Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 164)

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 >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 15, 1996

"Kitcher lays out the territory and makes it clear that failing to explore it would be folly. (illustrations, not seen)"
No doubt about it: The pace of biomedical progress raises religious, moral, and legal issues that demand attention. Read full book review >

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 8, 1996

"A fine contribution to Amazonian studies and to the literature of environmental advocacy. (90 color photos, 3 b&w photos, 2 maps)"
A comprehensive overview of the Amazon Basin's riparian ecology and of the economic development that threatens to destroy it. ``As the new century approaches,'' the authors write, ``the Amazon is being transformed by deforestation, urban growth, mining, dams, and widespread exploitation of its natural resources.'' Yet in world coverage of these events, they maintain, the Amazon serves as a backdrop; they offer the astonishing fact that more is known about the Amazon as a whole than about a handful of its tributaries, thanks to a lack of thoroughgoing ecological investigations of the entire region. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"An apocalyptic vision that should be taken with the utmost seriousness by anyone concerned with the long-range fate of the human race."
There was a time when science refused to believe that meteors actually fell from the sky; now, scientists soberly calculate the possibility that one of those falls could destroy a city—or the entire human race. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Brent's story reads like a novel concocted to take readers inside the mind of a black revolutionary and revolutionary Cuba; that it is true makes it an important chronicle of our times."
Brent's riveting memoirs of his odyssey through memorable times, from a Louisiana sharecropper's shack to exile in Cuba. Read full book review >

THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD by Carl Sagan
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Sagan has produced a valuable document on the side of scientific civilization and enlightened progress."
Alarmed by the rise of superstition and pseudoscience, a leading science writer rallies the forces of reason and scientific literacy. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"All in all, however, this is sound science supporting a point of view that deserves to be heeded. (line drawings, not seen)"
A world survey course with a message: Change your attitude if you want Homo sapiens to survive another million years. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Jan. 28, 1996

"Not only a perceptive analysis of the causes of the Challenger disaster, but a fine overview of the American space program."
The Challenger explosion, ten years ago next month, was the most traumatic setback to the US space program to date. Read full book review >
A TOUR OF THE CALCULUS by David Berlinski
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Jan. 25, 1996

"A worthy attempt to bring an important scientific concept to the general reader; too bad the execution falls short of the ambition."
Here's another attempt to bridge the gap between the ``two cultures'' of the humanities and the sciences, this time by a mathematician/mystery novelist. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Jan. 22, 1996

"Readers who want the whole story should check Jonathan Littman's broader- gauged The Fugitive Game (p. 1687). (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
Shimomura tells how he gained instant celebrity by helping the FBI nab famed hacker Kevin Mitnick; Markoff, a San Franciscobased reporter, made Shimomura an overnight sensation with front-page stories in the New York Times. Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"A simply told but richly evocative scientific memoir by one of the pioneers of the last frontier on Earth. (b&w illustrations)"
If you've ever dreamed of viewing the wonders of the ocean floor, here's an eyewitness account. 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 >