Firetree Publishing Belize published three books dealing with subjects of popular interest. The copyrights are the property of the publishing company Firetree Publishing of Belize and marketed in the United States on Amazon Digital Services Inc. The three titles are:
STEVENS HERE: The High Road to Mediocrity (2010) 748 pages, $9.99
An autobiography written so my children would know their father and his relatives as I knew them—something my father never did for me. It covers a tedious string of ancestors presented in narrative form, a career involving growing up in a polyglot neighborhood, service in the Korea War, followed by college, and a great but sometimes tumultuous career as a professor of veterinary clinical pathology specializing in physiological chemistry; a profession practiced at two different colleges of veterinary medicine. The career included two years in Belize, time at Indonesia, study at the University of Costa Rica, and teaching at the U of Zimbabwe. My working life ended with retirement and the development of a sheep ranch in Belize. I return to the United States after I published this book. I always took the “high road” but never achieved fame or fortune; I lived a mediocre life, that will never change.
UNIVERISITY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: Erosion of Undergraduate Education (2012) 378 pages, $6.99
This book has a “whistle-blower” air about it, however, it is not the usual one time experience; it covers over 33 years of working as a professor and 17 years post retirement. Confusion enters the picture because of a conflict running through all of those years; I was doing a job I loved and rapidly climbing the professorial ranks while detesting the erosion that was taking place in higher education fueled by individual and corporate greed. It took years to sort out the trivia of my personal engagements from institutional problems and put the bigger troubles in a political and social context. I first saw a Colleges of Veterinary Medicine deteriorate, and then the entire university followed by the erosion of huge segments of the higher education system in the United States. Once I made that realization, it led to a prediction that turned out to be essentially correct except for two things. One, it happened faster then I thought possible and two; it was far worse than I thought was doable. Under this black cloud, I dedicated the book two great men in veterinary education who fought valiantly to maintain colleges of veterinary medicine as teaching institutions: Dr Sidney Ewing and Dr. Terry Curtin.
BELIZE: A Fascinating Place (2012) 249 pages, $6.99
Belize is a tourist destination as such a beautiful place. The country and reef are gorgeous but that is not what the title refers too. It refers to the seven ethnic groups and a dramatically shifting culture. I framed the book around my interactions with individuals; therefore, it is a living history. Because of a failing coconut market and a Mexican hurricane, my island village changed from farm laborers, who were essentially indentured servants “owned” by five families, into independent businesspersons who owned sailboats. With the sudden advent of the tourist industry, another change was in the making. Many villagers turned into tourist guide and workers in hotel, bars, gift shops, and eventually business owners. Fleeing from that frantic environment, I moved to a tranquil village in the Maya mountains. There, I listened to the people tell me their history, which eerily echoed what foreign archaeologist had told them; for example, the Mayan people in my village of about 1000 people would tell me with a dismissive wave of the hand, “Mayans all died out”. Nevertheless, I watched for over 18 years as Americans, Canadians, Latinos and creoles displaced the Mayan people—death of a culture—peaceful but not without resentment. People in the village were learning English in schools, selling their land, and moving into business centers, marrying out of their ethnic group, and generally dispersing. What I was seeing reminded me of the demise of Native American culture.