Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 5)

HATE CRIMES IN CYBERSPACE by Danielle Keats Citron
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 1, 2014

"Frightening and infuriating, this demand for legal accountability for Internet barbarism deserves widespread exposure and serious consideration."
An impassioned call for equal rights for women on the Internet. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 5, 2014

"In this cool, disarming and persuasive indictment of fracking's widespread negative consequences, the authors provide an important addition to an ongoing debate."
A primer on unconventional fossil fuel extraction, with convincing evidence as to its deleterious nature, from veterinarian Bamberger and Oswald (Molecular Medicine/Cornell Univ.). Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 15, 2014

"Essential for aspiring entrepreneurs, to say nothing of those looking for a view of how the modern, speed-of-light world came to be."
Richly detailed, swiftly moving work of modern business history, recounting a truly world-changing technology and the people who made it possible. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 8, 2014

"A delightful, detailed chronicle of great men (and a rare woman) whose fascination with the night sky and the technology necessary to study it led to today's dramatic discoveries."
Photography, not computers, ushered in modern astronomy. Here, its bumpy evolution is in the expert hands of Harvard College Observatory associate Hirshfeld (Physics/Univ. of Mass. Dartmouth; Eureka Man: The Life and Legacy of Archimedes, 2009, etc.). Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: July 3, 2014

"'We are too easily seduced by explanations for the inexplicable,' writes the author in this amusing, informative account of how many arguments are backed by meaningless statistics."
Another in the genre that began with the Darrell Huff's 1954 best-seller, How to Lie with Statistics. If history is any guide, it will likely be ignored by those who do the lying. Read full book review >

VIRTUAL UNREALITY by Charles Seife
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: June 30, 2014

"Readers of this disturbing but entirely convincing account need to remind themselves that the Internet is pretty useful, but they will not deny that it teems with garbage."
An ingenious overview of a wildly unreliable Internet. Read full book review >
PROOF by Adam Rogers
FOOD & COOKING
Released: June 3, 2014

"Rogers gives booze a thorough going over, complete with good cheer, highbrow humor and smarts."
From the action of the yeast to the blear of the hangover, via the witchery of fermentation, distillation and aging, Wired articles editor Rogers takes readers on a splendid tour of the booze-making process. Read full book review >
STRUCK BY GENIUS by Jason Padgett
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 22, 2014

"An exquisite insider's look into the mysteries of consciousness."
When Padgett suffered a traumatic brain injury after a violent mugging, his sense of perception was profoundly altered. Overnight, his life as a fun-loving salesman changed into one dominated by unprompted geometric visualizations and the unexpected insights of newfound mathematical brilliance. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 8, 2014

"A fast-paced history of the singular idea that shaped a multitude of modern achievements."
In the mid-17th century, debate raged over a mathematical concept of the infinitely small—and nothing less than modernity as we know it was at stake. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: April 1, 2014

"'The mind remains, to a tantalizing degree, a realm of secrets and wonder,' writes the author, and so, too, does the world around us, which he entertainingly scours for the possibility of crucial anomalies."
A cerebral ride into the world of the unorthodox. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 25, 2014

"An engaging history that raises provocative questions about the future of nuclear science."
Nelson (Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon, 2009, etc.) returns with a survey of mankind's use of radioactive materials. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 12, 2014

"The most comprehensive and certainly one of the most entertaining accounts of atomic accidents."
Having delivered a delightfully astute history of atomic power in Atomic Awakening (2009), nuclear engineer Mahaffey goes over the same ground with the same combination of expertise and wit, this time describing what happens when things go wrong. 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 >