Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 163)

HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: June 1, 1996

"By this time the savvy reader—thanks to Burr's excellent exposition—can say, A pox on both their houses."
A thorough, often riveting review of research on homosexuality and male-female differences. ``Amid the chaos of debate is the virtual certainty that the biological origins of sexual orientation will become known to us,'' writes journalist Burr, who penned a controversial 1993 article on the subject for the Atlantic Monthly. Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: May 6, 1996

"Tenner's subject is undoubtedly interesting, and his examples will strike close to home for many readers; the book would be even better if he had not tried to inflate his useful observations into universal truths."
What do football helmets and laser printers have in common? Read full book review >

NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: May 1, 1996

"We have to reengage with the natural world, he argues, and embrace the heady mix of our responsibilities: accepting the need to sometimes counter nature's flow in order to preserve our species, yet always be mindful of the long-term consequences. (Illustrations, maps, charts) (Author tour)"
How has the ebb and flow of the environment affected the evolution of humans, and how has the path of our evolution affected our attitude toward nature? Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: May 1, 1996

Henderson, the Pushcart Press's publisher, struck a powerful ``Leaddite'' nerve when he founded the antitech Lead Pencil Club, and his selection here shows how deep the reactions are to the telecommunications bubble of e-mail, telephones, faxes, TV, and radio. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: April 12, 1996

"A somewhat dry but workmanlike survey of its subject, with interesting sidelights on astronomers and their equipment. (8 pages b&w photos)"
The search for planets around other suns is one of the most daunting tasks astronomers have tackled; here two astronomers sum up the progress to date. Read full book review >

NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 1, 1996

Everything you might want to know about life and death on islands here, there, and everywhere on the globe can be found in Quammen's study of island biogeography. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: April 1, 1996

"Only the future will tell us what Gallagher unfortunately can't."
An unwieldy assemblage of information on the varied elements- -from genes to neurotransmitters to early life experiences—that are believed to contribute to personality. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 31, 1996

"And even if not, readers will be rewarded by a fine telling of the always fascinating story of where we came from. (8 pages photos, 13 illustrations, not seen)"
``I am striving to see the human animal in the right perspective.'' So says paleoanthropologist Walker in the first person, although the text of this first-rate exposition was actually penned by Shipman, Walker's wife and colleague in Pennsylvania State University's anthropology department. Read full book review >
THE INTROSPECTIVE ENGINEER by Samuel C. Florman
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 19, 1996

"Thus his contention that more engineers should involve themselves in political processes and policy discussions, unfortunately, self-destructs."
More soothing technological reassurances from writer-engineer Florman (Blaming Technology, 1981, etc.), here maintaining that we need more and better technological ``fixes,'' not fewer, and pleading for more engineers to become involved in running things. Read full book review >
LISE MEITNER by Ruth Lewin Sime
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1996

"It is precisely that combination that Sime captures in this scrupulously researched biography. (32 b&w photos, 10 b&w illustrations, not seen)"
On the eve of WW II the physicist Lise Meitner, then living in Sweden, realized that the puzzling results reported to her by her colleagues in Berlin meant they had split the atom. Read full book review >
PRIVATE MYTHS by Anthony Stevens
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: March 1, 1996

"Erudite and engaging."
Wide-ranging essay on the importance of dreams by a Jungian analyst who maintains that they are the ``only natural oases of spirituality left to us.'' Stevens (Archetypes: A Natural History of the Self, 1982, etc.) sees dreams as having the function of myths and religion, that is, the integration of old wisdom with new knowledge. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 1, 1996

A sometimes murky, frequently meandering excursion into the meaning of ancient Andean beliefs, arguing that in a series of sophisticated myths Incan soothsayers foretold their own civilization's doom at the hands of Pizarro and his conquistadors in 1532. 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 >