Hanover College professor
publishes new book
visited more than
two dozen countries for research
(January 2006) In his latest book, Travels
of an Iconoclast, Madison, Ind.-based author Harve Rawson offers
his take on several of the worlds problems. Rawson, 71, visited
more than two dozen countries in writing and researching the book, which
is his third about travel.
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.
Its 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 nations 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 Mumbais decaying infrastructure.
The author included Alaska in the book because he said many Americans
dont 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 dont
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 Childrens 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"
When I was working, I was so busy with teaching
and writing articles for research journals that I didnt 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 Rawsons first volume of travel
stories, and like Purposeful Parenting: A Practical Guide for
Todays 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
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
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 dont have a big company to push it for you,
he said. Thats practically impossible today unless youre
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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