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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI professors pen books, receive awards
Subjects range from railroad baron to Rhode Island's prison system

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 18, 2000 -- A railroad baron, a Canadian author, recipes of Spain's secret Jews, Rhode Island's prison system, and volcanoes are some topics of books penned recently by the University of Rhode Island professors. Three of the books have received awards.

The Life & Legend of E.H. Harriman written by history professor Maury Klein of East Greenwich has just been released. The book offers the first in-depth biography of "the man who saved the railroads." A Wall Street banker until he was 50, Harriman gained control of the Union Pacific Railroad as it emerged from bankruptcy and quickly modernized every aspect of its operation. The book is a well-documented study of one of America's greatest financiers and railroad leaders. Klein's previous books include Unfinished Business: The Railroad in American Life and The Life and Legend of Jay Gould.

The book Lawful Order: A Case Study of Correctional Crises and Reform (New York: Garland Press, 1998, 1999) written by Leo Carroll of South Kingstown, URI professor and chair of its Sociology Department, was named "outstanding book" by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences at its annual meeting last month. The award is given to a member whose book makes an extraordinary contribution to the study of crime and criminal justice.

The book is an institutional history of the Rhode Island prison system from 1956, when the Rhode Island State Prison became the Adult Correctional Institutions, through 1995. In August, 1977 the system came under the jurisdiction of the federal court after conditions were found to constitute "cruel and unusual punishment" in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. The court retained jurisdiction over the system until 1995 when conditions were deemed to be constitutionally permissible. In the book, Carroll examines how and why conditions deteriorated to such an extent as to be unconstitutional, describes the long process of remediation and evaluates the success of the court as an agent of social change.

A Drizzle of Honey: The Lives and Recipes of Spain's Secret Jews, a recent book by Spanish professor David Gitlitz and his wife, Dr. Linda Davidson, a writer on medieval life and an adjunct instructor of Spanish, of Kingston, received two recent awards. The International Association of Culinary Professionals selected the book for its distinguished scholarship award. The book presents 100 modernized recipes gleaned from Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition trial testimony, as well as brief biographies of the secret Jews who were denounced to the inquisitors for preparing or eating those dishes. The book has also been named the winner of the 1999 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Sephardic and Ashkenazic Culture. The National Jewish Book Awards are the oldest and most prestigious awards in the field of North American Jewish literature. This is its 50th continuous year of presentation under the sponsorship of the Jewish Book Council. Gitlitz's earlier book, Secrecy and Deceit: The Lives of the Crypto-Jews, also received this award, the only time the same author has been selected twice.

Encyclopedia of Volcanoes, edited by URI Graduate School of Oceanography volcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson, recently received an award for excellence by the Association of American Publishers. The encyclopedia, published by Academic Press, took the prestigious award in the Geography and Earth Science Division for 1999. Sigurdsson, a resident of Jamestown, joined the URI faculty in 1974. He has authored more than 120 articles in scientific journals and overseen more than 35 research proposals funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Geographic Society. He is the author of Caribbean Volcanoes: A Field Guide and Melting the Earth: The Evolution of Ideas about Volcanic Eruptions.


For Information: Jan Sawyer, 401-874-2116

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