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Faculty books win national award

The American Library Association has named two books by Elon faculty - a textbook on the Holocaust by professor David M. Crowe, and "Southern Culture: An Introduction" co-authored by assistant professor John Beck - as CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles for 2008. The annual list reflects the best titles reviewed by the organization's CHOICE magazine and is the top recognition of the academic library community.

David M. Crowe

To watch a short documentary produced by the Office of University Relations on Crowe’s book, click on the link to the right of this page.

The 2008 list includes 679 titles in 54 disciplines and subsections. CHOICE editors make their selections based on overall excellence and scholarship, the importance relative to other literature in the field, originality of treatment, value to undergraduate students and importance in building undergraduate library collections.

The review of “The Holocaust: Roots, History, and Aftermath” reads:

“Crowe's book is the best overall text on the market today for college classes on the Holocaust. It lives up to the promises of its author in providing a sufficient diversity of materials so that it will appeal to upper-division students and be useful in more focused studies in law school.

“Organizing his work in ten chapters, Crowe (Elon Univ.) supplements his text with detailed chronologies preceding each chapter, up-to-date bibliographies at the end of each chapter, and a series of insightful appendixes at the end of the book. Each chapter integrates a selection of primary sources.

“While less concerned about functionalist-intentionalist debates, Crowe sustains a focus more on testimonies of contemporary witnesses along with reliable secondary sources. Departing from existing works on the Holocaust, Crowe explores in greater depth the origins of antisemitism and the post-1945 implications of the Holocaust. Beyond the traditional emphases on the immediate postwar years, Crowe traces the pursuit of war criminals into the 1980s through the trial of John Demjanjuk.

“Particularly valuable for students with individual research projects. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All undergraduate and graduate libraries.”

- D. A. Meier, Dickinson State University

The review of “Southern Culture: An Introduction” (co-written with Wendy Frandsen and Aaron Randall) reads:

"Three community college instructors combine their long experience in teaching English, history, and sociology in North Carolina (Vance-Granville Community College) to provide an interdisciplinary introductory text well worth adoption. Beck, Frandsen, and Randall meet well the challenge of merging humanities and social science approaches to regional studies by examining six focal areas: race, class, politics, family, religion, and agrarianism.

"The volume's high point is an outstanding essay on southern creativity from kitchens to graveyards. George Whitfield is onstage and so is Elvis; hoppin John shares the dinner table with Kentucky Fried Chicken. The authors understate the role of the Civil Rights Movement in the longer story of African American life, but otherwise do a remarkable job of creating a portrait of black and white coexistence over time. Chapter 5, "Religion," ought to be retitled "Christianity" as the region's wide variety of Christian expressions are competently discussed, but no mention is made of southern Jewish culture or the rising diversity of world religions present in the region.

"Superbly chosen black-and-white illustrations enhance the narrative. Useful selected bibliography appended. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All undergraduate libraries."

- E. Thompson, University of Maryland University College

These are the third and fourth CHOICE Awards won by Elon faculty in the past two years and the fourth and fifth since 2002. Janna Quitney Anderson, associate professor of communications, won a CHOICE Award in 2007 for her book, "Imagining the Internet: Personalities, Predictions, Perspectives. Rebecca Todd Peters, associate professor of religious studies, won a CHOICE Award in 2008 for "Justice in a Global Economy: Strategies for Home, Community and World."

Clyde Ellis, a professor of history, was a CHOICE Award recipient in 2002 for his book "The Jesus Road: Kiowas, Christianity, and Christian Hymns."

Eric Townsend,
2/18/2009 4:00 PM