Religion Book Reviews (page 175)

RELIGION
Released: July 7, 1993

"One can't blame Blatty for sleazing up Robbie's plight, but it's good to have Allen's levelheaded account, which allows the apparent facts of this influential case to speak for their own—and compelling—selves."
The 1949 exorcism that inspired William Blatty to write The Exorcist, recounted in admirably restrained and documented fashion by an unlikely source: military-expert Allen (Merchants of Treason, 1988, etc.). Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: July 2, 1993

"Impressive on-site research, bungled in delivery. (Three maps)"
A lackluster presentation of luminous source material, by an Australian expert in native religions (Letters from a Wild State, 1992). Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: July 1, 1993

"A worthy contribution to Holocaust literature: superb, dispassionate analysis of the roots of evil, perpetrated most often in lockstep with the culture that encourages and reinforces it."
In the first volume of a trilogy on the manifestations of evil in humanity, Katz persuasively asserts that most horrific acts of mass murder are carried out by ordinary people under a bureaucratic government or cultural environment that condones—even demands—such actions. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: July 1, 1993

"A dull and unconvincing rendering that has no place on the bookshelf next to Georges Bataille, J. K. Huysmans, or even Arthur Lyons (Satan Wants You, 1988)."
A shallow account of how Feldman (Psychology/University of New Mexico) cured a victim of satanic sex abuse through hypnosis and New Age methods. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: July 1, 1993

"God is HIV positive''), and utopian—with the charm of both prophecy and outrageousness."
Former Jesuit priest Goss (an executive headhunter who's also a gay activist with a doctorate in comparative religion) starts this combative study by asking how gays and lesbians can be Christians. Read full book review >

ROAD TO HEAVEN by Bill Porter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 21, 1993

Porter, who as ``Red Pine'' has written several studies of Eastern religions (The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma, 1989, etc.— not reviewed), now clambers over the Chugnan mountains of central China in search of solitary mystics and saints. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: June 7, 1993

"Nonetheless, sticking faithfully to extant sources, Hadas-Lebel succeeds in making the astute, practical Josephus, and his moral compromises, come alive, and leaves the reader to decide whether Josephus was a despicable traitor or an admirable realist."
French writer Hadas-Lebel offers a scholarly buy terse biography of the enigmatic Jewish-Roman general and historian Flavius Josephus (37 A.D. - c. 95? A.D.), who participated in, witnessed, and then recorded the Jewish uprising against Roman rule (67 A.D. - 73 A.D.). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 3, 1993

"The subject is timely, however treacly the style: a memoir very much in the manner and shadow of The Thorn Birds, on which Sweeney served as a technical advisor. (Eight page b&w photo insert—not seen)"
A sentimental love story—from courtship to marriage—about a restless Jesuit priest and a successful but spiritually starved actress. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: June 1, 1993

"Vogel brings light and civility to the conflicting attitudes Americans still have toward the Holy Land, and to the religious and political passions it inspires. (Illustrations)"
Drawing on the experience of American tourists, missionaries, settlers, scholars, and diplomats, Vogel (a senior staff member of the Library of Congress) imaginatively reconstructs how Americans of the last century saw the Holy Land, why they went and what they did there, and their legacy. ``Geopiety,'' a term coined by geographer John Kirtland Wright, explains the motivations of those Protestants who undertook pilgrimages to a neglected part of the declining Ottoman Empire, seeking the sacred associations, the revival of faith, the sense of religious mission that they had absorbed from the Bible and had expressed in the two extraordinary American artifacts with which Vogel begins and ends his text: a reproduction of the Holy Land in Chautauqua, New York, in 1874 and another of the Temple Mount at the 1904 World's Fair, in St. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: June 1, 1993

"A valuable, well-researched study of this misunderstood minority of a minority. (Appended with a solid bibliography and a glossary of both Yiddish and Hebrew terms.)"
An engaging look into the philosophies and lifestyles of the various sects of Orthodox Jewish fundamentalists. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 1, 1993

A superb analysis by King (Religion/Vanderbilt University), a renowned scholar of Far Eastern religions, of the curious marriage between Zen Buddhism and samurai fighting. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 21, 1993

"A warm, fuzzy read for those who like to curl up with cozy philosophizing."
Good-natured parables in which the lessons learned from sailing are translated into lessons about living. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >