Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 164)

HOW THE MIND WORKS by Steven Pinker
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Fascinating stuff."
With verve and clarity, the author of The Language Instinct (1993) offers a thought-challenging explanation of why our minds work the way they do Read full book review >
BOTS by Andrew Leonard
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 15, 1997

"While Leonard may go a bit far in suggesting with his subtitle that bots could be an artificial form of intelligence, his Darwinian point, that only through conflict can any species (be it human or robotic) improve, is well taken."
An intriguing if somewhat frightening view of how the very fringes of a subculture (in this case, the computing subculture) can affect society. Read full book review >

PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 11, 1997

"Strong scientific support for the mind-body school of medicine, sure to rankle those alpha males back in the labs. (Author tour)"
Pert, a self-described ``catalyst in the mindbodyspirit revolution in modern medical science,'' and once a chief of brain chemistry at the NIH, freely intermingles vibrant stories of her professional and personal life with her theories about neuropeptides. Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Highly recommended for geographers and students of the American scene. (51 illustrations, not seen)"
A large and varied sampler of essays by the late doyen of American cultural geography, who died in 1996. Read full book review >
SMELL by Piet Vroon
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"As for the rest, there are enough tidbits and food for thought to please the curious mind."
Everything you wanted to know about one of the two ``chemical'' senses, including the fact that taste is as much a function of smell as it is of taste buds. Read full book review >

PLANET QUEST by Ken Croswell
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"A thoroughly readable addition to the astronomy bookshelf. (illustrations)"
A lively, timely history of the search for extrasolar planets- -today's hottest astronomical game. Read full book review >
BEFORE THE BEGINNING by Martin Rees
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"A strong and entertaining introduction to modern cosmology, by someone who has been close to the center of the debate. (Author tour)"
Astrophysicists and cosmologists play their mind games on the biggest of all boards—the entire known universe. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Bush remains, as this biography demonstrates, a complex, deeply controversial, and profoundly influential figure."
Disproving Vannevar Bush's claim that any biography of him would be terrible, Zachary (Show-Stopper!, 1994), a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, deftly follows the life and career of the single most important scientist working for the US during WW II. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Aug. 15, 1997

"Unfortunately, his organization is somewhat disjointed and he often omits background information that the lay reader might need to follow his argument. (color and b&w photos, charts, graphs, not seen)"
Claims of Martian life continue to spur scientific debate; this partisan account summarizes the arguments to date. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

"So the mix of sex and politics is ever-present, and Blum's book is a fine reminder of how inevitable—for better or worse— that mix seems to be. (Author tour)"
To the growing genre of gender-behavior books, add Pulitzer Prize winner Blum's (The Monkey Wars, 1994) take on sex differences. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

"Not easy going by any means, but worth the work for anyone interested in the thought processes of a scientist on the leading edge of his discipline."
One major school of quantum theory posits a multiplicity of universes; but what does that imply about the reality we live in? Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

"A solid contribution to popular geography."
A discursive look at the ongoing transformation of the American landscape. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >