Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 162)

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Aug. 2, 1996

"Behe is a Roman Catholic), but it is neither necessary nor sufficient for many other practicing scientists."
Behe (Biochemistry/Lehigh Univ.) offers the thesis that biochemistry provides so many examples of ``irreducible complexity'' in nature that not even Darwinian gradualism can explain their evolution and existence. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"This verbose book would have benefitted by being pruned into a stylistically far tighter essay, less declamatory and more reflective. (Author tour)"
What set of factors most influence the course of an individual human life? Read full book review >

HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"A comprehensive, passionate, and thought-provoking look through the door into a brave new world in which we may find ourselves before we realize it."
The perfectibility of the human species remains one of the most controversial subjects in science, and Maranto, an award- winning science writer, explains why. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"Still, saw this book in half, suspend some of Aveni's credulity, and presto chango, you just might conjure up a highly readable book. (illustrations, not seen)"
For an anthropologist and astronomer, Aveni (Conversing with the Planets, 1992, etc.) displays an encouraging though sometimes excessive openness of mind about things magical in this dash through the history of Western mysticism and hokum, from the Gnostics to the alchemists to the New Age. Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"An important contribution to the growing literature of environmental degradation and racism, and a fine case study in local politics. (b&w photos, not seen)"
A blow-by-blow account of a rural southern community's fight to keep toxic waste out of its backyard. Read full book review >

NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Aug. 1, 1996

"While there is plenty here to give a susceptible late-night reader a good case of the chills, there is little for the intellect to grapple with."
Another here-come-the-aliens book that one might be willing to dismiss as mindless entertainment if it weren't so determined to pretend it's serious. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: July 3, 1996

"A fascinating tour of scientific history, concluding with a vision of a future that is at once exhilarating and profoundly unsettling."
Computer-aided math is now at a point where unaided human intelligence cannot follow the proofs, a fact that has profound implications for future science, according to James (a former executive at Thinking Machines Corp.). Read full book review >
THE FORGOTTEN POLLINATORS by Stephen Buchmann
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: July 1, 1996

"Another of nature's elegant loops. (b&w illustrations) (Author tour)"
Pollinators are the Rodney Dangerfields of the animal world: They just don't get no respect. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: July 1, 1996

"A lucid account of the key developments in modern cosmology, especially good at capturing the human dimension of scientific work."
This account of the scientific work that has created our modern picture of the origins of the universe was a best-seller in Britain; it deserves to be equally popular here. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: July 1, 1996

"Demonstrates clearly that while viruses can be deadly, humans may have more to fear from humanity itself. (16 pages photos, not seen) (First printing of 100,000; $150,000 ad/promo; author tour; radio satellite tour)"
Adventures of two gutsy physicians fighting deadly viruses amidst political chicanery and under incredibly harsh and primitive conditions. ``Level 4'' refers to the biosafety standards required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for working with lethal agents. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: July 1, 1996

"A well-written and comprehensive discussion of a sobering but inevitably fascinating subject."
Here is an able summary of the growing body of evidence that Earth has sustained a number of collisions with various large objects from space. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: June 24, 1996

"Things must be in a pretty bad way if science and reason cannot save us, and we must cast ourselves instead on Thompson's haphazard ruminations. (18 b&w illustrations)"
Meandering millennial meditations by a self-described cultural historian, WissenskÅnstler, Marshall McLuhanite, and yogic proselytizer. 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 >