Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 4)

WHY TORTURE DOESN'T WORK by Shane O'Mara
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 30, 2015

"Everything you never wanted to know—but probably should—about interrogation techniques and outcomes."
A catalog of the scientific evidence of how torture is at best ineffective, usually counterproductive, and always inhumane. Read full book review >
Einstein's Lost Key by Alexander Unzicker
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 28, 2015

"A passionate but disconnected treatise whose adversarial tone makes for an ultimately unpleasant reading experience."
A physicist argues for one of Albert Einstein's abandoned ideas in this defense of a road less traveled. Read full book review >

WHEN THE SUN BURSTS by Christopher Bollas
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 24, 2015

"A vastly informative, coherent, and valuable assessment; useful and accessible for both mental health professionals and laypeople—even those who don't share the author's unique perspectives and treatment alternatives."
A contemporary appraisal of schizophrenia and its puzzling traits and treatments through the lens of a physician's esteemed 40-year practice. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 24, 2015

"Rock-solid evidence on the rise of identity theft and the multiple steps one can take to counteract an attack."
Useful advice on protecting your identity. Read full book review >
DATABASE OF DREAMS by Rebecca Lemov
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 24, 2015

"Unique, well-curated brain food for readers intrigued with the human psyche and how it can be recorded, indexed, and cross-referenced."
A detailed exploration of a historic, one-of-a-kind social archive project. Read full book review >

THE BROTHERS VONNEGUT by Ginger Strand
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"An engaging yet disquieting portrait of postwar America through the eyes of a pair of brothers who accomplished great things in different fields."
In this meticulously researched dual biography of scientist Bernard Vonnegut (1914-1997) and his brother, fiction writer Kurt (1922-2007), Orion contributing editor Strand (Killer on the Road: Violence and the American Interstate, 2012, etc.) focuses on the late 1940s to the early 1950s, when the brothers both worked at General Electric.Read full book review >
CYBERPHOBIA by Edward Lucas
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"An engaged overview of technology's strange new virtual hazards."
Ominous look at how our love of technology and "the Internet of things" have made society newly vulnerable. Read full book review >
SUSPICIOUS MINDS by Rob Brotherton
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"A thoughtful, general analysis of conspiracy theories arguing that belief in secret plots is neither new nor unusual but a time-tested part of the human experience."
Combining historical anecdote and psychology research, Brotherton endeavors to explain how the human mind concocts conspiracy theories and the effects of these theories on society. Read full book review >
THE HIDDEN HALF OF NATURE by David R. Montgomery
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Nov. 16, 2015

"A must-read for avid gardeners, those interested in bolstering our precarious food supply, or anyone remotely concerned about their health and the soil under their feet."
A geologist and a biologist and environmental planner chronicle the transformation of their desolate Seattle backyard into a fertile garden and how they learned about the importance of beneficial microbes in their newly revived soil. Read full book review >
THE EVOLUTION OF EVERYTHING by Matt Ridley
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"Like Malcolm Gladwell, Ridley's taste for counterintuitive arguments often oversimplifies and ignores contradictory evidence, but he provides a wild ride, almost too thought-provoking to read for long stretches but difficult to put down."
Evolution, a phenomenon without an underlying plan that explains life's development, has convinced scientists, if not the general public, but authorities still debate whether Darwin's theory applies to human society. Veteran science writer Ridley (The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, 2010) investigates.Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"An endlessly surprising foray into the current mother of physics' many knotty mysteries, the solving of which may unveil the weirdness of quantum particles, black holes, and the essential unity of nature."
Two particles behave identically and instantaneously though separated by great space and with no force passing between them. How? Award-winning Scientific American contributing editor Musser (The Complete Idiot's Guide to String Theory, 2008) probes the riddle.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"One of the most absorbing and empowering science histories to hit the shelves in recent years."
One of the world's most renowned and forward-thinking oncologists recounts 35 years of cancer research and tells us why we should be optimistic about the future. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >