Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 619)

HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Dec. 16, 1991

"A fine, example-filled account of how different times and different mores produce different psychosomatic illnesses."
Like other cultural phenomena, psychosomatic illnesses are subject to changes in fashion; here, Shorter (The Healthy Century, 1987, etc.) has applied his considerable skill in researching medical history to an examination of these trends from the mid-18th century to the present. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Dec. 16, 1991

"Some substance submerged in a flood of format. (Line drawings.)"
Architect, graphic designer, consultant to industry, and purveyor of information packaging, Wurman now attempts to teach us how to teach and how to take teaching. Read full book review >

AN IMMODEST VIOLET by Joan Hardwick
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 15, 1991

"Read the Belford instead. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Published in Great Britain in 1990, this biography of novelist Violet Hunt by rookie book-author Hardwick, a former schoolteacher, lacks the substance and vivid detail of Barbara Belford's Violet of the same year. Read full book review >
WHITEOUT by Ted Conover
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Dec. 2, 1991

"A bit scattered and not as smooth as Coyotes—as Conover hops and comments here, there, everywhere—but full of flashes of insight and plenty of fun to read for the many enticing tales of the rich and famous."
Conover, who wrote so well about the low life in Rolling Nowhere (1983: railroad tramps) and Coyotes (1987: migrant workers), now spiritedly chronicles the high life—8000 feet above sea level and worlds above plebeian reality in the glittering ``paradise'' of Aspen. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 2, 1991

"A struggling frankness amid a bonfire of dirty linen."
High-life memoir that smokes like a heat-seeking missile. Read full book review >

PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Dec. 1, 1991

"Feminists will find Bailey's discussion of the masculine orientation of standard English particularly illuminating. (Twenty illustrations—not seen.)"
Drawing on his vast erudition about the uses of language, Bailey (English Language and Literature/Univ. of Michigan), associate editor of the Oxford Companion to the English Language, describes the history of the cultural, social, political, and even psychological attitudes toward the English language. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 1, 1991

"Only a reading of all 40 books in the bibliography could determine whether the reporter who broke the Bay of Pigs story has broken much new ground here, but Szulc has certainly succeeded in assembling the most readable book on the topic. (Photos—not seen.)"
A well-researched, well-written account of the extensive covert activities that allowed two million Jews to steal home. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Dec. 1, 1991

"Expertly translated by Vogel, with intensively researched introductions and annotations by the editors, this is a vital and captivating contribution to immigrant lore."
A monumental feat of popular archivism as the editors (Kamphoefner: History/Texas A&M; Helbich & Sommer: History/Ruhr UniversitÑt Bochum) select from over 5000 letters in the Bochum collection about 350 that are most representative of the German immigrant experience in America, ca. 1830-1930. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Nov. 22, 1991

"A forceful and articulate argument for the reproductive freedom of women, and a clear presentation of how RU-486 can help to ensure safe exercise of that freedom. (Twenty-four b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Dubbed the ``abortion pill'' by the media, and the ``death pill'' and a ``human pesticide'' by some of its opponents, RU-486 is, according to this thorough account by its developer, largely misunderstood. Read full book review >
CHICAGO DAYS/HOBOKEN NIGHTS by Daniel Pinkwater
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 21, 1991

"And Pinkwater fans can have the fun of recognizing germs of his fiction here and there."
Funnyman Pinkwater has written ``about 50'' children's books and illustrated most of them. Read full book review >
RULES OF THE GAME by Michel Leiris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 20, 1991

"Leiris, here, exports less than well."
Leiris (BrisÇes, 1990), best known to American readers through the remarkable autobiographical meditation Manhood (1963), was one of the great midcentury French phenomenologists of the self, a relentless crusher of experience down to crystals ever more fine. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 18, 1991

"A fast-paced tale, frightening in its implications."
When black teenager Yusuf Hawkins was fatally shot on a Brooklyn street one steamy August evening in 1989, his death sent tremors rumbling through New York City. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >