Entomologist and Professor Emeritus Michael Kosztarab has written the autobiographical Transylvanian Roots: The True Life Adventures of a Hungarian American. Among the dramatic episodes recounted are Kosztarab's arrest for helping 36 Jews flee the Nazis in the 1940s and his own escape, with his wife and newborn, to America after the Soviets crushed the 1956 Hungarian uprising. Kosztarab includes his professional life in the new world, where he joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1962. His informative and well-illustrated chapters on Transylvanian history, art, and culture include the "truth about Dracula."

The book is published by Pocahontas Press, Inc., 832 Hutcheson Dr., Blacksburg, VA 24060, (800) 446-0467.


Gregg S. Clemmer (biology '72) is the author of Valor in Gray: The Recipients of the Confederate Medal of Honor, which has been nominated for the Douglas Southall Freeman Award and the Jefferson Davis Award. Clemmer catalogues the bravery of the 42 recipients of the posthumous medal, first awarded in 1968. The book includes lively anecdotes, correspondence, and photographs of honorees.

The book is published by Hearthside Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2773, Staunton, VA 24402.

In Dan Daniel and the Persistence of Conservatism in Virginia, Jack I. Hayes Jr. (history M.S. '68) examines the influential career of Virginia congressman Dan Daniel (1914-1988). Hayes' thesis -- that lesser-known officeholders such as Daniel "often influence their era more than do public servants of national prominence" -- is borne out in the path tracing the conservative Democrat's rise from sharecropper to successful businessman to National Commander of the American Legion to various positions in Virginia politics, including a 10 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The book is published by Mercer University Press, 6316 Peake Road, Macon, GA 31210-3960, (800) 637-2378, ext. 2880.

Railroad buffs will enjoy Railroad Mergers: History, Analysis, Insight, by Frank N. Wilner (economics '75, M.S. business). Wilner's book explores the economic ups and downs of the American railroad industry, from the construction of Baltimore and Ohio's 13-mile stretch in 1830 to the crippling effects of antitrust laws in the early 1900s, to the creation of the "quasi-nationalized" Amtrack in 1970 and the era of deregulation in the 1980s. The book is supplemented by six essays from other authors and many historical maps.

The book is published by Simmons-Boardman Books, Inc., 1809 Capitol Ave., Omaha, NE 68102, (402) 346-4300.


Trebark Camouflage founder Jim Crumley (distributive education '69; M.A.) shares his deer hunting expertise in Secrets of Bowhunting Deer. Crumley draws a distinction between bowhunters and people who merely "hunt with a bow." Bowhunters understand the "exact science" of equipment, archery, scouting, and trailing. They also have a strict code of ethics not to shoot at a deer unless certain they can make a lethal hit. Crumley's book teaches how and where to gather clues during off seasons to anticipate a successful hunt. He offers insights into deer behavior, including feeding and territorial patterns.

The book is published by Larsen's Outdoor Publishing and distributed by Trebark Camouflage, 3434 Buck Mountain Rd., Roanoke, VA 24014, (540) 774-9248.

A Season on the Appalachian Trail, by Lynn Heywood Setzer (English M.A. '80) captures the experience of 'thru-hikers' -- people who backpack all 2,158 miles of the famed trail from Georgia to Maine. Setzer joined the hikers on sections of the trail, corresponded with others, perused Internet postings, and gained access to the diary of "Trail Gimp" (all thru-hikers have colorful nicknames). Among the hikers' insights: maps cannot be trusted, the joys of the trail outweigh its difficulties, and soap is a luxury.

The book is published by Menasha Ridge Press, 700 S. 28th St., Suite 206, Birmingham, AL 35233, (800) 247-9437.

If you are an alum, faculty member, or staff member and have written or edited a book that you would like to have considered for review in the Virginia Tech magazine, send an e-mail to Please include your name, the book title and publisher, and let us know how we can obtain a copy (include name and phone number of person who can get us a review copy.)

Home | News | Features | Research | Philanthropy | President's Message | Athletics | Alumni | Classnotes | Editor's Page