Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 619)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"Brisk, responsible, and wide-ranging work that goes at least part of the way in laying some nuclear secrets bare."
Eye-opening and evenhanded report by two AP journalists on the history of the nuclear-weapons industry in the Southwest and its effects on its employees and neighbors. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"Davis's levelheaded analysis of how and why some feminist efforts succeed and some fail should provide an invaluable source of information and inspiration for many."
Susan Faludi's Backlash (p. 1133) and Paula Kamen's Feminist Fatale (p. 1137) sounded the alarm: Feminism in America is in trouble. Read full book review >

SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"Friday project."
Oh, that bathtub faucet. Read full book review >
CELIA, A SLAVE by Melton A. McLaurin
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"A straightforward and compelling account of one small historical incident that helps to illustrate the complex issues facing pre-Civil War America."
Both a well-told historical narrative about a slave girl sexually exploited by her master, whom she later kills, and a thoughtful examination of the moral tensions that strained the fabric of the antebellum South. Read full book review >
AND THE BRIDGE IS LOVE by Faye Moskowitz
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"A slight book that would have been even more enjoyable without the crocodile tears."
Short-story writer Moskowitz (Whoever Finds This: I Love You, 1988) entertainingly but mawkishly divulges a few secrets from a seemingly endless font of family lore. Read full book review >

SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"Bound for controversy, this study admirably attempts to cross from the academy to popular culture, but theory here acts less as a window onto cultural evolution than as a screen drawing attention its own overwrought, repetitive pattern."
An elaborate theory by Garber (English/Harvard Univ.), insisting that the transvestite is at the elusive heart of Western culture. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"An admirable study of a significant precursor to the Civil War, with specific details providing a springboard to broader treatment of the issues and tensions of the time."
A wide-ranging, fascinating investigation by Slaughter (History/Rutgers) into the social and racial circumstances surrounding the Christiana Riot of 1851, in which runaway slaves stood up to the master who tracked them down and killed him. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"A first-rate study that reaches far beyond its ostensible subject to give a textured, gritty profile of New York past and present."
A New York Newsday columnist with a novelist's eye and fine sense of pacing explores the world of the N.Y.C. subway—in a timely account that is not only about the city's transit system but also about its people and its soul. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"Her flaw: excessive quoting of scholars who don't write as well as she does, illustrating merely that she has done her homework. (Photographs of quilts.)"
The title of this collection of essays (some delivered as lectures at Oxford in 1989) refers to a quilting pattern—the image, as Showalter (English/Princeton; Sexual Anarchy, 1990, etc.) explains, that best describes women's literature in America: its communal and ritual nature, its continuity, its diversity, its history as a domestic art that lapsed into disrepute before being resurrected into a high art in the 60's. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"Brilliant reportage, with all the details in place—a stunning debut."
The Pulitzer-winning journalist (The Wall Street Journal, Ms., The Miami Herald) explores the real status of American women in the 90's in this powerful and long-overdue myth-buster—an instant classic and a valuable companion to Paula Kamen's Feminist Fatale (reviewed below). Read full book review >
BLOOD LUST by Carol Page
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Oct. 31, 1991

"Vampire's Rights'' without draining too much out of us."
A survey of honest-to-goodness human bloodsuckers that manages to buffer sensationalism with sympathy. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 29, 1991

"Though giving short shrift to the secular viewpoint, Hunter still provides an informative look at America's ambiguous spiritual character."
America's ``identity'' is seen as a history of religious strife in this probing yet somewhat slanted study. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >