Psychology Book Reviews (page 177)

PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Jan. 15, 1992

"The mind's sky indeed—but with clouds."
Ferris, who usually pokes around in outer space (Coming of Age in the Milky Way, The Red Shift, etc.), probes the inner kind as well in these amusing if far-fetched essays on the human mind, the search for extraterrestrial (and thus nonhuman) intelligence (SETI), and their intersection. Read full book review >
SHAME by Michael Lewis
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Jan. 6, 1992

"Sensible scholarly analysis of an emotion that has an enormous impact on how individuals relate to each other and to society. (B&w drawings—not seen.)"
To understand shame is to understand human nature, according to Lewis (Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Psychology/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), who here presents his theories about this normal, universal emotion. Read full book review >

AFTER GREAT PAIN by Diane Cole
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Jan. 1, 1992

"It is impossible to read this without responding personally- -examining one's own losses—and feeling respect for such a compelling and even timeless work."
A profoundly moving meditation on loss and renewal. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Jan. 1, 1992

"Expect the warmest response from a nonprofessional audience."
Again, Dowling (Perfect Woman, 1988, etc.) uses personal experience—her daughter's depression—as the springboard for her writing, this time arguing for the primary role of brain biochemistry in a large number of illnesses frequently considered biological in origin. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Jan. 1, 1992

"A solidly researched, nonconfrontational analysis that presents the facts and holds up solutions as a challenge to our democratic society."
A sweeping overview of the institutions, programs, and social trends that affect how America's children grow up. Read full book review >

HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Dec. 16, 1991

"A fine, example-filled account of how different times and different mores produce different psychosomatic illnesses."
Like other cultural phenomena, psychosomatic illnesses are subject to changes in fashion; here, Shorter (The Healthy Century, 1987, etc.) has applied his considerable skill in researching medical history to an examination of these trends from the mid-18th century to the present. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Dec. 1, 1991

"An offbeat treatise that charts a course out of the mainstream and along the varied routes that, perhaps, lead to unconventional wisdom."
A deceptively simple but consistently provocative appeal for perceptual (as opposed to structured) thinking from the author of Six Action Shoes (the trifle reviewed below), Tactics (1984), and several other works dealing with powers of the mind. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 1, 1991

"Highly cerebral despite Gelven's use of lay language."
Those looking for an emotionally reassuring answer to the title's age-old question would do well to avoid Gelven's circuitous, scholarly discussion of the role fate plays in people's lives: the Northern Illinois Univ. philosophy professor prefers to dwell on the loftier ``why'' while shunning the more compelling implications of ``me.'' Rare are those who fail to wonder, in moments of extreme good fortune or tragedy, why they were personally fated to enjoy or endure these particular twist of fates. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Dec. 1, 1991

"Feminists will find Bailey's discussion of the masculine orientation of standard English particularly illuminating. (Twenty illustrations—not seen.)"
Drawing on his vast erudition about the uses of language, Bailey (English Language and Literature/Univ. of Michigan), associate editor of the Oxford Companion to the English Language, describes the history of the cultural, social, political, and even psychological attitudes toward the English language. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 22, 1991

"Thoughtful, passionate, and visually exciting—a work that will unquestionably encourage others both to create meaningful monuments, buildings, gardens and to understand them. (Over 500 illustrations, including 200 color and 200 b&w photographs.)"
A brilliant distillation of the ideas of the man called by Philip Johnson ``the most influential architecture teacher ever.'' Here, Scully (Art History/Yale; Pueblo, 1974) surveys with charm, eloquence, and philosophical reflection the history of the symbolic structures that mediate between the human beings who created and use them and the natural world. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 1991

"A plodding biography of a remarkable woman."
A failed attempt to arouse interest in the work of Dorothea Dix, who, in the 19th century, devoted her considerable talents to establishing hospitals for the needy insane. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >