Still teaching

Retired Hanover College professor
publishes new book

Rawson visited more than
two dozen countries for research

By Levi King
Staff Writer

(January 2006) – In his latest book, “Travels of an Iconoclast,” Madison, Ind.-based author Harve Rawson offers his take on several of the world’s problems. Rawson, 71, visited more than two dozen countries in writing and researching the book, which is his third about travel.

Harve Rawson

Harve Rawson

“I wanted to write a travel book that was a little more opinionated,” he said. Like the title suggests, “‘Iconoclast’ raises some serious issues and challenges our beliefs about the world. It’s written to make you think a little.”
Rawson spent three years on the book, which is divided into 28 nation-specific chapters. He began by researching countries that he thought demonstrated global problems. Next, Rawson outlined his book and wrote the background portions of each chapter.
“I left it about half open, then I visited the countries,” Rawson said. The author used his own experiences to illustrate the issues.
Each chapter traces the origins of a particular problem, then examines the nation’s response. Rawson hopes this approach can teach us how to help others while avoiding a repeat of their mistakes.
“I only wrote about things that I think Americans can learn from,” he said. Rawson discusses such issues as political and economic corruption in the Philippines, the widespread sexual exploitation of children in Sri Lanka and the grim prognosis for Mumbai’s decaying infrastructure.
The author included Alaska in the book because he said many Americans don’t understand the state. One chapter investigates the history of its natives, pointing out their complex currency and continued use of slaves decades after the Civil War. Rawson then takes a look at the corruption and greed of Russians and Americans in Alaska, and explores life in the state today. “I wish everybody could read that before they go on an Alaskan cruise,” Rawson said. “You don’t get the full story on the ship.”
Rawson said he relied on many disciplines in “Iconoclast,” including anthropology, sociology, psychology, history and politics. He served as professor emeritus of psychology at Hanover College for 32 years. Upon retiring from Hanover in 1995, he spent two years as the dean of faculty at Franklin College and a year at Mississippi State University as a visiting professor of developmental psychology. During his career at Hanover, Rawson spent 25 years as director of the Englishton Park Children’s Program, a summer developmental program for at-risk youth in Lexington, Ind.
The professor began traveling in 1969 with a visit to Israel. In 1988, Rawson was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Bahrain for a year. He received a second Fulbright in 1994, for Oman, but the U.S. State Department cancelled his trip when armed conflict erupted between Oman and neighboring Yemen.
Rawson has visited 157 countries, mostly since retiring from teaching in 2000. He and wife, Joyce, a retired elementary teacher, spend about 40 percent of their time traveling.
He published his first book, a loosely autobiographical story titled “Webb City,” in 2000.

Travels of an Iconoclast

Harve Rawson's book
"Travels of an Iconoclast"

“When I was working, I was so busy with teaching and writing articles for research journals that I didn’t have time to write a book,” Rawson said.
The author followed with a science fiction novel, “The Itinerant Slave,” which explores slavery throughout history. “Around the World in 30 Years” was Rawson’s first volume of travel stories, and like “Purposeful Parenting: A Practical Guide for Today’s World,” spun off from radio programs he wrote and hosted in 2002 for the Radio Colorado Network. “A Delightful Ordeal: Travel Tales that Teach” focuses on unusual and out-of-the-way destinations.
Rawson has published each of his six books through self-publishing companies. He chose Bloomington, Ind.-based Author House for “Iconoclast” because it allowed him freedom to use footnotes and control the design. The process cost Rawson about $600 up front, but he receives a percentage of each sale. The book is produced “on-demand,” meaning the company does not keep a large inventory but instead prints copies as they are ordered. This route leaves Rawson in charge of promoting his work.
Last month, Rawson arranged book signings at homecoming at Hanover College and Franklin College, where he sold several copies of his new and old books. “You don’t have a big company to push it for you,” he said. “That’s practically impossible today unless you’re a John Grisham.”

• “Travels of an Iconoclast” is available for $15.95 plus shipping and handling at 1-888-280-7715 or www.authorhouse.com.

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