Almost any substance can be abused; Goldstein convincingly argues that the illegalization of marijuana is increasingly...

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LEGALIZING MARIJUANA

PROMISES AND PITFALLS

A well-tempered examination of the current standing of marijuana in the United States, with important forays into its medicinal use.

Marijuana didn’t just burst on to the scene in the last century, writes Goldstein in this sanely balanced overview of the drug’s influence over the centuries. The Chinese were busy experimenting with the herb’s healing powers 5,000 years ago, and experimentation went on right up through the American Medical Association's opposition to the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, citing the plant’s “medicinal value.” Goldstein doesn’t shy away from the ideologically bigoted and racist agendas behind restrictions: “Many Anglo-Americans made associations between marijuana use, racial minorities, jazz music, and amoral behavior.” She makes her way through the mare’s-nest of federal and state laws and how they have worked counterproductively to provide access for people seeking medical marijuana (which is often low on the buzz component, THC, and high on CBD, marijuana’s primary medicinal component). Goldstein also draws a telling parallel between Prohibition and the rise of violent gang-related alcohol crimes and the horrifying cartel-controlled trade in marijuana that the war on drugs has only exacerbated. Hers is the eye of a science journalist, and she writes with levelheaded clarity.

Almost any substance can be abused; Goldstein convincingly argues that the illegalization of marijuana is increasingly looking like what happened to the baby in the bathwater. (Nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4677-9243-1

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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Sympathetic in tone, optimistic in outlook, not heavily earnest: nothing to be afraid of.

SCARED STIFF

50 PHOBIAS THAT FREAK US OUT

Part browsing item, part therapy for the afflicted, this catalog of irrational terrors offers a little help along with a lot of pop psychology and culture.

The book opens with a clinical psychologist’s foreword and closes with a chapter of personal and professional coping strategies. In between, Latta’s alphabetically arranged encyclopedia introduces a range of panic-inducers from buttons (“koumpounophobia”) and being out of cellphone contact (“nomophobia”) to more widespread fears of heights (“acrophobia”), clowns (“coulroiphobia”) and various animals. There’s also the generalized “social anxiety disorder”—which has no medical name but is “just its own bad self.” As most phobias have obscure origins (generally in childhood), similar physical symptoms and the same approaches to treatment, the descriptive passages tend toward monotony. To counter that, the author chucks in references aplenty to celebrity sufferers, annotated lists of relevant books and (mostly horror) movies, side notes on “joke phobias” and other topics. At each entry’s end, she contributes a box of “Scare Quotes” such as a passage from Coraline for the aforementioned fear of buttons.

Sympathetic in tone, optimistic in outlook, not heavily earnest: nothing to be afraid of. (end notes, resource list) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-936976-49-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist.

MAYA LIN

THINKING WITH HER HANDS

One of the world’s most celebrated creators of civic architecture is profiled in this accessible, engaging biography.

Similar in style and format to her Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (2014) and Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe (2011), Rubin’s well-researched profile examines the career, creative processes, and career milestones of Maya Lin. Rubin discusses at length Lin’s most famous achievement, designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Chinese-American Lin was a reserved college student who entered and won the competition to design and build the memorial. Her youth and ethnicity were subjects of great controversy, and Rubin discusses how Lin fought to ensure her vision of the memorial remained intact. Other notable works by Lin, including the Civil Rights Memorial for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, a library and chapel for the Children’s Defense Fund, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the outdoor Wave Field project are examined but not in as much depth as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Attractively designed, the book is illustrated extensively with color photos and drawings.

An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0837-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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