Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 621)

SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 12, 1993

"A well-researched, clear presentation of a tough topic. (For an opposing view, see Rita Marker's Deadly Compassion, reviewed below.)"
``The advantages of deliberate death are too appealing to simply go away,'' asserts demographer Logue in this examination of the social forces that are driving us toward ``death control,'' especially for the old and frail. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 7, 1993

"A lively polemic that highlights some important issues for the 90's and that seems more or less in step with the beliefs of the man at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."
A primer on how to move from the ``me generation'' (castigated by Etzioni in An Immodest Agenda, 1982) to the ``we generation.'' The text doubles as a manifesto for the Communitarian movement, which Etzioni helped found in 1991 and which he heavily promotes here as an antidote to many of the ills of the permissive 70's and 80's. Read full book review >

SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 7, 1993

"Still, for fans of the genre, a satisfying read."
An all-too-familiar memoir of cultural clash, misperceptions, and Western gall, told by a husband-and-wife team. Read full book review >
FROM YALE TO JAIL by David Dellinger
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"At times more rambling than riveting; still, overall, an open, inspiring chronicle, a personal history of more than half a century of dissent in America. (Photographs—not seen.)"
A thorough, thoughtful memoir of a lifetime of service to the principles of nonviolence. Read full book review >
RIDING THE WHITE HORSE HOME by Teresa Jordan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"A sensitive, colorful series of contemplations, ultimately more impressionistic than cohesive but still a valuable rendering of family life and ranching in the American West. (Ten pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
A heartfelt tribute to the Wyoming family ranch on which Jordan (Cowgirls, 1982) was raised, and to the hardy people who chose that difficult way of life. Read full book review >

I HAD A FATHER by Clark Blaise
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 1, 1993

"A compelling and unflaggingly intelligent autobiography from the author of two novels and four books of stories (including A North American Education), now director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa."
A personal memoir that for honesty, interest, and the steadiness of its inner searching equals the very best of its kind, bringing to mind, for example, books like Eva Hoffman's Lost in Translation. Read full book review >
REMEMBERING DENNY by Calvin Trillin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"Perhaps more appropriate as one of Trillin's shorter New Yorker pieces—but, still, a fine meditation on one life's aborted promise, the crippling burden of anticipated success, and the mysteries of the human heart."
In a memoir on an uncharacteristically somber subject, Trillin (American Stories, 1991, etc.) traces the life of his college friend Roger ``Denny'' Hansen: Phi Beta Kappa, Rhodes Scholar, possessor of charm and good looks to spare—and, at age 55, a suicide victim. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 1993

"Moreover, Lerner doesn't simply lament the silence endured by women—from the obscure wives of medieval French troubadours to Mexican peasants, German nuns, and English mystics- -but gives these nearly forgotten souls a voice."
In an excellent follow-up to The Creation of Patriarchy (1986)—a study of how men institutionalized their domination of women—NOW cofounder Lerner (History/Univ. of Wisconsin at Madison) follows women's struggle to create a history of their own—from the first written record in the seventh century to the start of the feminist movement. Read full book review >
EATING OUR HEARTS OUT by Lesléa Newman
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 1, 1993

"In the last of these qualities, at least, they can't touch the several well-known harrowing tales by slaves to alcohol and drugs."
Feminist writer Newman (Good Enough to Eat, 1986, etc.—not reviewed) put together this collection of original cries, complaints, and confessions on the belief that ``most of us [women] have, or at least at one time had, a voice inside us that nags at almost every meal: You shouldn't eat that.'' Lee Lynch, one of several lesbian contributors, maintains that ``there is probably not a lesbian in the world who would not, at the slightest sign of interest, tell you about her personal history with food.'' The ninety other anorexics, bulemics, overeaters, and other food- disordered women represented here—few if any of them accomplished writers—would seem to bear out these assertions with their lamentations about ups and downs and mostly losing battles against cake and chocolate and whatever high-fat confection might stuff up their empty and demanding selves. Read full book review >
LAWYERS AND THE AMERICAN DREAM by Stuart M. Speiser
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 1, 1993

"Speiser tells some absorbing tales of success in court, but his reduction of the American Dream to a quest for riches is unworthy, and his self-serving tribute to the plaintiff's bar will have readers shaking their heads and smiling."
In this age of lawyer-bashing, attorney/novelist Speiser (Superstock, 1982) offers an unusual—and shameless—paean to the plaintiff's bar—those lawyers who, in the author's view, fulfill the American Dream of righting wrongs while making themselves rich. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: April 1, 1993

"A very cloudy crystal ball."
Wuthnow (Social Sciences/Princeton), usually an elegant chronicler of social trends (Acts of Compassion, 1991, etc.), stumbles with this dull look at the future of the church. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 1, 1993

"Not every young woman born after the 60's will face motherhood thinking about such daunting questions, but those who do will find that Schwartz articulates their confusion well and with feeling. (First serial to Glamour and New Woman)"
Young women building careers, nurturing relationships, and toying with the idea of having babies will find their conflicts described empathetically and analyzed astutely here. 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 >