WRA Authors & Artists

Proudly sharing the literary and media accomplishments of our alumni

Each year for Reunion Weekend the John D. Ong Library prepares a display case featuring recent alumni publications. For those who aren't able to attend Reunion on a regular basis, the Ong Library maintains a comprehensive listing of alumni authors and artists. We're also interested in learning about alumni contributions in other media, including CDs, documentaries, etc.

If you know of a recent publication not listed below please notify the John D. Ong Library at bunth@wra.net or at 330-650-9730.

View a current list of WRA Authors & Artists.

Featured Alumni Authors & Artists

Clifton Hood '72 - In Pursuit of Privilege

In Pursuit of Privilege: A History of New York City's Upper Class and the making of a Metropolis

A history that extends from the 1750s to the present, In Pursuit of Privilege recounts upper-class New Yorkers' struggle to create a distinct world guarded against outsiders, even as economic growth and democratic opportunity enabled aspirants to gain entrance. Despite their efforts, New York City's upper class has been drawn into the larger story of the city both through class conflict and through their role in building New York's cultural and economic foundations.

In Pursuit of Privilege describes the famous and infamous characters and events at the center of this extraordinary history, from the elite families and wealthy tycoons of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the Wall Street executives of today. From the start, upper-class New Yorkers have been open and aggressive in their behavior, keen on attaining prestige, power, and wealth. Clifton Hood sharpens this characterization by merging a history of the New York economy in the eighteenth century with the story of Wall Street's emergence as an international financial center in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as the dominance of New York's financial and service sectors in the 1980s. Bringing together several decades of upheaval and change, he shows that New York's upper class did not rise exclusively from the Gilded Age but rather from a relentless pursuit of privilege, affecting not just the urban elite but the city's entire cultural, economic, and political fabric. (Amazon product description)

Robert Michael '60 - The Five Life Decisions

The Five Life Decisions: How Economic Principles and 18 Million Millennials Can Guide Your Thinking

Choices matter. And in your teens and twenties, some of the biggest life decisions come about when you feel the least prepared to tackle them.

Economist Robert T. Michael won’t tell you what to choose. Instead, he’ll show you how to make smarter choices. Michael focuses on five critical decisions we all face about college, career, partners, health, and parenting. He uses these to demonstrate how the science of scarcity and choice—concepts used to guide major business decisions and shape national legislation—can offer a solid foundation for our own lives. Employing comparative advantage can have a big payoff when picking a job. Knowing how to work the marketplace can minimize uncertainty when choosing a partner. And understanding externalities—the ripple of results from our actions—can clarify the if and when of having children.

Michael also brings in data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a scientific sample of 18 million millennials in the United States that tracks more than a decade of young adult choices and consequences. As the survey’s longtime principal investigator and project director, Michael shows that the aggregate decisions can help us understand what might lie ahead along many possible paths—offering readers insights about how their own choices may turn out. (book jacket copy, Amazon product description)

University of Chicago Press, 2016
Robert T. Michael is the founding dean and Eliakim Hastings Moore Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago. He is also a senior fellow at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. His eight books include the coauthored Sex, Love, and Health in America: Private Choices and Public Policies and Allocation of Income within the Household, both from the University of Chicago Press.

Matt Donovan '91 - A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Meditations on Ruin and Redemption

A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Meditations on Ruin and Redemption

Essays on memory, history, and place that give voice to the sorrow and joy of being human. Matt Donovan is the author of Vellum, which won the 2006 Bakeless Prize in Poetry and the 2008 Larry Levis Reading Prize from Virginia Commonwealth University. His poems have appeared in AGNI,the American Poetry Review, the Gettysburg Review, the Kenyon Review, and Poetry, and his nonfiction has appeared in Blackbird, the Black Warrior Review, Seneca Review, Threepenny Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among other places. He is the recipient of a Rome Prize in Literature, a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Breadloaf fellowship, and a Lannan writing residency fellowship. His work has been acclaimed in the New Yorker, Chicago Tribune, and New York Times Book Review. He received his M.F.A. from New York University, where he attended as a New York Times Fellow. He is co-chair of the Creative Writing and Literature Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. (from Author's website)

Erin Dockery '16 - Piece of Mind: Poems

Pieces of Mind: Poems

Ironically, living with Dyslexia helped Erin Dockery discover her love for poetry. Spending years learning the alphabet and memorizing phonics gave her a deeper appreciation for written language. She hopes her story inspires other students to explore their own poetic voices.

Erin is currently a student at Sewanee-The University of the South

Ian Frazier '69 - Hogs Wild: Selected Reporting Pieces

Hogs Wild: Selected Reporting Pieces

"A master of both distilled insight and utter nonsense" (The Believer), Ian Frazier is one of the most gifted chroniclers of contemporary America. Hogs Wild assembles a decade's worth of his finest essays and reportage, and demonstrates the irrepressible passions and artful digressions that distinguish his enduring body of work.

Part muckraker, part adventurer, and part raconteur, Frazier beholds, captures, and occasionally reimagines the spirit of the American experience. He travels down South to examine feral hogs, and learns that their presence in any county is a strong indicator that it votes Republican. He introduces us to a man who, when his house is hit by a supposed meteorite, hopes to "leverage" the space object into opportunity for his family, and a New York City police detective who is fascinated with rap-music-related crimes. Alongside Frazier's delight in the absurdities of contemporary life is his sense of social responsibility: there's an echo of the great reform-minded writers in his pieces on a soup kitchen, opioid overdose deaths on Staten Island, and the rise in homelessness in New York City under Mayor Bloomberg.


In each dizzying discovery, Hogs Wild unearths the joys of inquiry without agenda, curiosity without calculation. To read Frazier is to become a kind of social and political anthropologist--astute and deeply engaged. (Amazon product description)

Donovan D. Husat '64 - Alienus Advenisti: Western Reserve Academy in The Flanagan Era 1982-2008

Alienus Advenisti: Western Reserve Academy in The Flanagan Era 1982-2008

The latest edition in a series of books about WRA's history recounting the 26 year career of WRA's longest-serving headmaster, Dr. Henry E. "Skip" Flanagan Jr. Copies of this 2015 publication can be found in the John D. Ong Library's WRA Authors & Artists Collection at the call number 373 Hus. Learn more about the book.

James D. Gibans '47 - Cleveland Goes Modern: Design for the Home, 1930-1970

Cleveland Goes Modern: Design for the Home, 1930-1970

Based on the award-winning exhibition of the same name, Cleveland Goes Modern: Design for the Home, 1930-1970, examines Modern movement houses in greater Cleveland within the context of American Modernism as a whole. The authors demonstrate that understanding and contextualizing this regional domestic architecture, along with the practitioners and clients who created it, makes a valuable contribution to the larger study of architecture and the Modern period as well as of the region's architectural history. (Amazon product description)

Nicolaus Mills '57 - Every Army Man Is with You: The Cadets Who Won the 1964 Army-Navy Game, Fought in Vietnam, and Came Home Forever Changed

Every Army Man Is with You: The Cadets Who Won the 1964 Army-Navy Game, Fought in Vietnam, and Came Home Forever Changed

For Army’s players, their 1964 football game against a Navy team led by its Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Roger Staubach, was a do-or-die battle. Army had lost to Navy five years in a row. This time a stunning victory by Army changed the Cadets’ fortunes and made headlines across the country. With five of its starters playing offense and defense, Army rallied to an 11-8 triumph. The win was the beginning of an even greater challenge for West Point’s players. Soon they were in Vietnam, fighting a war that did not end as they or America expected. In Every Army Man Is with You Nicolaus Mills tells the story of that unforgettable Army team by focusing on the lives of seven of its players as they go from the football field, to the Vietnam battlefield, and back again to the States. Mills sheds light not just on what that the players’ experiences meant to them personally but on what their experiences say about the ways the Vietnam era shaped our nation. (Amazon product description)

Elizabeth Fraser '89 - Smoothies Gone Raw: Over 100 Gorgeous Recipes that will RAWK Your World!

Smoothies Gone Raw: Over 100 Gorgeous Recipes that will RAWK Your World!

Do you sleepwalk through your days? Do you feel like your inner vibrancy is being suppressed? Are you sick all the time? Are you carrying an extra ten pounds of physical or emotional weight?
Stop popping pills and get your blender out! The ladies of Kids Gone Raw, Elizabeth and Maggie, show you how adding one delicious, living smoothie to your day will bring out the exciting, fabulous, healthy person you are meant to be. (Amazon product description)

R. Thomas Jones '65 - The Lights in the House

The Lights in the House

Did you ever have a revelation? Ever dream of a life then live it, triumph over great difficulties, hear the crowd, swim with whales, conquer the school bully, lose a parent too soon, fall in like for the first time, serenade an elderly woman during her final minutes, see the future in a young girl's perseverance, escape an attack by a blazing pre-historic deep-sea monster, barely survive the giant surf at Makaha, witness the most politically revealing fire-dance in history, meet an Olympian in the flesh, sail with one of history's most infamous female freebooters, lose another parent too soon, or surf with a king and pay final respects to a duke? And, have you figured out what optimists know that everyone else does not? Well, hang on. You're about to. Turn to the Contents and find which story appeals to you for your first foray into this amazing memoir. Or start at the beginning and keep going. Either way, it's one heckuva ride. (Amazon product description)

Shannon K. O'Neil '89 - Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead

Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead

Without a doubt, the drug war is real. In the last six years, over 60,000 people have been murdered in narco-related crimes. But, there is far more to Mexico's story than this gruesome narrative would suggest.

While thugs have been grabbing the headlines, Mexico has undergone an unprecedented and under-publicized political, economic, and social transformation. In her groundbreaking book, Two Nations Indivisible, Shannon K. O'Neil argues that the United States is making a grave mistake by focusing on the politics of antagonism toward Mexico. Rather, we should wake up to the revolution of prosperity now unfolding there.

Mark Tercek '75 - Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature

Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature

In Nature’s Fortune, Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy and former investment banker, and science writer Jonathan Adams argue that nature is not only the foundation of human well-being, but also the smartest commercial investment any business or government can make. The forests, floodplains, and oyster reefs often seen simply as raw materials or as obstacles to be cleared in the name of progress are, in fact as important to our future prosperity as technology or law or business innovation. (Amazon product description)

Kevin Prufer '88 - In a Beautiful Country

In a Beautiful Country

In a Beautiful Country examines America’s suburbs and exurbs where “The thrown newspaper fails / to reach the steps.” Taking place beside hospital beds and amid outlet malls, within earshot of military bases and in the light of horror movies, these poems mourn the loss of parents, friends, and our sense of our nation. Turning to ballad-like rhythms, Prufer critiques romanticized visions of art while asserting its central role in citizenship and empire. (Amazon product description)

Scott Clelan '77 - Search and Destroy: Why You Can't Trust Google

Search and Destroy: Why You Can't Trust Google

This is the other side of the Google story. In Search & Destroy, Google expert Scott Cleland, shows that the world's most powerful company is not who it pretends to be. Google pretends to be a harmless lamb, but chose a full-size model of a Tyrannosaurus Rex as its mascot. Beware the T-Rex in sheep's clothing. Google has acquired far more information, both public and private, and has invented more ways to use it, than anyone in history. Information is power, and in Google's case, it's the power to influence and control virtually everything the Internet touches. Google's power is largely unchecked, unaccountable and grossly underestimated. Google is the Internet's lone superpower, the new master of the digital information universe. And Google's power depends almost entirely on the blind trust it has gained through masterful duplicity. Google routinely says one thing and does another. (Amazon product description)

Ted Gup '68 - A Secret Gift

A Secret Gift How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression

An inspiring account of America at its worst-and Americans at their best-woven from the stories of Depression-era families who were helped by gifts from the author's generous and secretive grandfather.

Shortly before Christmas 1933 in Depression-scarred Canton, Ohio, a small newspaper ad offered $10, no strings attached, to 75 families in distress. Interested readers were asked to submit letters describing their hardships to a benefactor calling himself Mr. B. Virdot. The author's grandfather Sam Stone was inspired to place this ad and assist his fellow Cantonians as they prepared for the cruelest Christmas most of them would ever witness. (Amazon product description)

Sheldon Cohen '49 - Commodore Abraham Whipple of the Continental Navy

Commodore Abraham Whipple of the Continental Navy: Privateer, Patriot, Pioneer

Abraham Whipple (1733-1819) commanded insurgents who destroyed HMS Gaspee in Narragansett Bay and helped direct the successful invasion of the Bahamas. This little-known, yet intrepid and frequently successful Continental Navy officer contributed significantly to the War for Independence. An esteemed officer of the fleet, he spent his last years in frontier Ohiowhere he was respected and appealed to younger generations as a "representative of the Revolution." Sheldon Cohen's biography of Whipple presents a look inside the life of a Continental officer. He illustrates at a personal level the complexities of naval warfare, including Whipple's reliance on personal finances and family connections to outfit his ships and pay his crew. Cohen also reveals the commander's treatment as a British prisoner of war, and his eventual migration west, shedding light on experiences shared by many Revolutionary War veterans. (Amazon product description)

Nicholaus Mills '57 - Getting Out

Getting Out: Historical Perspectives on Leaving Iraq

Eventually every conqueror, every imperial power, every occupying army gets out. Why do they decide to leave? And how do political and military leaders manage withdrawal? Do they take with them those who might be at risk if left behind? What are the immediate consequences of departure? For Michael Walzer and Nicolaus Mills, now is the time to ask those questions about exiting—and to worry specifically about the difficulties certain to arise as we leave—Iraq. (Amazon product description)

Kristin Abbott '84 - A Moment of Quiet is Nothing to Fear

A Moment of Quiet is Nothing to Fear

Ilustrated by Kristin Abbott '84

This book is about a happy, but overscheduled child who has a transformative experience when her grandfather invites her to sit down and do *GASP* nothing for awhile. The story magically unfolds as Coco discovers the wonders of her own imagination and the true value of a moment of quiet. Christine Gardner wrote this delightful and positive message for children as well as adults. There is no question that our most creative and restorative moments generally happen when the noise of the world calms around us. It is the author's sincerest hope to inspire us all to clear some clutter from our children's lives and give them the time and the space to simply let go. (Amazon product description)

Benjamin Cloyd '94 - Haunted by Atrocity

Haunted by Atrocity: Civil War Prisons in American Memory

During the Civil War, approximately 56,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died in enemy military prison camps. Even in the midst of the war's shocking violence, the intensity of the prisoners' suffering and the brutal manner of their deaths provoked outrage, and both the Lincoln and Davis administrations manipulated the prison controversy to serve the exigencies of war. As both sides distributed propaganda designed to convince citizens of each section of the relative virtue of their own prison system--in contrast to the cruel inhumanity of the opponent--they etched hardened and divisive memories of the prison controversy into the American psyche, memories that would prove difficult to uproot. In Haunted by Atrocity, Benjamin G. Cloyd deftly analyzes how Americans have remembered the military prisons of the Civil War from the war itself to the present, making a strong case for the continued importance of the great conflict in contemporaryAmerica. (Amazon product description)

Ian Frazier '69 - Travels in Siberia

Travels in Siberia

In this astonishing new work from one of our greatest and most entertaining storytellers, Ian Frazier trains his perceptive, generous eye on Siberia. With great passion and enthusiasm, he reveals Siberia’s role in history—its science, economics, and politics—and tells the stories of its most famous exiles, such as Dostoyevsky, Lenin, and Stalin. At the same time, Frazier draws a unique portrait of Russia since the end of the Soviet Union, and gives a personal account of adventure among Russian friends and acquaintances. A unique, captivating, totally Frazierian take on what he calls the “amazingness” ofRussia—Travels in Siberia is “a masterpiece of nonfiction writing—tragic, bizarre, and funny.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

John Parry '82 - Understanding Torture

Understanding Torture: Law, Violence, and Political Identity

"John Parry's Understanding Torture is an important contribution to our understanding of how torture fits within the practices and beliefs of the modern state. His juxtaposition of the often indeterminate nature of the law of torture with the very specific state practices of torture is both startling and revealing." (Paul W. Kahn is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities at Yale Law School and author of Sacred Violence)

Hilary Thompson '99

Balance Broken
Second in the Starbright Series of young adult science-fiction novels.

Aitan’s Revenge
Third in the Starbright Series of young adult science-fiction novels.

Dr. Damon A. Williams '90

Strategic Diversity Leadership: Activating Change and Transformation in Higher Education

The Chief Diversity Officer: Strategy Structure, and Change Management

Dr. Damon A. Williams '90 is Senior Vice President of Programs, Training and Youth Development for The Boys & Girls Club of America in Atlanta