Classmate Publications


Dave Richards’ newest book, “I Give These Books: The History of Yale University Library, 1656-2022,” is the first-ever comprehensive history of Yale’s library, from its founding through the present day.

The book chronicles the evolution of the institution from the gifts of books for a college in 1656, before the founding of Yale College, to its transformation from a storehouse of knowledge to a workshop for faculty and student researchers throughout the University.

As the former Director of the Beinecke Library relates, “The history of the Yale University Library is, in reality, the intertwined histories of several libraries created in Yale’s past. And each library has its own story to tell, whether at the Divinity School, the Medical School, or the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Dave Richards captures it all with elegant prose and illustrations drawn from Yale’s archives.” — BARBARA SHAILOR, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN TRUST FOR THE BRITISH LIBRARY, FORMER DEPUTY PROVOST OF YALE AND DIRECTOR OF THE BEINECKE LIBRARY

Dave presented his work on the Yale Library system to the Grolier Society in New York. The video of the event is below.

More on the book is found at this link.

Bob Leahy’s latest book, If Only… is about something that has tormented all of us at one time or another: regret. But Bob says the emotion has a positive side, too.

“I see patients all the time, and many people are plagued by regrets about things they did or didn’t do; and it’s the second most common emotion, love being the first. There wasn’t anything in the cognitive literature about regret, so I wrote the book with the idea that an intelligent person could think about regret in a different way.

“People think regret is always a bad thing, but it turns out there are a lot of people who have a deficit in regret and don’t learn from their mistakes. They go out drinking, do drugs, spend money they don’t have, say things that are hostile, and they don’t anticipate they’ll regret it. So the thing about regret is sometimes it can be productive if it helps you make better decisions, learn from your mistakes, helps you not act impulsively, or helps you apologize. I call that ‘productive guilt.’

“One way of thinking about it is that regrets don’t have to last for years. Some people regret things that happened thirty, forty, fifty years ago. There should be a statute of limitations.

“What leads people to regret is they think they should have known things they didn’t know. Everybody’s good at predicting what happened yesterday: ‘Oh, I should have known that.’ But you used the information you had at the time. Even if you made an impulsive, ill-informed decision, how long do you want to stay with that regret? How long are you going to sit there and have a conversation with the regret? Five years? I don’t think so.

“Some people never acknowledge they made a mistake and never apologize. But it’s so disarming to apologize; people don’t expect it. It not only lifts the burden on the other person, it lifts the burden on yourself. Lots of times people who are troubled by regret have great insight. You never regret doing the right thing.”

Keeping Each Other Alive is Norm Hile’s memoir of his ’70-’71 combat tour in Vietnam. Quoting from letters he wrote home, with combat operations photos he personally took, he recounts his memories of that unforgettable year in war. He describes what it felt like to be an artillery forward observer in the field with an infantry company, and then an aerial observer in light planes and helicopters flying over enemy territory.

Keeping Each Other Alive is a very personal account of what one soldier endured in a war that had already been lost when he arrived to fight it. Norm recounts the terror of nighttime mortar attacks, sweltering in Vietnam’s tropical heat and humidity while carrying a heavy pack… and being one of the first to arrive overhead at Firebase Mary Ann to witness one of the war’s worst debacles.

Norm’s memoir allows the reader to experience the conditions that soldiers in the Vietnam war withstood, and it crackles with flashes of the insanity, pathos and humor that soldiers experienced while trying to keep each other alive.

The Amazon link, for those who may wish to purchase this book.

John Mauceri discusses music, conducting, and spirituality in a new podcast with John Gouveia, “The Spirit of a Conductor.” Enjoy John’s insights and experiences with the world’s greatest music and musicians, as viewed by the conductor, who alone has the ‘recipe’ for the music and brings all the diverse instruments together to communicate and connect the music to the audience. Music is the invisible art form with the power to control people’s emotions and actions. John explores the power and spirituality of the musical experience in a conversation for all lovers of music.

Just when we needed it, cognitive behavior therapist Bob Leahy has released his latest book, Don’t Believe Everything You Feel, a guide to finding freedom from the anxiety and depression that are affecting us all, one way or another, in these trying times.

“Suffering is inevitable,” says Bob. “So the real question is are you living a life worth suffering for? What made me write this book is I often think that psychology can sound too glib and too dismissive – ‘Just get rid of these painful emotions.’ I want people to understand that there’s another side of sadness. You feel sad about things that matter to you.”

Jim Peterson

As noted in the current class notes, Jim Peterson recently published two books on economics, Count Down: The Past, Present and Uncertain Future of the Big Four Accounting Firms, and DOA: Can Big Audit Survive the UK Regulators. But the world has changed since then, to say the least.

“Since this rather blithe message some months ago the world has turned upside down, and any predictions about the future of ‘normal would be fraught with uncertainty,” he says. “To venture three observations about the global business and financial environment addressed in my books:

“First, while companies across entire sectors are being devastated – airlines and energy for two – changed behaviors caused by the pandemic are creating unexpected winners as well, at least in the short run – as this is written, ZOOM and Peleton are examples. With that, the scope of market uncertainty means that companies have essentially stopped making projections about their futures, leaving investors and analysts on their own.

“Second, while comprehensive business uncertainties are acutely challenging the accounting firms in their provision of assurance on corporate financial statements, the firms themselves are facing potentially devastating disruptions of their basic business model – resulting in personnel furloughs and lay-offs, slashed employee salaries and partner earnings pressures – all of which may well reach levels threatening their stability and viability.

“Third, although the last two years have seen hostile and unremitting public, regulatory and political criticism of the Big Four firms and their performance, and proposals that would force a re-casting of their basic structures and scope of practice, those discussions have effectively gone silent for the time being – as put in American terms, “kicked down the road” or as the Brits put it, “kicked into the tall grass” ‘ although certain to be revived when priorities are re-ordered.”

John Mauceri

John Mauceri’s recording of Danny Elfman’s new violin concerto has just been released on Sony Classics. John also has two books coming out in September: For the Love of Music – A Conductor’s Guide to the Art of Listening, published by Knopf (along with John’s audio version) and Leonard Bernstein: A Centenary Celebration, published as an e-book by Vintage. His first book, Maestros and Their Music – The Art and Alchemy of Conducting, has now been published in Italian and Japanese, with Russian and Chinese translations coming soon.

John returns to Yale in the fall to teach a seminar, Music and the Cinema: A History at his old college, Branford. He has also been chosen to be a part of Yale’s unique Oral History of American Music project, which preserves “the voices of the major musical figures of our time.”

His upcoming concert schedule includes one in Paris in September and the UK in December. On December 6 & 7 he will conduct the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the world premiere of his new work for narrator and orchestra, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Alan Cumming will narrate.

Further, John writes: “Dear friends and family, I cannot remember who got what notification, so forgive the repetition, but this is a complete list of recent publications and podcasts. I can’t really explain how all this happened, but suddenly an explosion of materials has emerged. I have collected links and hope this proves useful to those who have asked about finding certain things on the internet. I send you all warm greetings from Paris on a beautiful morning, as I prepare for concerts today and tomorrow.”

Sam Barber/Gian Carlo Menotti podcast

John Mauceri’s Review of Max Steiner Biography

John Mauceri long ago recognized and began to champion the virtues of music composed for American movies, especially by émigré composers, starting in the 1930s.

John’s latest contribution to the genre is a very informative and insightful review of Steven C. Smith’s “Music by Max Steiner: The Epic Life of Hollywood’s Most Influential Composer” (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Published April 3 in the Wall Street Journal, John’s ‘above the fold’ review recalls the storied life of Hollywood’s most successful and prolific composer of musical scores for the movies. Steiner, seen in the photo above conducting the orchestra for the music of “King Kong,” also composed the music for “Casablanca,” “Gone With the Wind” and many more.

Click here to read John’s complete review.

Lanny Goldman retired from teaching philosophy last year after 47 years in the classroom. But that hasn’t stopped him from thinking and writing about it. “Philosophical issues don’t have quick answers, so I’m still at it,” he says. His tenth – and, he says, last – book, Life’s Values: Pleasure, Happiness, Well-Being and Meaning, was published last month by the Oxford University Press. “Not that too many people will read it, but that’s the way of life with philosophy books,” he says philosophically.

The book undertakes the daunting task of explaining what is of ultimate value in individual lives. “The proposed candidates include pleasure, happiness, meaning, and well-being” Lanny says. “Only the latter is the all-inclusive category of personal value, and it consists in the satisfaction of deep rational desires.”

His favorite philosopher? David Hume. And his least favorite? “Wittgenstein is really overrated.”


Hot on the heels of Bob Leahy’s 28th book, The Jealousy Cure, comes No. 29 – a newly revised edition of one of his most highly regarded books, Cognitive Therapy Techniques: A Practitioner’s Guide, a how-to handbook for his professional colleagues. If you want to know what his peers think of him, read on:

“In this second edition of his classic work, Leahy provides a plethora of invaluable techniques for creating therapeutic change in cognitive therapy. Trainees and experienced therapists will find this volume an indispensable repository of strategies that work.” – Adrian Wells PhD, School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

“Leahy, one of our most astute and knowledgeable cognitive therapists, synthesizes many years of clinical wisdom with a sophisticated understanding of current research. This book serves as a wonderful resource for novice cognitive behavioral clinicians, but also offers much to skilled practitioners, who can find ways to augment their favorite strategies and techniques with the latest clinical advances.” – John H. Riskind PhD, Department of Psychology, George Mason University; editor, International Journal of Cognitive Therapy

“Well written and user-friendly – an exceptionally useful resource for cognitive therapists. It is likely to benefit anyone from the student to the expert in cognitive therapy. This is an excellent volume that will find a home not on the bookshelf, but in the hands and laps of many practitioners.” – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Book Reviews

And book No. 30, Don’t Believe Everything You Feel – how’s that for a great title? – has already been sent to the printers and is due out this summer.


Karl Marlantes

Karl Marlantes, who wowed the critics and made the New York Times bestseller list with his first novel, Matterhorn, based on his experiences as a Marine first lieutenant in the Vietnam War (for which he was awarded the Navy Cross, Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, ten Air Medals, and two Purple Hearts), and its nonfiction companion piece, What It Is Like To Go To War, is mining history again with a just-released new novel: Deep River, a rich family saga about Finnish immigrants who settle and tame the Pacific Northwest, set against the early labor movements, World War I and the upheaval of early twentieth-century America.

Inspired by Karl’s own family history, Deep River is being lauded by everyone from The Washington Post (“An unforgettable novel. His descriptions of logging itself – the ingenious mechanics of taking down trees and the skill of experienced loggers – are wonderfully detailed, dramatic and exhilarating.”) to The Oregonian (“A riveting read in the classic western literature tradition of Wallace Stegner’s The Big Rock Candy Mountain, delivering the rich pleasures of an epic story well told.”) to Book Page (“A work born from Willa Cather by way of Upton Sinclair. But this new book is its own animal, and it’s something of a masterpiece.”).


Heroes with Humble Beginnings

What do Abe Lincoln, Roberto Clemente, John Wayne and Dwight D. Eisenhower have in common? Two things, actually: They all were American heroes, and they all came from underprivileged origins. And they’re far from the only ones.
That’s the thesis of Mike Kail’s new book, Heroes with Humble Beginnings: Underdogs On the Diamond, At the Movies, In the White House.

“We are a nation of underdogs,” says Mike. “Three-quarters of those who came here arrived in some condition of unfreedom: as convicts, as indentured servants, as slaves. This book reminds us of the humble beginnings of some of the greatest ballplayers, movie stars and Presidents of all time. Each of them not only grew up without material and social advantages, but also faced the loss of a parent, emotional abandonment, alcoholism, racial bigotry, religious intolerance, life-threatening illness or physical abuse.”

Among those profiled:

  • Ballplayers – Henry Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Josh Gibson, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.
  • Movie Stars – James Cagney, Kirk Douglas, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Sidney Poitier and John Wayne.
  • Presidents – Bill Clinton, Dwight Eisenhower, Andrew Jackson, Lyndon Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, and Ronald Reagan.

The book is already drawing raves by everyone from David Maraniss (“A book that is prodigiously researched and both fun and illuminating. What could be better?”) to Chris Matthews (“It is sobering to be reminded of the hardships they endured and how they did so with such grit and grace.”) to our own Karl Marlantes (“Through excellent writing, perceptive analysis and great stories, Mike Kail demonstrates how the triumphs of underdogs in sports, entertainment and politics, support our enduring belief in the American Dream.”).

New!  Podcast: You can find the podcast by searching “FM Kail” or “Heroes with Humble Beginnings.” It’s available to subscribers of Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pocketcasts, Pandora and Stitcher. Six podcasts recap the book’s chapters, with Mike narrating this fascinating, well-researched and very readable account of famous U.S. presidents, major league ballplayers and movie stars who rose to fame despite challenging childhoods.

The Jealousy Cure

Ever the out-of-the-box thinker, Bob Leahy, who is to cognitive therapy what Peter Scardino is to prostate surgery or Andy Beveridge is to demography – simply the best in his field – has a new book called ­The Jealousy Cure, which argues that jealousy has a huge upside: It lets you know that your relationship really means something to you. Of course, it has a big downside, too, and Bob’s book provides proven-effective skills to keep jealousy in its place.

As usual, Bob has written a book that can be read and enjoyed by both laypersons and his professional colleagues. Library Journal calls it “solid counsel for those whose relationships are plagued by jealousy and the individuals it targets.”

The Jealousy Cure is Bob’s 27th book, and No. 28, Don’t Believe Everything You Feel, has just been completed and is due out next summer.

Secret societies have fundamentally shaped America’s cultural and political landscapes. In ways that are expected but never explicit, the bonds made and lessons learned through the most elite of secret societies have helped make their members senators, governors, ambassadors, CIA directors, Supreme Court justices, and even presidents. At the apex of these institutions stand Yale University and its ancient six secret societies, with their modern — and even more private — “underground” rivals.

Tracing a history that has intrigued and enthralled for centuries, winning the attention of such writers as Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Skulls and Keys recounts the founding and growth of Yale’s storied societies as they set courses for self-education, ambition, and assimilation that have served to define our modern age.

But there is a progressive side to Yale’s secret societies that we rarely hear about, one that, in the cultural tumult of the nineteen-sixties, resulted in the election of women, gay men, and people of color, even in proportions beyond their percentages in a class. It’s a side that is often overlooked in favor of sensational legends of blood oaths and toe-curling conspiracies.

David Alan Richards also sheds light on the lesser-known stories of Yale’s secret societies. He talks us through their history from Phi Beta Kappa in the American Revolution (originally a social and drinking society) through Skull and Bones and its rivals in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. While there have been articles and books on some of these societies, there has never been a definitive history of the system as a whole — until now.

* June 2021 Update * Dave’s Chapter 6 was held back from publication by the book’s editors. Dave has recently released it, in response to the current controversy over the Yale Corporation election. Here’s a link to the chapter.

Jack Finnell

Jack Finnell says: “This book is based on my leadership and management experience in the U.S. Navy, a couple of multi-billion-dollar tech companies and two successful tech start-ups that my business partner and I sold to publicly traded corporations.

“Right after college and the Navy, I had a highly productive career at a Fortune 100 company where I was the Number One Branch Manager in the U.S. in two different locations: Alaska and L.A. South. I knew I wasn’t the smartest manager around nor the most inspirational leader. Still, I couldn’t deny that something was going on to pull that off twice in wildly different markets with 110 FTEs in Alaska and 330 in L.A. South. I figured it out: all along I have been identifying, cataloguing and mastering certain successful activities, techniques and behaviors and then passing them on to my direct reports through one-on-one developmental sessions, formal and informal. These activities and techniques all have two goals: Spike the Numbers and Curtail Employee Turnover. About 30 percent of what I’ve mastered popped out of my own head. The other 70 percent or so came from other men and women I’ve worked with over the years. However, I have personally field-tested all of the lessons I’m passing on in this book. I know they work, and I hope the real-world stories I offer here will make these lessons credible and indelible for you.

“ARE LEADERS AND MANAGERS DIFFERENT? We think so, don’t we? Leaders inspire, and managers execute, right? Some people seem to be good at one role and not so hot at the other. Well, let me assure you right now – you absolutely can perform both roles effectively. You don’t even have to change who you are. You will need to concentrate on certain activities and techniques that anyone who wants to can master.”

Drancy ou le Travail d'oubli Last Traces

We want want to call your attention to two memorable works of photojournalism about The Holocaust by two of our deceased classmates. The first is Drancy ou le Travail d’oubli by Bill Betsch, who died in 2010, a book of photos of drawings, messages and prayers scrawled on the walls of Drancy, the World War II transit camp outside Paris for Jewish prisoners on their way to Auschwitz. Bill’s two-year campaign to preserve the site led French officials to declare it a national monument.

Last Traces: The Lost Art of Auschwitz (Atheneum New York, 1989) was created by Joe Czarnecki, who died in 1996. A photojournalist living in Poland, Joe was photographing Western dignitaries visiting Auschwitz when he began noticing faint markings on the walls of the concentration camp. With a 1,000-watt halogen light, he scoured barracks, latrines, attics and cellars, uncovering and photographing an extraordinary array of images that offer a visual record of day-to-day existence in the camp.

There are depictions of hard labor, beatings, caricatures of Hitler and Mussolini, fanciful sketches of mountain scenery, horseback riders, playful kittens, a still life titled “the elegant bathroom,” a pirouetting ballerina, the words “Sun, Air, Water” etched in the wall of a latrine designed for 100 people at a time, and a last testament that reads “I only wanted to be a man, not a soul-less collection of numbers.”

“Defying martial law, Joe had gone to Poland, his ancestral home, in the early 1980s to photograph Lech Walesa and other leaders of the anti-Communist Solidarity movement,” says Frank Clifford, who wrote most of the obits of deceased classmates in our 50th Reunion Class Book. “I have no idea if he and Bill each other or were aware of each other’s work. At the outset of our efforts on the 1967 obits, we had very little on either of these guys and absolutely nothing on their photographic achievements, which took a considerable time to unearth and verify. If I can get away with a boast, documenting their work was my most memorable contribution to the book.”


Harry and the Madman

Move over, Philo Vance. Make way for Harry Saybrook, the hero of Stephen Dahl’s new mystery novel, Harry and the Madman, in which Harry and his friend, Police Lieutenant Mike Herman, team up with “Judge” Rugh, Harry’s roommate at Yale, to capture the bad guy. “I can’t recall anyone using a Yale man as Philo Vance was used, many decades ago, in Harvard lore,” says Steve. “It’s a page-turner and quite ‘literary’ for the genre, albeit, in points, politically incorrect.”