Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 14, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thursday, February 14, THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD A collection of brief book reviews "Fraud" by E. J. Kahn, Jr. (Fitzhenry Whiteside Limited, 321 pages, Would you like an autographed photograph of John the Baptist or a share in a billion estate left by one of your distant relatives? Perhaps you'd prefer salvation, beauty, health, doc- toral degrees, wealth, or a trip to Hawaii? Whatever your desire, there are people waiting to cash in on your gullibility. E. J. Krahn has written a fascinating account of the work of the U.S. postal inspec- tion service. He shows how postal inspectors catch those crooks who use the U.S. mail service to swindle adults and children. Although U.S. postal regulations appear to be tougher than those in Canada it is amazing how leniently confidence men (and women) are treated. Enormous sums of money are made by crooks who are out on bail and a short time in jail for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars suggests that crime does pay, and very hand- somely. A book that should please all lovers of mystery stories and true life adventures. It may also stop you losing money to postal confidence tricksters. Highly recommended. TERRY MORRIS "To Everything there is a Season" by Thalassa Cruso. (Random House of Canada Ltd. 300 pages, This book is a collection of essays which were originally written by Thalassa Cruso for the garden page of the Boston Globe and McCall magazine. The best of these essays were rewritten, reorganized and sorted in a month by month series according to the seasons The only illustrations are black and white reproductions of 16th century woodcuts at the beginning of each chapter and this might be disap- pointing for any reader who is looking for many colorful flower pictures. The book however is well- written and is a pleasure to read. Mrs. Cruso has had a television Garden Show for a long time and knows from the questions what kind of problems many people have and gives in her own witty way, many answers and good advice to the gardener on house and garden plants. TOM LAST "Reckless Lady" by Rae Foley (Oodd, Mead, 211 Reckless Lady is a well- written mystery that keeps your attention throughout. Each character is described in great detail, tending to keep a reader emotionally involved' in the story. This novel is about the murder and robbery of a wealthy and famous woman, Kay Spaulding. The two main suspects are Kay's half-sister Martha, and her husband Alan. Even after an attempt is made to poison Martha, the police still suspect her. A most enjoyable novel, and one I feel many would enjoy. ELSIE GREY "The Illustrated Book of World War (Published by Siswick and Jackson. 128 pages. The odd aspect of this book is that fact that this is a collection of color photos of the war. The result is rather anemic in some cases, but hauntingly beautiful in others. It is a journey into an era un- known by many but vividly remembered by those in- volved. No matter what category you fit in, the book is an interesting experience. GARRY ALLISON "Data For a Candlelit Dinner" by Adrian Waller (Clarke, Irwin Co. Ltd., 147 The author takes a whimsical look at the computer dating business. It began in 1964 as a lark by a Harvard graduate student and evolved into an international business an introduction service serving everyone from teenagers to the elderly. As part of his research Waller enrolled in a Montreal- based company called Compudate, which works on one simple premise: that in today's fast evolving world, finding a compatible partner for a long-term relationship is becoming increasingly complex and difficult. Data for a Candlelit dinner is an account of the facts of computer dating in North America, interspersed with personal details of the author's encounters with the dates on his computer lists. He didn't happen to meet the girl of his dreams but he had the opportunity to meet a wide range of eligible young ladies. Through them he was able to gain considerable insight into what people expect from computer dating, as well as the depths of alienation and loneliness in today's society. Reputedly, marriages in the U.S. today are credited to computerized dating. Adrian Waller gives an interesting account of the technical aspects as well as the human interest side of the business. Informative and entertaining reading. BEATRICE MEINTZER "I Beg To Differ" by Frank Lowe (Infocor Limited, 224 pages, distributed by Anyone not knowing that the title of this collection of columns is a kind of heirloom under which Frank Lowe has long written might expect material of a contentious nature. The substance of all the pieces is quite otherwise. Frank Lowe writes about ordinary things -and experiences with which most people can identify. He is a master of wry humor and the gentle put-down which greatly appeals to me Warmly recommended for those who are tired of wrestling with the great profundities and merely to enjoy light fare. DOUG WALKER "Where the Wagon Led" by R. D. Symons. (Doubleday, 343 A richly human love story about the author's "affair" with the Canadian west. R. D. Symons arrived in Saskatchewan fresh from the English countryside in 1914 and fell in love with the west. He retained that deep feeling for the rolling plains, the horses, and the cattle until his death last year. In this, his last book, Mr. Symons' yarns and remembrances, his adventures and hardships reveal to the reader his deep affection for this country. More than 70 sketches add to the personal aspect of this book. The sketches are like the writing, straight- forward and honest, with a special touch that brings them to life. While many of the tales were near tragic at the time, the years have mellowed them and the subtle English humor of Symons makes them en- joyable yarns. Blizzards, droughts, horse thieves, can- tankerous pound keepers, mounties, horses, cattle and the land itself all make intriguing subjects for Symon's witty and knowledgeable pen. This is a personal diary-type book about a time which has slipped past modern man too quickly. For nostalgia, for entertainment, and for just plain pleasure, don't miss this superb book. GARRY ALLISON "The Miami Dolphins Win- ning" by Steve Perkins and Bill Brancher. (George J. McLeod Ltd. 188 pages. "Always on the Run: Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick" with Dave Anderson. (Random House of Canada Ltd. 223 pages. These two books cover relatively the same ground, with the Csonka-Kiick book dwelling mainly on the two running backs of course, while the Dolphins' gives a broader perspective of the winning season. Many of the quotes from Csonka and Kiick are duplicated and one of the trains of thought 'that keeps running through both books is the intense dislike most of the players have for the artificial surfaces they must play on. There is humor in both writings, and while neither will be classics, they are both interesting and intriguing. If the reader happens to be a Dolphin fan, which I'm not, then these two books will have a lot more meaning. GARRY ALLISON The Letltbttdge Herald think PART tV PICTURE QUIZ S POINTS Manpower Minister announced a mil- lion summer job program for students. HOW DO YOU RATE? 91 to 100 TOP SCOUE M peWH 71 to W poMM Coed Cl to 70 Mr. to FAMILY DISCUSSION QUESTION What of cultural eveate should be tied in with the 1976 Summer Olympics? YOUR NEWS QUIZ PART I NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL Give yourself 10 points for each correct answer. 1 British coal miners voted overwhelmingly (CHOOSE ONEi In favor of. against) going out on strike. 2 Prime Minister Trudeau enjoyed a skiing holi- day in ..wherehe attended the opening of the world ski championships. a-Grenoble, France b-Squaw Valley, California c-SL Morltz. Switzerland 3 (CHOOSE ONEi Wendy Cook, Yvonne a 17-year-old Vancouver swimmer, set a world record for tne 100-metre backstroke while com- peting In the Commonwealtb Games. 4 was the overall leader In Commonwealth Games medals, followed by England and then Canada. a-Australla b-New Zealand c-Kenya 6 A tourism delegation from the Turks and Caicos Islands visited Canada and said It wants an economic link with Canada mat will benefit the Islands' economy and provide Canadians with a winter vacation spot. The Islands are located about 160 miles (CHOOSE ONE: west of Mexico, north of PART II WORDS IN THE NEWS Take 4 points for each word that you can match with its correct meaning. of narrow or closed spaces b-fear of strangers c-sacriflcial killing d-hatred of women e-systefnattc exter- mination of a race or group PART III NAMES IN THE NEWS Take 5 points for names that you can correctly match with the dues. 1-----Peter Lougheed a-Sovlet author b-Sovlet Foreign Solzhenltoyn Minister Holmes Gromyko Galry ZH-74 c-new commander of Canada's UN Mideast forces d-Pnmler, Grenada e-Pranier, Alberta STUDENTS Pract'ce Examination! Valuable Reference Material for Exams. ANSWERS ON REVERSE PAGE "Father by Sheldon Marcus, (Little, Brown and Co., 232 This book is a graphic illustration of how people react during times of hardship simplistic answers and a powerful personality can blind people to the reality of their situation, allowing them to be led in directions opposite to their real interests. During the depression, a voice amplified over radio drew to it an audience of millions of Americans as they listened to tales of Communist conspiracy (which included President Franklin D. spirited defences of Hitler and General Franco, and vicious anti-Semitism. The voice belonged to Father Charles Coughlin, a Roman Catholic priest, who broadcast weekly from the Shrine of the Little Flower, in Royal Oak, Michigan, and whose later right wing broadcasts had the tacit approval of the Vatican. The priest, born in Hamilton, Ontario, started as a supporter of F.D.R. but, partly because the president rejected his help, Couglin turned into a virulent opponent, even starting his own political party for the 1936 election which was smashed by Roosevelt. One of the most powerful men of the 30s, a man who brought the fascist message to millions of Americans, is brought to life in the Marcus book, and reading it is more than just entertainment. WARREN CARAGATA "Great Collectors' Cars" by Gianni Rogliiftti (Madison Square Dunlap, 9" x 318 pages, distributed by George J. McLeod "The World of the Automobile" by Ralph Stein (Ridge House, 9" x 252 Two splendid books for automobile buffs, full of photographs (many in magnificent color) of the ob- jects of their affection. The first book is a car-by-car description of Rogliatti's choices from the museums of Europe and the United States. The cars are presented in groups according to. the museums where they are to be found and each section is prefaced with information about the museum the feature I liked best since I'm not conversant with the technical end of automobiles. Ralph Stein's book, although also containing a lot of technical information, can be read by a person not especial- ly interested in cars. It is written in a lively style and has a lot of delightful anec- dotes. Stein covers a lot of ground, discussing car ac- coutrements, the way people dressed before cars became enclosed, highways, com- petition, and collectors as well as classic cars. In addi- tion to being an admirer of good workmanship in automobiles Stein demonstrates an appreciation of excellence in writing by employing strong words and fashioning fine phrases. DOUG WALKER "A Guard Within" by Sarah Ferguson (Clarke, Irwta Company Ltd., 196 .A Guard Within was not a book that was written for publication. It originally started out as the journal of a young mental patient hover- ing between darkness and light By expressing herself on paper, during her illness. Sarah Ferguson shows us what courage and determina- tion can do for you in our world today. In her book there is much conflicting emotion which makes the reader feel this trip through mental depression is actually happen- ing to yourself. Miss Ferguson made me feel as though we are all just waiting on the edge of sanity: waiting for the final push backward. SYLVIA JOEVENAZZO "Track Comes to Lonesome Point" by James Avars (Clarke, Irwin Company. 141 pages, Some boys in a junior high school decide to form a track team and discover the best coach available is a girl The difficulties and excitement of track meets keep the boys and their coach very busy A very pleasant little story; suitable for young readers. TERRY MORRIS The role of skepticism By Gregory Hales, local writer A significant problem currently affecting education has to do with innovation. What I .hope to do in this article is merely to give some general reasons for caution, and for skepticism. The problem alluded to is this far too often an approach to education become the approach. This transition frequently occurs by dint of persons in positions of considerable authority commanding that such and such a method of organization or instruction shall be the one employed. Often no justification is offered for the new program. When questioned about the new approach, those who have become convinced of its merit will often adopt the appeal to "expert" testimony as a method of persuading doubters. This kind of appeal is especially prominent when an idea is in its infancy. The curious thing to notice about these experts is that frequently riot only are they the persons who know most about the idea, but they are the ones who invented it. And necessarily they are going to present a one- sided view on the matter. Also, educational politics become involved at this point. If a person is successful in having his ideas implemented in a number of places, it will cast him into a certain prominence, which will in turn lead to other places requesting his expertise, which will lead to further prominence, and so on. Make no mistake about it, education is big business, and there is much money to be made by those who peddle the latest ideas. The expert, then, has everything to gam should his idea be adopted. He will use many tactics to convince potential clients that they should adopt his idea. It is important to be critical of all new ideas, but specially in education, where the stakes are the lives of children who are so profoundly affected by what educators do. Of course, there is the chance that some new pedagogical concept will be an improvement, but there is also a chance that it will be worse or more likely the same system in new jargon. In order to prevent these latter two possibilities, all new educational ideas should undergo rigorous assessment. The following procedure, which resembles the government white paper concept, is one way this essential assessment could be performed. Briefly, it could operate as follows: First, a white paper outlining the specific changes proposed, comparing the new idea with the old system, providing a rationale for the new method, and including other pertinent information would be prepared by those within the system who advocate the new method. Second, groups representing teachers, parents, administrators, trustees, and if appropriate, students, would be formed to study and assess the white paper. Third, hearings would be held to provide further examination and evaluation. Fourth, advice from other professionals or knowledgeable persons would be solicited. (Other steps could be added if By employing the vrhite paper concept, careful assessment of the new idea could be made before costly implementation is undertaken. If the idea survives such a test, we can legitimately assume that it does have merit for our particular school system. As well, potential weaknesses or difficulties would probably have been identified and moves could be made to alleviate them before they crop up in practice. If however, the idea does not survive, no harm will have been done. And in either case we can feel satisfied that we have acted in a reasonable and responsible way. Even after the idea's worth has been demonstrated and the idea generally accepted, individual schools should be allowed to decide whether or not the new idea would improve or enhance their particular situations. Two important concepts are inherent in what has been stated above The one is decentralization of educational authority; the other is variety of pedagogical philosophies or styles to best accommodate particular teachers and pupils. To deal with the latter first, an educational system which offers diversity of modes, methods, materials, and resources is better able to meet the needs of children and teachers than is a system which is monolithic. The most effective utilization of resources, especially human resources, is a goal of all educational systems. This goal could be approached if variety was built in and encouraged. Decentralization of educational authority is equally important. To maintain that authority not rest in the hands of a very few is not to doubt that those few have the best interests of the system at heart; nor is it to doubt their qualifications or abilities. But good intentions are not enough to justify a particular pedagogical platform. And in spite of being eminently qualified to make decisions, it remains that it is impossible for any small group of people to examine all the ramifications of a particular educational concept. Nor is it possible for them to bring to bear the careful and manifold scrutiny which the white paper concept would provide, at least to a greater degree than now exists. What I have advocated above, however briefly, is that a healthy skepticism be maintained when considering any educational innovation, and that decentralization of educational authority and variety of educational philosophies or styles will increase the viability and integrity of the educational system. Insight into Alexander Bell "Bell" by Robert V. Bruce (Little, Brown and Company, 564 This excellent biography, telling the story of Alexander Graham Bell and his conquest of solitude, presents the first Ultimate look history has ever taken at one of the great figures of the 19th and 20th centuries: the inventor of the telephone, teacher of the deaf, phonetician, showman and sage. Although Bell died in 1922, we have known very little until now about his personal life for if he was the most visible of public per- sonalities, he was also the most private in- dividual. Only a biographer with unrestricted access to Bell's vast personal files could hope to measure the man properly and Robert V. Bruce is that biographer. Working from Bell's notebooks, letters and papers, and making extensive use of his own scientific and historical training Bruce has written the book sure to remain, for decades to come, the standard biography of Bell and the authoritative history of the invention of the telephone. The book provides fascinating insights into the psychology of inventive genius: the conflicts, drives, and leaps of intuition without which no invention can succeed. It portrays Bell, for the first time, as a com- plete personality: intense, curious, struggling to overcome both his very real limitations as a scientist and the deadening effects of early fame (he invented the telephone while still in his The book sheds important new light on 19th and 20th century technology as well as on Bell's inventions in particular; tetrahedral construction, the bullet probe, the vacuum jacket (a precursor of the iron lung) and the telephone. He also explores Bell's researches and experiments on the airplane, the phonograph and the hydrofoil, and offers a wealth of new information about the long and intensely dramatic battle waged by Bell and his backers to establish the legitimacy of their claims on the basic telephone patents and thus establish the Bell Telephone Com- pany. Bruce also illuminates the vocation Bell considered to be his most important the teaching of the deaf. He vividly describes Bell's devoted friendship with Helen Keller, his marriage to a deaf girl to whom he had given speech lessons and his funding of the Volta Review, a journal concerned with the deaf and hard of hearing which remains ex- tremely influential today like Bell's other magazines. Science and National Geographic. This volume, is copiously illustrated with pictures of Bell, his family and associates and inventions as well as several of Bell's early drawings and sketches. Exposure to this book could fire other young people to heed their intuitions and take the leap which may yet give to the world inventions as beneficial as Bell's telephone. CHRIS STEWART ANDY RUSSELL Survival in the north "Foar Season North" by Blllle Wright (Harper Howe, 278 For those of us who have never known hardship or what it is like to survive in wilderness country where a mistake can mean death, this book affords a revealing look. It is a story of adventure in living, a trade of civilized life for one of great beauty and serenity, where two people find the satisfaction of spiritual and physical well- being in unspoiled surroundings far from the big cities of civilization. Billie and Sam Wright live in the heart of the Brooks Range in northern Alaska, where their nearest neighbor lives 30 airline nr.les away: a truly primitive mountain wilderness where for months the only Bother warm- blooded creatures they see are grizzlies, moose, caribou, wolves and other wildlife It is an entertaining, heart-warming jour- nal covering all the four seasons The author describes the infinite silence of the northern winter when, as the Eskimos say. a caribou can hear the creak of snowshoes at over a mile. She describes the fierceness of winter storms with flying snow and far below zero. She tells of the wonder of the northern spring, the short step from winter to summer, when the sun comes back from below the rim of the world to shine 24 hours a day. It is a time when everything bursts into movement and growth: the mountain streams shrug off their shackles of ice, the birds come back from their southern wintering grounds, and small things are hatched and bom. She points out that one learns how to cherish life for what it is today, that what is important is now. and true happiness is living in harmony with nature. The name the Wrights give their home is "Koviashuvik" an Eskimo word for living in the present moment in joy and happiness. That word spells out the meaning of meeting the truth; that man is a part of nature and must leam to live with it or ultimately perish To me this book is more than just interesting and entertaining, but promotes a nostalgic longing to go north again and soak up the space and the great quiet. For upon exposure, one either bates or loves the wild north country in its immensity, and if one loves it, it is forever.