges new authors face. I grew very frustrated and eventually stopped searching for book publishers or literary agents, regretting that my story would never come to life.

In October of 2009, my world forever changed. I became very ill with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system. In short, I became partially paralyzed and lost the use of my arms, hands, legs, and feet. I could no longer walk, feed myself, or even hug my 2-year-old son. While my prognosis for recovery was very good, my life came to a screeching halt. One of the byproducts of being sick, especially when you can't move, is that you have a lot of time to think. I thought a lot about my children's story and decided that it was something I had to follow through with. If I didn't, I would regret it my entire life.

After my recovery, I paid close attention to all of the children's books I read to my son on a nightly basis. "Hello, Wally!" by Jerry Remy and Mascot Books, was one of Carter's favorites. I looked up Mascot Books on the web and made a phone call on a whim. They showed a lot of interest in my story and how it came to fruition. It has been a huge thrill for me to watch my book take shape.

Ultimately my story was written for my son, and for every parent and child who share a common love of baseball.


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Command Influence: A story of Korea and the politics of injustice

Why did George C. Schreiber, a 25 year old 2d Lieutenant, get caught up in a series of events that would ultimately involve the Governor of the State of Illinois, the Attorney General of the State of Illinois, The President of the United States, the Judge Advocate General of the Air Force, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. Senators and Congressmen, major newspapers and thousands of people in his home State of Illinois? This same young officer had been a 5th and 6th grade teacher and a Village recreational director employed by the Board of Education, District 95 in Brookfield, Illinois until June of 1951 when he enlisted in the united States Air Force as a staff sergeant assigned to Officer Candidate School at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Upon graduation and receipt of his commission as a 2d Lieutenant he was assigned to Air Police School at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, from which he graduated in March of 1952. In August he was sent to Korea to be the officer in charge of an Air Police guard unit at the 543rd Ammunition Supply Squadron located near Pusan, South Korea. Within a year he was to stand convicted by a General Court Martial of premeditated murder.

It all made no sense to me then and now almost 57 years later it begins to become clear that both Schreiber and myself were really pawns in a power game among ambitious and vindictive men, anxious to please those whom they felt could advance their military careers. The alleged murder by Schreiber was in my opinion the result of indifferent stupidity by a young airman, which resulted in the death of a man who no one knew, who ultilmately would be described as an oriental male with no known name and no family to ever come forward and claim his remains. A man who some clever assistant staff Judge Advocate would for the purposes of the military justice system call Bang Soon Kil.

When Airman Thomas Kinder came home to the United States he had pangs of conscience that he had taken the life of an unknown oriental man in the course of his service as an air police guard in South Korea. He confided his troubles to his mother, who in turn communicated her son's story to the office of the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, the result was a reopened investigation into the events leading up to the killing by Kinder and his conviction by military court for the murder, as well as the arrest and trial of Lieutenant George C.Schreiber and the attempted arrest and prosecution of former A/1st Class Robert W. Toth.

From the distance of time, experience and reflection a studied revisit of the facts and events of long ago leads me now to clearly see what was not visible or otherwise discernable to me as a 23 year old Air Force lawyer in South Korea in the year 1953. This story has haunted my thoughts ever since, and this effort to revisit and tell the story is a vindication of conscience on my part as a result of a late life effort to understand what happened that year in the war ravaged country of South Korea.

Some of the events that are now understood by me have become clarified by the tempering of my understanding of human nature after almost sixty years of being a lawyer and by the sheer process of maturation. These are the stories of several good and patriotic men who felt they were doing their respective duties to God and country. The victims were a couple of otherwise dedicated but naive and trusting young men who happened to be fellow officers at a time and place that shaped their characters and lives. George Schreiber was one and I was the other. We were both were to victims in our own way.


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Multicultural Intelligence: Eight Make or Break Rules for Marketing to Race, Ethnicity, and Sexual Orientation

Critics of this new book might argue the election of President Obama is proof that racial, ethnic, gender and sexual orientation barriers have been torn down, and marketing to these attributes isn't all that important anymore.

This book takes the position that instead of getting pushed to the background, multicultural segmentation needs to become more sophisticated, and take its rightful place—front and center.

With decades of experience in multicultural marketing, author David Morse reviews the history of marketing to black, Hispanic, Asian, and LGBT (mostly lesbian and gay) consumers. He explains how including appropriate cultural cues in advertising can build brand loyalty that will pay huge dividends. He also cautions that missing the mark with advertising that excludes or is culturally offensive can be a costly mistake.

Replete with scores of examples of campaigns that have been extremely effective, as well as those that have sparked outrage and boycotts, this book provides EIGHT basic rules that should guide you through the process of marketing as diversity becomes mainstream. Recommended, for all levels of management and any student of marketing or advertising.

Table of Contents

Part I—Meet the New Americans
One: Melting Pots, Multiculturalism and Marketing to the New America
Two: Hispanic Americans
Three: African Americans
Four: Asian Americans
Five: LGBT Americans
Six: Post-ethnic America and People of Mixed Race

Part II—The Rules of Multicultural Marketing
Rule 1: Boost your MQ
Rule 2: Divide and conquer
Rule 3: Don't trust the experts
Rule 4: Don't let the joke be on you
Rule 5: Don't get lost in translation
Rule 6: Push their buttons
Rule 7: Market on a wink and a prayer
Rule 8: Make up, don't cover up


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Reflections of a Loving Partner: Caregiving at the End of Life

Reflections of a Loving Partner: Caregiving at the End of Life is the intimate story of two devoted partners confronting the challenges of a terminal diagnosis. Author C. Andrew Martin's world was shattered when his life partner, Gil, was diagnosed with AIDS. This eloquent memoir shares their love story, unveiling the burdens and the joys of the caregiving journey.

Unprepared for the role, but determined to support his ailing partner, Andrew chose to become Gil's caregiver. To prepare for what lay ahead, Andrew enrolled in hospice volunteer training, learning lessons to guide him through the medical, emotional, spiritual, and legal hazards of caregiving. Despair turned to hope, allowing open, healthy discussions about death between the two men.

Now a registered nurse and leader in the field of hospice and palliative care, Andrew has turned his personal experience into his life's work, sharing with others the valuable lessons he learned. He offers "End-of-Life Coaching" exercises at the end of the book to guide readers back to caregiving basics. Andrew shows us that when we are open to its possibilities, the loving and selfless act of being a caregiver for someone who is at the end of life can teach us just as much about living as about dying.


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Lie After Lie: The True Story of a Master of Deception, Betrayal and Murder
(Author photo by Deb Cram)

I didn't actually go to the University of New Hampshire with the intention of becoming a writer, but for a major in Equine Science. But somewhere around the end of my sophomore year, as I found myself riding and training more dangerous horses, and having more falls, I decided it might be good to have a back up plan. I'd always enjoyed writing and opted for a minor in journalism. That led to a reporting internship with a local weekly newspaper which became a full time job after graduation and a career I never thought I'd find myself in. I found myself particularly drawn to crime reporting as I loved getting the story behind the people involved in crimes and what made them tick. I always knew that I wanted to write a true crime book but had to find the right case first.

In 2008 I was working as a freelance writer when I saw a story about the murder case against James Keown in a Boston newspaper. Keown, a former radio talk show host from Missouri, was on trial for murdering his wife Julie by lacing her Gatorade with antifreeze. He had been leading a double life, was deeply in debt, and was alleged to have murdered his wife for her life insurance policy. The twists and turns of the case immediately appealed to me. There was a lot of background information about Keown that was not admissible during his trial that would be ideal for a true crime book. I was lucky to work with a very experience literary agent, Jane Dystel, who helped me navigate the publishing world and found an editor who offered me a contract to write the book. That book, Lie After Lie: The True Story of a Master of Deception, Betrayal and Murder was published by Berkley, an imprint of Penguin, in November 2010. I credit the solid introduction to journalism I received at UNH with giving me the skills that allowed me to not only excel as a newspaper reporter but now as a true crime writer.


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