A must-read not just for environmentalists but for all politically conscientious readers.

READ REVIEW

CENSORING SCIENCE

INSIDE THE POLITICAL ATTACK ON DR. JAMES HANSEN AND THE TRUTH ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING

An eye-opening account of government efforts to silence the nation’s leading climate scientist.

Hansen, long-time director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, made headlines in early 2006 when he refused to buckle under government pressure to soft-pedal warnings on the dangerous reality of global warming. In this understated but important book, author and physicist Bowen (Thin Ice: Unlocking the Secrets of Climate in the World’s Highest Mountains, 2005) demonstrates how science news makes its way into the media from deep within the labyrinthine space agency. Since the agency’s founding in 1958, reporters have had direct access to NASA scientists. That changed in recent years, writes Bowen, when high-level NASA political appointees began trying to control scientists’ conversations with the media, especially about climate science and global warming. Drawing on interviews, e-mails and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Bowen tells a chilling story of deliberate efforts by senior NASA managers, acting in concert with the Bush White House, to play up uncertainties and minimize dangers regarding global warming. Never made in writing, directives were generally issued orally, and in closed-door meetings, to NASA public-affairs officers, who were asked to act against their own principles and obtain approval from appointees before scientists could speak to the media. Hansen spoke out on 60 Minutes, noting government efforts to restrict his statements on 2005 as the warmest year on record. Bowen details the manipulations; shows how conservative NASA press officer George Deutsch was scapegoated as a rogue trying to control Hansen (while higher-ups declared an open-door media policy); and reveals how the White House “orchestrated” censorship on climate science at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and elsewhere. Amid the attack on credible, unbiased science, writes Bowen, Hansen despairs that no real progress is being made on global warming.

A must-read not just for environmentalists but for all politically conscientious readers.

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-525-95014-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2007

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Dramatic, immersive, and wanting—much like desire itself.

THREE WOMEN

Based on eight years of reporting and thousands of hours of interaction, a journalist chronicles the inner worlds of three women’s erotic desires.

In her dramatic debut about “what longing in America looks like,” Taddeo, who has contributed to Esquire, Elle, and other publications, follows the sex lives of three American women. On the surface, each woman’s story could be a soap opera. There’s Maggie, a teenager engaged in a secret relationship with her high school teacher; Lina, a housewife consumed by a torrid affair with an old flame; and Sloane, a wealthy restaurateur encouraged by her husband to sleep with other people while he watches. Instead of sensationalizing, the author illuminates Maggie’s, Lina’s, and Sloane’s erotic experiences in the context of their human complexities and personal histories, revealing deeper wounds and emotional yearnings. Lina’s infidelity was driven by a decade of her husband’s romantic and sexual refusal despite marriage counseling and Lina's pleading. Sloane’s Fifty Shades of Grey–like lifestyle seems far less exotic when readers learn that she has felt pressured to perform for her husband's pleasure. Taddeo’s coverage is at its most nuanced when she chronicles Maggie’s decision to go to the authorities a few years after her traumatic tryst. Recounting the subsequent trial against Maggie’s abuser, the author honors the triumph of Maggie’s courageous vulnerability as well as the devastating ramifications of her community’s disbelief. Unfortunately, this book on “female desire” conspicuously omits any meaningful discussion of social identities beyond gender and class; only in the epilogue does Taddeo mention race and its impacts on women's experiences with sex and longing. Such oversight brings a palpable white gaze to the narrative. Compounded by the author’s occasionally lackluster prose, the book’s flaws compete with its meaningful contribution to #MeToo–era reporting.

Dramatic, immersive, and wanting—much like desire itself.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4516-4229-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

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