Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 619)

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT by Blanche Wiesen Cook
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1992

"Informative but not definitive. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
From Cook (History/John Jay; The Declassified Eisenhower, 1981, etc.)—the first volume of a massive biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, which, in seeking redress for its subject, is flawed by its own (feminist) biases. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 1992

"Through these vivid, searching voices, Terkel depicts, in all their complexity and humanity, people grappling with dilemmas posed in Andrew Hacker's Two Nations."
Focusing on one of the themes of his interview collection The Great Divide (1988), Pulitzer-winner Terkel (The Good War, 1984, etc.) elicits from dozens of blacks and whites a kaleidoscope of emotions on how they have been affected by race. Read full book review >

SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: March 25, 1992

"A first-rate history."
Melting pot or salad? Read full book review >
THE JAPANESE CHRONICLES by Nicolas Bouvier
HISTORY
Released: March 23, 1992

"A superb guide, smoothly translated from the French, to the Japanese landscape and mind, and a delight for lovers of travel and fine writing. (Twelve photographs—most seen.)"
The ``best travel books,'' Bouvier believes, ``...are often written by people involved in commerce....Merchants' strict observations avoid the silly infatuations that will quickly take over the literature once poets start to travel.'' Happily, in this sensitive, acutely observed record of his stays in Japan, the author, a journalist who lives in Switzerland, disproves that statement with some of the most resonant and perceptive travel writing in recent years. Read full book review >
TO HONOR AND OBEY by Lawrence Taylor
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: March 19, 1992

"Overall, though, involving and provocative. (Eight pages of b&w photos—not seen.)"
An engrossing but frustrating legal procedural by Taylor (A Trial of Generals, 1981; Trail of the Fox, 1980) that traces attorney Michael Dowd's defense of LuAnn Fratt when the New York socialite was tried for the murder of her estranged husband. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 19, 1992

"Uneven and often, it seems, unfair, but Rivlin's research and intimate knowledge of the principals are impressive."
A mostly admiring—though contentious, flatly written, and somewhat overlong—political biography of Harold Washington, mayor of Chicago from 1983-87. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: March 17, 1992

A Berkeley psychotherapist urges women to explore their deepest connections with their mothers, daughters, and female ancestors to arrive at a full and productive sense of self—and, as inspiration, offers a captivating account of her own search for her female roots. Read full book review >
AN IMMACULATE MISTAKE by Paul Bailey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 16, 1992

"There are no depths probed or nature-nurture insights to be found here, just a fine evocation of time and place offered by a man who knows precisely where he came from."
The affectionate memories of a gay man—not to mention actor, playwright, and author of such novels as At the Jerusalem and Gabriel's Lament—who's clearly made his peace with a troubled past and a family that did its best to keep him in the closet. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: March 16, 1992

As Carolina lowcountry native and Charleston cookbook-store owner Taylor indicates in his introduction, the cooking of his native region has been sophisticated since earliest settlement, blessed by an abundance of fish and game (especially birds) and a year-round growing season, and enriched by a world of cultural traditions: Recipes gathered here include ``awendaw'' hominy (grits) cornbread derived from Native Americans; a gumbo that came to South Carolina with the slave trade before Louisiana was settled; a carrot-and-orange salad with ``a North African feel'' that Taylor attributes to the Sephardic Jews in Charleston; a hasenpfeffer from the area's 18th-century German farm community; some rice breads from the 19th-century Carolina rice culture; and versions of the collard greens, squirrel burgoo, biscuits, and other dishes well known throughout the South. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 16, 1992

Calling itself ``an operator's manual to the psyche'' of men (and a guide to their ``hard-wiring'' for women), this is also a firm if rather theoretical response to critics who charge that men's movement gatherings and exhortations are silly, reactive, and shallow. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: March 15, 1992

"A most interesting tour of an old and unique American enclave—fecund, unchanged, and inward-looking."
One hundred thousand acres of the fertile land of the Mississippi Delta are under ponds; where cotton was king for more than century, the channel catfish now rules. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 12, 1992

"Thorough, richly researched, and written with moral fire. (Photos—not seen.)"
A provocative sociohistorical account of America's underclasses. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >