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Press Check 2012

Recent books by NMSU faculty, staff and supporters

Forty Minutes of Hell: The Extraordinary Life of Nolan Richardson

By Rus Bradburd, Editor
HarperCollins / Amistad Books

Forty Minuts of Hell Cover

This biography, billed as “an exploration of the racial politics of American sports,” tells the story of legendary African-American basketball coach Nolan Richardson.

The book’s title refers to the style of basketball Richardson coached while at the University of Arkansas. He took their men’s team to the NCAA Final Four three times, winning the national championship in 1994. He also spoke up against racial injustice and accused the University of Arkansas in 2002 of discriminating against him. He was dismissed as head coach that same year.

Author Rus Bradburd is a member of NMSU’s creative writing faculty whose years of experience playing and coaching basketball provided important perspective for writing this book.

El Sicario: The Autobiography of a Mexican Assassin

By Molly Molloy and Charles Bowden
Nation Books

El SicarioEl Sicario, or “The Hitman,” is the pseudonym of a former comandante in the Chihuahuan state police who led a double life as a Mexican drug cartel assassin. This book is an edited version of transcripts from 10 hours of recorded interviews plus notes from unrecorded sessions the authors had with him at various secret locations. Molloy, an NMSU librarian who monitors and compiles reports of violence in Ciudad Juarez, also served as translator. The book offers a unique view of how terror is used by both sides in the war between Mexican drug cartels and the Mexican state. More broadly, Molloy says El Sicario provides insight into “the functioning of the Mexican government, the political economy of the drug business, and the technical details of its deadly system of control in which he was an enforcer for more than 20 years.”

Practical Speech Interface User Design

By James R. Lewis ’82
CRC Press, Human Factors and Ergonomics Series

Practical Speech User Interface Design CoverJames Lewis, an alumnus who is a senior human factors engineer with IBM Software Group and an expert in human-machine speech interface, has written a comprehensive survey of a crucially important topic in today’s high-tech world – the development of speech applications that help people interact with machines. The book incorporates principles from communication theory, psychology, linguistics and human-computer interaction. The content ranges from a review of concepts and discussion of current research, to specific methodology of developing speech user interface products. The author’s sense of humor is apparent in several of the final section headings: “I Appreciate Your Patience,” “Please Hold for the Next Available Research,” and “Thanks for Reading, Goodbye!”

Finding the Great Teacher Inside You

By James F. Cotter ’80 and Donald J. Cotter
Publisher: CreateSpace

Finding a Greater Teacher In You Cover

The premise of this father-son author team is that to be a great teacher it is essential to understand “your institution, your students, your expectations and yourself.” Early in the book they analyze 12 “teaching myths,” several of which involve false choices many teachers may feel forced to make. They follow with chapters on evaluating one’s specific situation, what constitutes a great teacher and strategies to become one, and their analysis of the classroom experience, including evaluation of teacher and student performance and determining the value of technology for the classroom.

Don Cotter is an NMSU professor emeritus of horticulture and plant science who retired in 1989. James, his son, holds an NMSU degree in civil engineering, has taught business at NMSU, and is currently an associate professor of finance in the business school at Wake Forest University.

The Journey of a Tzotzil-Maya Woman of Chiapas, Mexico: Pass Well over the Earth

By Christine Eber and “Antonia
University of Texas Press, Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series

Selena Book Cover

Christine Eber is a cultural anthropologist and professor emerita who retired in December 2010 after 15 years at NMSU. The subject – and co-author – of this book is an indigenous woman who Eber met in 1986 in the highlands of the Mexican state of Chiapas. Eber lived with Antonia while conducting her Ph.D. fieldwork and the two have maintained a close relationship ever since.

The narrative begins with Antonia’s childhood years, but the main focus is her work in social justice issues, including her quest to organize a weaving cooperative in her village, her involvement in a progressive Catholic movement, and her support for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

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