Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 168)

SPERM WARS by Robin Baker
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Oct. 23, 1996

"Expect fireworks and rebuttals, but also serious consideration for the ideas expressed by someone bold enough to open the bedroom door."
Graphic, no-nonsense scenarios of human sexual behavior, and evolutionary biology as the framework for interpreting who did what to whom in a given scenario, are the hallmark of this extraordinary work by Univ. of Manchester (England) biologist Baker. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 21, 1996

"A sloppy, dissatisfying work from an author who has done better. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
Wecht, a forensic pathologist and lawyer (Cause of Death, 1993), provides disappointingly little insight into some sensational trials and tragedies of recent years. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

A somewhat disjointed but still thought-provoking examination of the ways in which American cities and towns make us bad citizens. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"A fascinating story, well told."
In a narrative that often reads as compellingly as the best spy fiction, freelance science writer Buderi tells the story of how British and American scientists developed microwave radar, a device that helped win WW II and spurred a transformative postwar technical revolution. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Surveys a great deal of fascinating ground, but from the standpoint of a true believer rather than of an objective explorer. (Author tour)"
The acclaimed author of The Tao of Physics puts modern biology and ecology under his revisionist scrutiny. Read full book review >

DAVE BARRY IN CYBERSPACE by Dave Barry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"And it can be read with zero RAM, too. (Author tour)"
User-friendly Barry, tour guide to the world and elsewhere (Dave Barry Does Japan, 1992, etc.), takes a crack at cyberspace and comes up with a loony naturalist's guide to computer geekdom. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 11, 1996

"As always, Calvin's thinking about thinking gives plenty of food for thought."
Neurophysiologist Calvin (The Ascent of Mind: Ice Age Climate and the Evolution of Intelligence, 1990, etc.) continues to explore the human mind in a lively, erudite fashion, this time drawing on evolutionary biology, ethology, linguistics, and neuroscience. Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Gould fans will be charmed at the cogency and cleverness of his arguments—but expect a wall of opposition from pious and diehard progressivists. (50 illustrations, not seen) (Author tour)"
Now hear this: Evolution is not progressive. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"An informative and well-documented discussion of the famous case, which may not end the Piltdown argument, but which will certainly influence the debate in the future. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A new theory on the culprit behind the Piltdown Hoax—in which a fraudulent early human fossil was foisted on the scientific establishment—is at the heart of this lively book. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Such questions have no answers, but Rawlins asks them brilliantly."
In eight essays, Rawlins (Mathematics/Indiana Univ.) speculates on the exciting, scary new world computers are bringing us. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"A fine, challenging, and timely work of scholarship and criticism. (First serial to the New York Times Book Review; Book- of-the-Month/History Book Club alternate selections)"
An eminent scholar's exploration of a crucial theme in Western literature and culture: forbidden knowledge. Read full book review >
DINOSAURS OF THE FLAMING CLIFFS by Michael Novacek
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"A fine treatment for the general reader and a treasure trove for dinosaur buffs. (30 b&w illustrations, not seen)"
Field paleontology in Mongolia's Gobi Desert is at once the most difficult and the most rewarding of scientific endeavors; here's a firsthand account by the leader of a major expedition. 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 >