Alumni Ink

The Parent Trap

Bryan Cronan 14C

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Jennifer Margulis 99PhD cried after she left doctors’ appointments during pregnancy with her first child. She asked herself, why do I feel so terrible after these appointments? In her new book, The Business of Baby: What Doctors Don’t Tell You, What Corporations Try to Sell You, And How to Put Your Baby Before Their Bottom Line, she explores that question. “The classic diaper and formula companies do everything they can to undermine a new mom’s self-esteem,” says Margulis. “If you can’t breastfeed, they win by selling formula. If you can’t potty train, they win by selling diapers.” In her book, Margulis explains the profit-mongering world of pregnancy and early childcare. She writes on the financial gains of selling foreskins, the reason Cesarean deliveries are prevalent, and the reason formula companies are against breastfeeding. She explains that even healthy babies are made to go through intensive testing for the sake of profit. As an award-winning writer, Margulis’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Smithsonian Magazine. She lives in Ashland, Oregon, with her husband and four children.

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Last Rights: In her book Last Wish: Stories to Inspire a Peaceful Passing, physician Lauren (Pitkow) Van Scoy 01C discusses the importance of open and honest end-of-life planning. “The end of life is universal. No religion, politics, or geography can influence its inevitability,” says Van Scoy, who works at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. “Every day in the Intensive Care Unit, I would encounter the same medical situations with my critically ill patients. . . . I knew we needed a tool to help families through the death of a loved one.” Her recommendations: talk to other families who have been through a death, create a “go-to” person through a living will or Power of Attorney, write your wishes out on legal forms and talk with others about them, and complete an Advance Directive.

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Law of the South: Set in the quintessential southern city of Savannah and spanning five decades, The Practice: What They Don’t Teach in Law School, is a novel that follows the career of young attorney Gordon Graham, a pseudonym that author Stanley Harris Jr. 61L sometimes used while out on the town during his days at Emory’s School of Law. Law school curricula, he says, offers little guidance for managing relationships with colleagues and staff, dealing with practice economics, or attracting clients. “The largest void entailed how to achieve a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction beyond the monetary rewards of a professional practice,” says Harris, who has practiced law in Savannah since 1961, including serving as assistant city attorney. He and his wife, Peggy, have lived on Dutch Island for more than a decade.

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Not Your Grandpa’s South: After spending years traveling through the South, Tracy Thompson 77C upends the stereotypes and fallacies of the region to reveal its true heart in The New Mind of the South. In exploring how the landscape has changed since her childhood, Thompson writes that the South is ahead of other regions in absorbing Latino immigrants, rediscovering its agrarian traditions, seeking racial reconciliation, and reinventing what it means to have a home in a mobile culture. A Pulitzer Prize finalist and a former journalist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Washington Post, Thompson lives in a Washington, D.C., suburb with her husband and two daughters.

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