Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 167)

TRACES OF AN OMNIVORE by Paul Shepard
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Nov. 26, 1996

"Radical, indelicate, opinionated, and dauntingly learned even at their most outlandish, Shepard's ideas on humanity's true place in the environment are well worth mulling over."
If you want to cure the many ills afflicting our species, take your cues from our ancestors in the Pleistocene. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 15, 1996

"Though often straying from a discussion of astronomy in its sociological and anthropological analysis of vanished societies, Krupp's survey is evocative, absorbing, and informative. (150 photos and drawings, not seen)"
In the latest of his contributions to archaeoastronomy, the study of the astronomy of ancient cultures, Krupp (director, Griffith Observatory; Echoes of the Ancient Sky, 1983, etc.) conducts a compelling survey of sky worship in ancient Egypt, China, Tibet, Mongolia, Anatolia, Africa, and the Americas. Read full book review >

THE QUEST FOR LONGITUDE by William J.H. Andrewes
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Nov. 14, 1996

"Attractively designed, this large volume is lavishly illustrated in both color and black-and-white."
Any armchair navigator or scientist who was captivated by Dava Sobel's bestselling but brief 1995 book, Longitude, can wallow at length in the subject with this comprehensive volume based on a 1993 symposium (which was also the origin of Sobel's book). Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 8, 1996

"With exposure on CNN, a vigorous presence on the Internet, and a new groundswell of support at NASA, this plan may well prove to be the one, at long last, to fly."
Zubrin is an aeronautical engineer at Martin Marietta, Wagner the former editor of the National Space Society's magazine, Ad Astra, and together they make a forceful argument for the exploration and settlement of Mars. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"Probably therapeutic for the author, riveting for the social voyeur, and mildly illuminating for the student of family pathology. (First serial to the New Yorker)"
A dreamlike memoir of the violence and sexuality underlying a well-planned family landscape, its statuary nooks and architectural crannies filled with secrets. Read full book review >

SEX AND THE ORIGINS OF DEATH by William R. Clark
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"Strikingly well argued and clear."
Speculations on life and death from a professor of cellular biology at UCLA. ``We die because our cells die,'' Clark says. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

A lucid, accessible explanation of what recent research on the brain has revealed about the nature and origins of emotion. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"Not his best effort, but pleasant, readable, and persuasive, nonetheless."
A look at the engineering principles behind ordinary objects and processes by the author of the bestsellers The Evolution of Useful Things (1992) and The Pencil (1989). Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"An astute and independent observer's engrossing (albeit unsparing) perspectives on one of the 20th century's genuinely consequential enterprises. (illustrations, not seen)"
An evenhanded and informative history of Boeing, the American airframe manufacturer that bestrides the world of civil aviation like a colossus. Read full book review >
THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION by Steven Shapin
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"In this revisionist text, Shapin offers a provocative new reading of a formative period in the history of science. (30 illustrations, not seen)"
A short but dense exposition arguing that there really wasn't a dramatic shift in how scholars went about discovering truth about the world in the 17th century. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"Trendy, but earnest and appealing as well."
An attempt to prove by scientific methods that the soul exists, by a physicist who has explored this terrain before, in The Eagle's Quest (1991) and The Dreaming Universe (1994). Read full book review >
FROM LUCY TO LANGUAGE by Donald Johanson
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

In one profusely illustrated volume, noted paleontologist Johanson (who discovered our earliest known ancestor, Lucy, as he recounted in his 1981 volume of that name) reviews all that is known about the origins and development of Homo sapiens. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >