Research & Scholarly Activity

Research & Scholarly Activity

  • Our Share of Night
    Sorriseau Academy Grant from SJSU History Department

    Description: This is a book length study of the Snoozy/Furlong/Bilek/Mallicoat slayings in northern California in 1969-1971. All were young women aged 14-18, each stabbed more than 100 times. Zodiac claimed credit for the crimes. San Jose Police suspected the Manson family -- Susan Atkins was from San Jose and Charles Manson was in San Jose at the time of the first murders. The horror of the crime and the inability of the local police and sheriff's department to solve the crimes marked a turning point in suburban northern California, especially in the area that became known as Silicon Valley. After August 1969, residents locked their doors at night, kept close watch on their children, stopped picking up hitch hikers. The exceptionalism of this place disintegrated in the wake of the murders. Three were solved by the confession of a teen age boy. The fourth, the Mallicoat case, remains unsolved as do three more similar homicides that occured in the 1980s in the area.

  • Sex, Lies and Spam: A Very Cold War Childhood

    Description: This is a study of American teenagers coming of age in the mid-to-late 1950s in a small Minnesota town, Austin, home of the Hormel Packing Company, producer of Spam. Neither a city and not a suburb, this book explores the manners and morals and transformation of heartland youth in the wake of the Sputnik launch in October 1957. The story ends with the young men of the town, steeped in the lore and fears of the Cold War, going off to Vietnam.

  • All of Us: The Lives of Temporary People

    Description: This is a first person account of love and death in one of the largest of China's Laogai or Gulag prisons. The title of the book, based upon the lives and loves of one man and one woman, is taken from a quotation by Nikita Khrushchev in his memoir. Khruschev wrote, "All of us around Stalin were temporary people. As long as he trusted us to a ceertain degree, we were allowed to go on living and working. But the moment he stopped trusting you, Stalin would start to scrutinize you until the cup of his distrust overflowed. Then it would be your turn to follow those who were no longer among the living." This book deals with Mao's China, of course, and not Stalin's Soviet Union. But Mao was a Stalinist, a worshipper of Stalin the dictator, the Communist, the poet and the leader, and he sought to remake China in the image of the Soviet Union, and so the quotation and the title phrase is appropriate.