Books in Brief, Feb. 22, 2011


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10:17 a.m., Feb. 22, 2011----Books in Brief is a roundup of recent books by University of Delaware faculty, staff and alumni.

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David Suisman, associate professor of history and recipient of UD's 2010 Gerard J. Mangone Young Scholars Award, has won the annual DeSantis prize for his book Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music. The best-book prize was awarded unanimously by the Society of Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.

Published in 2009 by Harvard University Press, Selling Sounds previously won the annual Hagley Prize, awarded to the best new book in business history. The pioneering work uncovers the origins of the modern industry of popular music, tracing these origins to the publishers and promoters of sheet music in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. Suisman also co-edited Sound in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, published in 2010 by the University of Pennsylvania Press, with Susan Strasser, Richards Chair of American History at UD.

Joel Best, professor of sociology, is the author of Everyone's a Winner: Life in Our Congratulatory Culture, published by the University of California Press. In a review in the Feb. 16 Wall Street Journal, Sam Schulman says Best looks at today's American culture and “sees a proliferation of prizes that seems to arise from a desperate desire to exclude fewer and fewer people from the winner's podium.”

In the book, Best cites such examples as bumper stickers touting a child's presence on the honor roll, employee-of-the-month awards, high school classes with numerous valedictorians and the increasing use of the word “hero.” He also notes that the Academy Awards have doubled the number of films nominated for Best Picture honors, and the Mystery Writers of America now give literary prizes for 12 separate kinds of detective fiction.

Best previously wrote the books Damned Lies and Statistics and Flavor of the Month: Why Smart People Fall for Fads.

Victor Klemas, professor emeritus of marine studies in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), is the author of the Wiley-Blackwell book Remote Sensing and Global Environmental Change. The book is co-authored by Samuel Purkis, associate professor at the National Coral Reef Institute, housed at Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center near Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

The book is intended to provide environmental managers and researchers with an overview of advanced remote sensing techniques and their use in monitoring changes of the global environment. Graduate students in the earth and environmental sciences also will find the title to be an excellent resource for understanding various applications of remote sensing or learning more about how to effectively monitor the environment at local, regional, and global scales.

“There are other books with similar titles, but they don't seem to be as comprehensive as this one,” Klemas said, emphasizing that the 384-page text is ideal for use as a course book or a reference book. Remote Sensing and Global Environmental Change, which relies on case studies to help readers understand real-world settings, covers all the major applications that are related to global environmental change, from wetlands to coral reefs to rainforests.

Klemas joined the UD faculty in 1971. He has directed UD's Center for Remote Sensing for more than 30 years and has served on numerous scientific committees of the National Research Council and government advisory panels.

For more information on the book, visit the Wiley website.

Article by Ann Manser and Elizabeth Boyle