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  Book Notes    

The Way to the Salt Marsh: A John Hay Reader
Christopher Merrill

Christopher Merrill, until recently the William H. Jenks Chair in Contemporary Letters at Holy Cross, has both edited and contributed an introduction to The Way to the Salt Marsh: A John Hay Reader (University Press of New England). Merrill is the author of 12 books of nonfiction and poetry. In this collection of John Hay’s best works, Merrill comments that Hay is what Thoreau might call “the scribe of all nature … (who) marries natural fact to personal experience in a distinctive lyrical style.” According to Merrill, Hay is a quiet environmentalist who “offers an abridged course in nature’s distinctions and dimensions.”

John Elder has praised the collection saying, “John Hay celebrates the living tides of our planet … the mysterious kinship at the heart of evolution. The present collection, with its fine introduction by Christopher Merrill, succeeds wonderfully in conveying the faithfulness, the scientific venturesomeness, and the purity of style that have marked John Hay’s work over a career spanning half a century.”


The Way to the Salt Marsh: A John Hay Reader


Honest Dogs
by Brian Patrick O’Donoghue ’77

In his book, Honest Dogs (Epicenter, 1999), Brian Patrick O’Donoghue ’77 recounts his experience in the Yukon Quest, a brutal 1000-mile sled dog race through the mountainous wilds along the Yukon River of Alaska. Written with wry humor, the book chronicles the “musher’s” strategies and disappointments, the drama of the race and the unworldly beauty of the wilderness setting.

O’Donoghue, who has lived in Alaska since 1986, has worked for newspapers and TV stations in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. He currently writes for the Fairbanks Daily News Miner. A recipient of the Alaska Press Club’s 1996 Investigative Reporting Award, he has been nominated twice for a Pulitzer Prize. A previous book, My Lead Dog was a Lesbian (1996), recounted O’Donoghue’s experiences in the 1991 Iditarod race.

  Honest Dogs

Through the Moral Maze: Searching for Absolute Values in a Pluralistic World
by Robert Hilary Kane ’60

Robert Hilary Kane ’60 is the author of Through the Moral Maze: Searching for Absolute Values in a Pluralistic World (North Castle Books) which is aimed at those “troubled by conflicting points of view on moral and spiritual matters [concerning] the unprecedented challenges of modern life.” This purpose is a personal one for Kane as he reasons through his own struggles with these issues in trying to respond to questions posed by his honor students at the University of Texas at Austin. Kane addresses the moral disintegration of contemporary technological society as secularization and pluralism produce uncertainty, relativism and loss of moral innocence. He also takes up the issues of public vs. private morality, and the political process in the United States.

Kane received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1964. Before joining the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, he taught at Yale, Fordham, Haverford College and the University of Pennsylvania. A professor of philosophy, Kane is a leading defender of the libertarian position on free will. He has written extensively on the metaphysics of free will and ethics. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Claudette. They have two children.

  Through the Moral Maze: Searching for Absolute Values in a Pluralistic World




These books are available from the Holy Cross Bookstore. Phone: (508)-793-3609. E-mail: erice@holycross.edu. If you mention that you read about these titles in Holy Cross Magazine, the bookstore will offer free shipping!


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