Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 619)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 1993

"In spite of the confused motives: an exhaustive and provocative work, already creating a stir. (Eighteen halftones)"
Direct, brief, well-informed, and polemical (``How will Americans respond to the news that Huck...was part black?''), Fishkin (American Studies/University of Texas, Austin) provides a questionable but dramatic genealogy of Huckleberry Finn's African- American ancestors as a gesture toward ``desegregating'' American literary history. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: May 1, 1993

"Kimbrell sends a meaningful message—but at the price of dismissing any good to come from genetics research in favor of pietistic nay-saying."
Given the title here, as well as the foreword by Jeremy Rifkin (biotechnology's most ardent antagonist), readers are well advised concerning the content of this polemic by the policy director of Rifkin's Foundation on Economic Trends. Read full book review >

ENEMIES OF PATIENTS by Ruth Macklin
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: May 1, 1993

"Highly recommended for anyone concerned about the care of patients and the protection of their rights. (For a fuller discussion of physicians' obligations toward patients, see Marc A. Rodwin's Medicine, Money, and Morals, reviewed below.)"
How and why your rights as a patient are eroding as the professional autonomy of physicians has declined and the power of bureaucratic overseers has grown. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 1993

"A constructive contribution—featuring a well-presented analysis as well as concrete proposals for reform—to the ongoing discussion of our national health-care crisis."
A convincing case for resolving financial conflicts of interest that compromise the judgment of doctors and that bias the clinical choices they make. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 1993

Shell (Comparative Literature and English/Harvard) explores the relationship of kinship to nationhood by challenging the basic assumption that we can always know the identity of our true parents. Read full book review >

PSYCHOLOGY
Released: May 1, 1993

"In the tradition of old-fashioned muckraking journalism- -clear in its anger and in its call for change—and sure to evoke heated responses from psychiatrists and their allies."
An eye-opening journey into the world of children in residential treatment centers, psychiatric hospitals, and other therapeutic institutional settings. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 1993

"An agile report that outclasses Mitch Gelman's comparable Crime Scene (1992)."
Diverting mix of crime reports, cop talk, Chicago politics, and gyrations of a young Chicago Tribune reporter trying to fit in with new colleagues and still ``make a difference.'' After a sudden transfer to the police reporters' office (known as the ``Cop Shop''), Blau found an antique atmosphere, with one detective chain-smoking Larks and snoozing as ashes fell on his wide lapels. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 1, 1993

"A helpful introduction, but Shapiro loses focus and impact by attempting to survey too many different issues."
A timely but diffuse chronicle of the ways that both society and self-perceptions have changed for America's largest minority- -the 35-to- 43 million people with disabilities. Read full book review >
LETTING GO by Melvin I. Urofsky
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 1, 1993

"A cool appraisal of the legal standing of the right to die, warmed by human stories that linger in the memory."
A thoughtful appraisal of how the courts have responded to right-to-die issues. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: May 1, 1993

"She'll nourish fans with her entries, and give birth to new ones as well."
Novelist Lamott (All New People, 1989, etc.) nimbly plunders stores of self-mockery in her role as a new mother and single parent. Read full book review >
RACE MATTERS by Cornel West
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 29, 1993

"Aiming at accessibility, West perhaps too much curtails his customary intellectual range; but with clear thinking and sensible analysis being in short supply these days, his words are welcome nonetheless."
In essays that challenge the nature of racial discourse in America, the director of Princeton's Afro-American Studies program, professor of religion, and self-described ``intellectual freedom- fighter'' calls for moral regeneration and profound social change. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 29, 1993

"A powerful yet evenhanded indictment. (Photographs)"
A courageous examination of the moral failures of the Arab world, by the man who, as ``Samir al-Khalil,'' wrote perhaps the best book on modern Iraq, Republic of Fear (1989). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >