Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 621)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 1, 1992

"Essential reading for all those who care about South Africa and its neighbors."
In a lively and carefully reasoned analysis, Mallaby, the Economist's Africa correspondent, offers a cautiously optimistic prognosis for postapartheid South Africa. Read full book review >
THE WAR AGAINST WOMEN by Marilyn French
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 1, 1992

"A feminist call to arms—headstrong and provocative."
French takes on global sexism from the fall of the ancient goddess-worshiping societies to routine modern-day oppression of women in every nation of the world—quite a large bite to chew, and not always thoroughly masticated. ``Humans are the only species in which one sex consistently preys upon the other,'' French proclaims in this determined attempt to sound an alarm to women around the world. ``Men's need to dominate women may be based in their own sense of marginality or emptiness; we do not know its root, and men are making no effort to discover it. Read full book review >

WAITING FOR RAIN by Dan Butterworth
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 1, 1992

"A fine and moving work."
The biography of an ordinary man, a farmer named Archie Clare. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 1, 1992

"A thoughtful and important social document full of deep human insight; essential reading to understand the present-day lives of Native Americans."
Masterful account of the torture/murder of three Navajos by white teenagers. Read full book review >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >