HOT OFF THE PRESS

Note: This is a semi-regular feature in The Record. See the end of this article for more information.

Editor's Note: With this issue, the Record welcomes back Hot Off The Press, a regular feature that highlights books published by the U-M Press.

 

Resource Allocation in Higher Education, edited by William F. Massy, professor of education and of business administration at Stanford University.

Resource Allocation in Higher Education describes how colleges, universities and government agencies can use budgeting processes to improve program planning and productivity. Drawn from the contributors' direct experiences as well as research findings, it blends conceptual foundations with practical insights. Massy himself has been a key advisor to the U-M administration on the subject of Value Centered Management (VCM), the program under which the University will operate financially beginning July 1, and many of the ideas basic to VCM are covered within this work. While mostly in the domain of higher education economics, management and planning, the essays are written for any serious reader concerned with the problem of reform in higher education.

 

Tempests into Rainbows: Managing Turbulence, by Robben W. Fleming, president of the University of Michigan, 1967­1979 and 1988.

Robben Fleming, president of the U-M through the turmoil of the Vietnam era, brought a clear and effective philosophy to the challenges he faced as manager and leader in turbulent times. Fleming recounts the dramatic confrontations and demonstrations at Michigan over the war in Vietnam; military research in universities; the investment of University endowment funds in South African enterprises; and Black student campaigns for improved conditions on campus. This unusual autobiography demonstrates how a thoughtful person with a humane and consistent philosophy can manage the threat of turmoil and chaos and emerge a successful leader.

 

Jewish Writers, German Literature: The Uneasy Examples of Nelly Sachs and Walter Benjamin, edited by Timothy Bahti and Marilyn Sibley Fries.

Marilyn Sibley Fries is an associate professor of German and of women's studies, and is noted as one of the foremost Christa Wolf scholars. Timothy Bahti is an associate professor of German and of Comparative Studies, and is the author of Allegories of History: Literary Historiography after Hegel.

Jewish Writers, German Literature is a compilation of research into the contributions of two German-Jewish writers, poet Nelly Sachs and critic Walter Benjamin. By any account, German-speaking Jews have made among the greatest contributions to world culture in this century. One thinks of Wittgenstein and Husserl in philosophy, Kafka in fiction, and Paul Celan in poetry. Yet most Jews were exiled from German-speaking lands, and they have never been integrated within German culture as such. This insightful collection of essays addresses the uneasy relationship between Jews who are masters of the German language and the German literary tradition that still cannot accept the otherness of Jewish writers.

 

Standing Your Ground: Territorial Conflicts and International Conflict, by Paul K. Huth. Huth is an associate professor of political science and associate research scientist, Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Re search.

While territorial disputes have been an enduring feature of international politics for centuries, systematic knowledge about the origins, evolution and termination of such disputes is limited. In his book, Paul Huth examines 129 territorial disputes that occurred between 1950 and 1990 to provide clear and compelling answers to such questions as: When are international borders likely to be disputed? When are territorial disputes likely to escalate to high levels of conflict? When will disputes be settled peacefully by compromise and concession? An extremely useful text for anyone who wishes to gain a better understanding of territorial conflict in the post-Cold War era.

 

The Causes of Human Behavior: Implications for Theory and Method in the Social Sciences, by Lawrence B. Mohr, professor of political science and of public policy.

Two root issues in the methodology of explanatory social research are examined in this book: the meaning of the idea of causation in social science and the question of the physiological mechanism that generates intentional behavior. As Mohr himself states, "Much scholarly work strives towards generalizations, but true, broadly applicable laws have proven elusive. At the same time, the more qualitative approaches to the explanation of behavior have seemed limited in their applicability and general usefulness. Such apparent problems need to be viewed both realistically and rigorously; a dialogue about the appropriate means and ends of social research, based in an analysis of the fundamental issues, has long been warranted." The real question of Mohr's work is whether or not probabilistic laws governing human behavior are possible. The insight he provides makes this book highly valuable to any researcher in the social sciences.