Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 4)

LIVES IN RUINS by Marilyn Johnson
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"An engrossing examination of how archaeologists re-create much of human history, piece by painstaking piece."
Science reporter Johnson (This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, 2010, etc.) explores the work of archaeologists.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 15, 2014

"A gutsy, deeply revealing account that more than fulfills the promise of the subtitle."
Freelance journalist and author Stark (Leaving Mundania: Inside the Transformative World of Live Action Role-Playing Games, 2012) has both fully researched her subject and poured out her heart in this blend of history, science and memoir. Read full book review >

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Oct. 13, 2014

"Always entertaining and meticulously composed, this book will reorient your relationship with the quantum."
A history of some of the most "forceful, imaginative, and insightful" minds in quantum theory and how the world became entranced by their scientific language. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 7, 2014

"Isaacson weaves prodigious research and deftly crafted anecdotes into a vigorous, gripping narrative about the visionaries whose imaginations and zeal continue to transform our lives."
A panoramic history of technological revolution. Read full book review >
ARRIVAL OF THE FITTEST by Andreas Wagner
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Oct. 2, 2014

"A book of startling congruencies, insightful flashes and an artful enthusiasm that delivers knowledge from the inorganic page to our organic brains."
Wagner (Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies/Univ. of Zurich; The Origins of Evolutionary Innovations, 2011, etc.) lucidly explores the natural principles that accelerate life's ability to innovate and thus evolve.Read full book review >

HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"Compassionate, useful reading related by an expert in his field."
A renowned neurologist examines some important questions: "[W]hat does it mean to be the patient faced with these seismic problems, and how is a connection made with the physician who embodies the knowledge that can make it better?" Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"Of a piece with the work of Tracy Kidder, Henry Petroski and other popular explainers of technology and science—geeky without being overly so and literate throughout."
Best-selling author Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, 2010, etc.) continues his explorations of what he calls the "hummingbird effect," unforeseeable chains of influence that change the world. Read full book review >
ON IMMUNITY by Eula Biss
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"Brightly informative, giving readers a sturdy platform from which to conduct their own research and take personal responsibility."
National Book Critics Circle Award winner Biss (Notes from No Man's Land, 2009) investigates the nature of vaccinations, from immunity as myth to the intricate web of the immune system. Read full book review >
THE LAGOON by Armand Marie Leroi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 25, 2014

"A wide-ranging, delightful tour de force."
Leroi (Evolutionary Development Biology/Imperial Coll. London; Mutants:On the Form, Variety and Errors of the Human Body, 2003) calls on his expertise and his experience as a BBC science presenter to explain why Aristotle's writings on science are still relevant today. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 15, 2014

"An eye-opener for anyone concerned about concussion—which the authors persuasively argue should include everyone."
Powerful advocacy for an emerging therapy. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 10, 2014

"Through compelling and meditative prose, Ackerman delivers top-notch insight on the contemporary human condition."
A shimmering narrative about how the human and natural worlds coexist, coadapt and interactively thrive. Read full book review >
INFORMATION DOESN'T WANT TO BE FREE by Cory Doctorow
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"Doctorow has spoken and written on these issues many times before but never quite so persuasively. Required reading for creators making their ways through the new world."
In his best-selling novel Ready Player One, Ernest Cline predicted that decades from now, Doctorow (Homeland, 2013, etc.) should share the presidency of the Internet with actor Wil Wheaton. Consider this manifesto to be Doctorow's qualifications for the job. 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 >