Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 17)

MONKEYLUV by Robert M. Sapolsky
Released: Sept. 20, 2005

"It isn't a radical notion that the nature-nurture debate ought to be tossed, but Sapolsky (A Primate's Memoir, 2001, etc.) has added another round to the cause of its demise."
Eighteen quick-footed essays that explain how nature and nurture are both vital ingredients in the stew of life. Read full book review >
INFINITE ASCENT by David Berlinski
Released: Sept. 13, 2005

"Novices may be overwhelmed, but for the mathematically inclined, this is a real treat."
Not a formal history of math so much as a "good parts" version of that history. Read full book review >

Released: May 17, 2005

"Excellent scientific journalism on the challenges arising from a real tipping point in human relations."
An eye-opening exploration of how cutting-edge 21st-century technologies, in embryonic form right now, pose the stark alternatives of a real-life Utopia or Brave New World. Read full book review >
Released: May 5, 2005

"Astronomy was never so much fun."
A unique—and splendid—mix of astronomy and personal journey. Read full book review >
Released: April 10, 2005

"A swiftly moving narrative full of morality tales and juicy gossip. One of the best scientific biographies to appear in recent years."
The second greatest scientific mind of the atomic era gets respectful but revealing treatment by political journalist Bird (The Color of Truth, 1998) and literary scholar Sherwin (A World Destroyed, 1975). Read full book review >

THE BIG BANG by Simon Singh
Released: Jan. 7, 2005

"Still, a clear, lively, and comprehensive view of the way science arrived at the leading theory of how everything began."
A historical overview of the science leading to acceptance of the Big Bang theory. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 4, 2005

"Flintier than Paul Goldberger's Up from Zero (p. 724), unsparingly showing New York City's power brokers taking a nation-bending hole in the ground and mixing into it a witch's brew of ego, politics, greed, and amnesia."
Architectural writer Nobel takes a gimlet-eyed view of the reconstruction process, analyzing how various characters went about filling the multifaceted void left by the erasure of the World Trade Center. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2005

"A wonderful celebration of hands-on physics back in the days before megateams presided over megabuck atom-smashers."
An engaging, well-researched account of nuclear physics 75 years ago. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 6, 2004

"One of Dawkins's best: a big, almost encyclopedic compendium bursting with information and ideas."
Borrowing from Chaucer, Dawkins leads a grand tour of all surviving "pilgrims" to a "Canterbury" representing the very origin of life—and what a fantastic trip it is. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"An accessible and extremely well written exploration of the deep waters of cosmology, astrophysics, and exobiology."
Companion volume to a PBS Nova special takes a look at the origins of life, the universe, and everything. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"A mind-boggling, sometimes stomach-churning glimpse of a profession that is far more demanding than TV's glamorized version of it."
A "bone doctor's" gritty, fascinating account of her challenging career analyzing skeletal remains to discover how people died, who they were, and even what they looked like. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2004

"Well written and illuminating."
A detailed history, not so much of the genome as of genetics itself. 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 >