Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 621)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 19, 1993

"Nonetheless: an original contribution to the abortion debate, as well as a stimulating discussion of our contradictory feelings about the meaning of human life."
An eloquent attempt to clarify the abortion and euthanasia debates by seeking to articulate and analyze the unspoken assumptions underlying them. Read full book review >
ABOVE THE CLOUDS by Jonathan Bach
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 18, 1993

"Bach affectingly evokes the anguish of a fatherless childhood- -but less so the reconciliation, as he self-consciously glosses over behavior that, despite high-sounding talk, still seems inexcusable."
An abandoned son comes to terms with a famous father (Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull) in a memoir that mixes a moving account of a child's confused loyalties and sense of loss with a mÇlange of self-help truisms. Read full book review >

MEMORY FEVER by Ray Gonzalez
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 15, 1993

"A Chicano memoir that should speak affectingly to young poets."
Poet, editor (The Guadalupe Review), anthologist (Mirrors Beneath the Earth, 1992) Gonzalez offers thoughtful, imagistic essays and vignettes about growing up in the desert Southwest and into his literary calling. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 14, 1993

"Despite some strong writing: a muddle that obscures the tragic life that should be, yet never quite is, at its center."
True crime, childhood memories, social criticism, and a personal quest for self-revelation jostle awkwardly in this occasionally impressive, but more often confusing, debut from Imbrie (English/Vassar). Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 14, 1993

Surveying 902 female graduates of Harvard's business, law, and medical schools over a ten-year period, Swiss (an independent consultant) and Walker (a consultant for child care at Harvard) conclude that few have it all—that even wealthy, educated, married women pay professional penalties for having families. Read full book review >

SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 12, 1993

"Rambling oral history without much at the core."
Columbia anthropologist Newman (Falling from Grace, 1988) fords the Hudson River and discovers suburbia—as well as a shrieking discontent that will surprise few. ``In the decades that followed the Great Depression,'' according to Newman, ``Americans came to assume that prosperity was their birthright....The economic realities of the 1980s and 1990s have crushed these expectations.'' The younger residents of Pleasanton, New Jersey, have known this for some time: Despite their college educations and tenacious work habits, they are unable to give their children many of the advantages—large homes, full- time mothers, good schools—that they received as a matter of course from their own, far less privileged, parents. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: May 10, 1993

"By combining expert legal discussion with affecting personal memoir, Bartholet offers an important exploration of the societal barriers to adoption, as well as invaluable support to would-be parents who face these seemingly insurmountable obstacles."
A seminal volume on the worldwide mindset that allows orphaned or unwanted children to waste away in institutions while childless adults struggle to breach the barriers that keep them from building families. Read full book review >
STONEWALL by Martin Duberman
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 6, 1993

"An important and absorbing addition to gay studies. (B&w photos—not seen)"
An engrossing—and long-overdue—look at one of the seminal events in the history of gay activism: the Stonewall Riots of June 27-July 2, 1969. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 1993

"With an introduction by Paul Monette and an afterword by Fred (Mister) Rogers: A virtuous, unflinching, and unsentimental account of one boy's courage amid some of the world's worst cruelties."
Extraordinary autobiography of child abuse, nomadic street life, and, finally, AIDS—written with uncommon sophistication by a 14-year-old. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: May 3, 1993

"Fishman attempts to examine feminism's impact on too many aspects of Jewish life, and the subsequent lack of focus weakens her thesis—which, in any case, will appeal most strongly to those already committed to both feminism and traditional Judaism."
An uneven analysis by Fishman (a senior research associate at Brandeis), who argues here—only sometimes convincingly—that feminism has brought a 'breath of life' into a faltering American Jewish community. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: May 3, 1993

"Still, their friends and caregivers will want to know about it, and the basic premise will be welcome to many."
A study of divorced older women that has important things to say to them—above all, that their lives may just be beginning anew after the long hiatuses of their marriages. Read full book review >
CHICAGO JAZZ by William Howland Kenney
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 1, 1993

"A worthy bringing-back of Chicago's Roaring Twenties, with the jazz history layered like beds of coal beneath the phonograph recordings. (Twenty halftones)"
Cultural history of early Chicago jazz, less anecdotal than social, told in an impersonal voice that distances the reader from the music but strives to dig beneath an ``isolated world of instrumental mastery, chord progressions, and orchestral formations and disintegrations.'' A rousing history of Chicago jazz that buries its nose in the fumes and funk of the cafes and dance halls, in other words, is not what one gets here—or, rather, is what one gets only when Kenney (American Studies/Kent State) quotes leading figures in their own voices. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Melissa Sweet
author of SOME WRITER!
September 26, 2016

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, two-time Caldecott Honor winner and 2014 Kirkus Prize finalist Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. “Like Charlotte, Sweet spins a terrific story,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A masterful biography that will enchant young readers.” View video >