01 Dec 2016

Passion Projects

Unexpected pursuits on the page
Re: John O'Donnell (MBA 1977); George Hart (MBA 1970); Nick Candee (MBA 1978); Ned Barnard (PMD 32); Bill MacKinnon (MBA 1962)
by April White


Turning teddy bears into art
On a trip to London in the 1980s, John O’Donnell (MBA 1977) and his wife snapped a picture of two teddy bears posed near a Buckingham Palace guard. The normally staid guard bowed to the bears, and the couple realized the power of toys to connect to people. That launched the career of O’Donnell’s alter ego, “John Charles,” who has now photographed teddy bears on all seven continents. His latest work is collected in TA and Wally Wander About.

Rediscovering the rural churches of Georgia
George S. Hart (MBA 1970) and his coauthor, Sonny Seals, like to ramble around Georgia. In their travels, they discovered numerous abandoned churches—and many small but thriving congregations. The duo photographed and documented their histories, first on a popular website and now in a coffee-table book, Historic Rural Churches of Georgia, with a foreword by President Jimmy Carter.

Driving an Aston Martin DB4GT
While at HBS, Richard A. Candee (MBA 1978) bought his first Aston Martin. “As a young lad I went through a succession of sports cars,” Candee says. But his interest in the Aston Martin lingered. In the 1980s he bought a DB4GT, the 30th of 100 made, and began to research its making with coauthor Stephen Archer. The resulting Aston Martin DB4GT—itself a collector’s item with only 402 published—is both history and ode to the storied car.

Exploring Central Park
When Edward Sibley Barnard (PMD 32, 1976) retired after decades in publishing, he would walk his dog in New York’s Central Park almost every day. “I realized I couldn’t tell the difference between a red oak and a black oak,” the nature lover says. His curiosity led to Central Park Trees and Landscapes, with horticulturalist Neil Calvanese, which identifies nearly 20,000 of the park’s trees.

Understanding the Utah War
William P. MacKinnon (MBA 1962) has been researching the often-overlooked Utah War of 1857–1858 for more than 50 years. “I wanted to get this story out,” he says. “It altered forever the course of western, Mormon, and American history.” This year he accomplished that goal, publishing the second book of his sweeping two-volume, 1,200-plus-page At Sword’s Point.

Return to The Year in Books 2016

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