The most recent issue of Tufts Magazine was a landmark: our alumni rag has got its groove back. Thank you for rejuvenating the publication through a new graphic and layout sensibility, and articles attuned to the world we live in.
I do have one criticism: often the only connection young alumni have with Tufts is through receiving Tufts Magazine and flipping to the News & Notes section to read what our classmates are up to and to see the wedding pictures. The pictures were all but gone in the last issue, and the sidebar indicated that in the future, they’ll only be available online. Sure, we can look at the pictures online—but it’s just not the same. Please don’t relegate young alums to web-only.
JOELLEN EASTON, J99
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA
Not to worry. Many alumni wrote to let us know
how much they value the wedding photos, so we’ve put them back (see page 78). We’ll
continue to post the digital Wedding Album on our homepage (www.tufts.edu/alumni/magazine)
as long as readers find it useful.
CIVIL WAR DAZE
On page 35 of “Shooting War” (Fall 2006), you have inaccurately described the picture and the photographer. The picture is indeed that of a Confederate soldier, but taken by Timothy O’Sullivan, working with Alexander Gardner, not Mathew Brady. Gardner had left Brady’s employ in May 1863, and hired O’Sullivan shortly thereafter. The picture was taken after the Battle of Gettysburg on July 6, 1863, at a sharpshooter’s position in Devil’s Den. It is thought that the cameramen, in order to make the picture more interesting, found the dead soldier about 40 yards away, placed him on a blanket (which can be seen under the body), and dragged him up the slope to this position. They also propped a rifle (not a type used by sharpshooters) against the rocks and placed a knapsack under the soldier’s head.
FRED PFANNENSTIEHL, A63
That’ll teach us to be more skeptical of information
supplied to us by photo agencies. Thanks to Alan Berenson, M60, and Mike
Plunkett, father of Michael Plunkett, A03, for pointing out the same error,
and to James Loewen, F89, for reminding us that the Crimean War was fought
between 1854 and 1856, closer to the American Civil War than our article
no need for gore
I was appalled at Paul Joseph’s use of the American military family as a pawn in a political statement (“Shooting War,” Fall 2006). Mr. Joseph obviously has an anti-war stance, yet he uses his own personal opinions to make sweeping assumptions about the American public, and more important, those in the military and their families. Gratuitously displaying photos of body bags, caskets, corpses, or severely wounded Americans is as appropriate as publishing a picture of the victim of a car crash. We can honor the sacrifices of our soldiers by hearing their stories, not by politicizing their deaths.
I also suggest Mr. Joseph research why the American public has not been privy to pictures of the torture, gassing, and killing of Iraqi
citizens at the hands of Saddam Hussein.
MARISSA FEDERICO-HADDAD, J97
NORTH READING, MASSACHUSETTS
I wanted to thank you for including the excellent article about the psychology of race in America (“The Big Taboo,” Fall 2006). Please let the author, Michael Blanding, know how appreciative one reader was of his clearly written, informative, engaging article.
I work for a nonprofit called Facing History and Ourselves. We train middle- and high-school teachers, and for 30 years, Facing History has been engaging students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. In recent years, we have begun holding institutes and workshops on “Race and Membership.” I’ve forwarded the link to Mr. Blanding’s article to some of my colleagues. I’m sure they will find it as provocative and engaging as I have.
FACING HISTORY AND OURSELVES
As a Tufts graduate and someone who has planned to leave a substantial part of my estate to Tufts University in the future, it is frustrating to see the resources of our alumni magazine wasted on an article on Richard Alpert, aka Ram Dass (“The Ultimate Trip,” Fall 2006). Our complex world is populated with many gifted Tufts graduates, albeit less self-promoting, who could be profiled to the benefit of readers. Instead you have chosen to send a writer to Hawaii, undoubtedly at great expense, to laud a confused, overly subsidized con man who has made a career out of disinformation. The writer’s time would have been better spent profiling George Alpert and not his son.
DEAN ROMANO, A76
After 2½ years at Boston Latin School, I was forced to leave in my senior year (1938) because of family complications, and with it went my Harvard aspirations. I became a double Jumbo, and although my disappointment lessened with increasing years, I always felt I was on the second team. The last vestige of this status disappeared with the riveting Fall 2006 issue of Tufts Magazine. Congratulations to both of us.
A. HARVEY SALANS, M.D, A42, M45
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
I write with mega kudos for the Fall 2006 issue of Tufts Magazine. I read it from cover to cover in rapt attention and with boundless enjoyment. The articles were extremely informative, lively, well written, and covered a wonderful range of interesting topics. Thanks for a great read.
JANET ZELLER, J65, DIRECTOR,
TUFTS EDUCATIONAL DAY CARE CENTER