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05/20/93

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Book Digest

STANFORD -- Postwar architect. William L. Clayton, assistant secretary of state for economic affairs under Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, has been called "the principal architect of American postwar foreign economic policy." Yet his seminal contributions have been largely ignored over the past four decades.

In Our Finest Hour: Will Clayton, the Marshall Plan, and the Triumph of Democracy (1993 Hoover Press), Hoover Institution research fellow Gregory Fossedal looks back at Clayton's life, from his troubled Southern boyhood to his remarkable success as a cotton broker and then to his passionate efforts to promote a worldwide free economy in the postwar period.

Clayton never served as secretary of state - he declined Truman's offer because of family reasons. But he did, in Fossedal's words, "act as a participant, catalyst and in some cases prime mover of such critical acts of statecraft as the Bretton Woods agreement on international monetary policy and trade cooperation, the Marshall Plan, and the Truman Doctrine to aid freedom fighters in Greece and Turkey when those countries were pressured by Soviet-backed rebels and Soviet military threats in the late 1940s."

Clayton "also was one of the few men who served in Washington, D.C., in those critical years who did not write his memoirs or cultivate a biographer," Fossedal said. "This book is meant to be Will Clayton's memoirs."

Chicano funny bone. The fusion of Latino and American traditions "has created new words, new sounds, new rhythms and colors; new perspectives embracing a shared universal spirit." Jose Antonio Burciaga - Stanford resident fellow, artist and writer - celebrates that spirit in his latest book, Drink Cultura (1992 Joshua Odell Editions/Capra Press).

Drink Cultura is a collection of personal anecdotes and history on subjects ranging from the origin of Cinco de Mayo and the joy of Jalapeno peppers, to his "mixed marriage" with longtime Stanford administrator Cecilia Burciaga (he's Texan, she's Californian). Harking back to his youth in El Paso, he recalls the well-crafted pinatas, and the warm summer nights he spent carousing in nearby Juarez, "the wildest town south of Las Vegas."

"Since the death of my parents, our ties with relatives in Mexico have slowly dissipated," Burciaga writes. "But this too is part of the Chicano revolution. . . .

"I can still clearly and proudly see my ancestry going back to the Mexican War of Independence. But we are now from this side of the border and part of a new era of awareness and independence. Mexico is closer to the Southwest now than when it was theirs. Mexico never left the Southwest, it just learned English."

Good news and bad. For American women, the early 1990s have brought a mixed bag of headlines, ranging from passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act, for example - to disturbing reports of sexual abuse and harassment.

American Women in the Nineties: Today's Critical Issues (1993 Northeastern University Press) is a collection of essays by Stanford scholars and others on some of the most critical issues facing women today. Among them: the economic plight of elderly women, particularly those who have been married; problems in women's health care created by inadequate medical coverage and biased research; the increasing number of homeless women, the rapidly growing threat of AIDS, especially to poor and minority women, and attitudes toward women implicit in American foreign policy.

"It is our hope and intent that this book will be read not only by students, academicians and policy makers, but by women and men everywhere who wish to be informed and challenged in their thinking about some of the most important issues facing American women today," writes editor Sherri Matteo, deputy director of Stanford's Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

"We further hope the volume will be a useful guide in evaluating the political stances and platforms of those state and local as well as national individuals who would represent us politically. If we do this together, we will see for ourselves the difference that women can make."

Other Stanford contributors include Laura Carstensen, assistant professor of psychology, and Monisha Pasupathi, a graduate student in psychology; Diana Dutton, senior research associate in the School of Medicine; Dr. Iris Litt, director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender; Sanford Dornbusch, professor of sociology; and Deborah Rhode, professor of law.

Avoiding blunders. The eyes of many government foreign-policy makers glaze over when scholars talk about "theory," says Stanford political scientist Alexander George. Yet practically presented and applied theory might save the United States from some foreign-policy blunders.

In Bridging the Gap: Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy (1993 United States Institute for Peace). George analyzes the gap between theory and practice in U.S. foreign policy and gives examples of recent foreign policy research that could be useful for diplomats.

Blunders in recent United States-Iraqi relations, for example, were partly the result of a "weak knowledge base undergirding most of the strategies employed by the Bush administration in dealing with Saddam Hussein since the end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988," George writes.

Among his recommendations for foreign-policy scholars: Write theories so they can be used as "sophisticated checklists" by leaders developing policy options, write up research so it identifies causal patterns, and use models of state behavior that take into account the "mind-set" of particular actors, such as Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Libya's Mu'ammar Gaddafi or Russia's Boris Yeltsin.

Area specialists, he added, can be particularly helpful in identifying how cultural beliefs and other psychological factors shape the behavior of specific leaders.

Romantic sounds. Leonard G. Ratner, professor emeritus of music at Stanford, is the author of Music. The Listener's Art, Harmony: Structure and Style, and Classic Music: Expression, Form and Style.

Now, in Romantic Music, Sound and Syntax (1993 Schirmer Books), Ratner examines the role that sound plays in shaping Romantic musical form. By demonstrating the interaction of sound and syntax in Romantic music, he shows the effectiveness of a new theoretical approach to music analysis, incorporating sound as a factor in analysis for the first time.

Concurrently with the publication, Pendragon Books has issued a festschrift in Ratner's honor entitled Convention in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Music. This collection of 19 essays by musicologists and composers centers on issues of style analysis that have been principal concerns of Ratner's research and teaching. The festscrift was edited by Stanford alumni Janet Levy and Wye Allanbrook, and William Mahrt, Stanford associate professor of music. It was made possible by a subscription sponsored by the Music Guild at Stanford.

Fairy tale. "Long ago in China there lived a stone carver named Chan Lo. Chan Lo spent his days carving birds and deer and water buffalo from the colored stones he found near the river. 'How do you know what to carve?' his young apprentice asked. 'I always listen to the stone,' replied Chan Lo. 'The stone tells me what it wants to be.' "

So begins The Jade Stone (1992 Holiday House), a Chinese folktale adapted for children by Caryn Yacowitz, better known on campus as Caryn Huberman, apheresis donor coordinator at the Stanford Medical School Blood Center.

In Yacowitz's book, the Great Emperor of all China asks Chan Lo to carve a dragon of wind and fire from a perfect piece of jade. But the sounds Chan Lo hears from the stone don't sound like a dragon at all. Chan Lo carves three fish instead - and awaits the king's wrath.

"When I heard the story, I could not forget it. I decided to expand it into a picture book for children," Yacowitz said. "Like Chan Lo's sculpture, it took a year and a day (or maybe a little longer)." The illustrations, by Ju-Hong Chen, evoke the look of ancient hand- colored wood-block prints.

New buzzwords. Hierarchy, power, control and linear planning - these buzzwords of traditional business are being replaced by words like connection, social values, creativity, compassion and intuition.

"Throughout the world, people in business - including owners, managers and employees - are changing the way they think and work," writes Stanford Business School professor Michael Ray in The New Paradigm in Business: Emerging Strategies for Leadership and Organizational Change (1993 Tarcher/Perigee). "They are engaging in a transformation that some have said is as great as any in history."

The New Paradigm contains 29 essays by leading business managers and consultants on such subjects as competition versus cooperation, the ethical responsibilities of corporations, the special challenges of women at work, employee ownership, and the role of business as a vehicle for social transformation.

The book also includes numerous profiles of exemplary companies and their leaders, "whose visions and strategies offer hopeful ways to manage the increasing complexity and potential of business in these turbulent times." It was edited by Ray and writer/editor Alan Rinzler for the World Business Academy.

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