Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston

Renowned as FDR’s favorite warship, the cruiser USS Houston faced a bitter battle in the far Pacific after Pearl Harbor. With no hope for reinforcement, its crew saw a deadly rain of fire from Japanese bombers.

James D. Hornfischer (MBA ’98; JD ’01) brings to life the terror of nighttime naval battles and the valiant effort of the crew as they miraculously escaped disaster—until their luck ran out in the Sunda Strait. The Houston was finally sunk and its survivors taken prisoner.

Hornfischer’s account doesn’t stop there. Through journals, testimony, and historical documents, he recounts the more than three years the crew spent in the brutal jungle POW camps.

Hornsfischer lives with his family in Austin. His first book, “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors” won the 2004 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature.

“Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR’s Legendary Lost Cruiser and the Epic Saga of Her Survivors” was published by Bantam in 2007.

Reprinted with permission from the January/February 2009 issue of The Alcalde.

Alum's Book Parodies Pregnancy Guide

In a spoof on the pregnancy self-help book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” Mary K. Moore (BJ ’96) spotlights the absurd moments of pregnancy and shakes the sugar-coating off symptoms.

Sure to brighten the day of any woman, “preggars” or not, Moore’s book delivers tongue-in-cheek advice on everything from how to know when baby prepping reaches a level of paranoia to picking a name to the do the dos and don’ts of “postpartum partying.”

A former New York editor for publications like Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan, Moore admits she’s not a guru, doctor, or parenting expert but has fallen in love with being a mother to her 3-year-old daughter, Scarlett.

The sassy mother-daughter duo lives with husband/dad T.J. in Austin.

The Unexpected When You’re Expecting: A Parody” was published by Sourcebooks last September.

Reprinted with permission from the Nov./Dec. 2008 issue of The Alcalde. For further reading, check out the Austin American-Statesman’s Nov. 4 story about Moore’s work, “She’s expecting a book.”

Alum’s Book Parodies Pregnancy Guide

In a spoof on the pregnancy self-help book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” Mary K. Moore (BJ ’96) spotlights the absurd moments of pregnancy and shakes the sugar-coating off symptoms.

Sure to brighten the day of any woman, “preggars” or not, Moore’s book delivers tongue-in-cheek advice on everything from how to know when baby prepping reaches a level of paranoia to picking a name to the do the dos and don’ts of “postpartum partying.”

A former New York editor for publications like Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan, Moore admits she’s not a guru, doctor, or parenting expert but has fallen in love with being a mother to her 3-year-old daughter, Scarlett.

The sassy mother-daughter duo lives with husband/dad T.J. in Austin.

The Unexpected When You’re Expecting: A Parody” was published by Sourcebooks last September.

Reprinted with permission from the Nov./Dec. 2008 issue of The Alcalde. For further reading, check out the Austin American-Statesman’s Nov. 4 story about Moore’s work, “She’s expecting a book.”

The Power of the Zoot

Even those who skipped history class one too many times know of the baggy zoot suits worn by many minority youths during the 1940s. Few, however, know the extent to which the flamboyantly colored zoot suits represented a subculture.

In a heavily researched history, alumnus Luis Alvarez (Ph.D. History ’01) examines the black, Hispanic, and sometimes white suit-wearers often depicted as renegades from mainstream society and illuminates their point of view with interviews of former zoot suiters.

Alvarez examines the instances leading up to the violent Zoot Suit Riots that sprang up in Los Angeles and Beaumont, among other racially-charged cities. A short epilogue compares the zoot suit culture to today’s hip-hop. Alvarez is an assistant professor of history at UC-San Diego.

“The Power of the Zoot: Youth Culture and Resistance during World War II” was published by University of California Press last June.

Reprinted with permission from the Sept./Oct. 2008 issue of The Alcalde.