Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 622)

SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 1, 1993

"Harris has an eye for detail that many novelists might envy, and a fine prose style—qualities that, combined with the powerful subject matter here, result in an energetic and emotionally satisfying work."
Harris's continuing search for his identity as a black American, previously documented in Mississippi Solo (1988) and Native Stranger (1992), now takes him on a compelling motorcycle journey through the American South. Read full book review >
CURRICULUM VITAE by Muriel Spark
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 1, 1993

Spark's autobiography takes her from her Edinburgh childhood in the 20's to just after the publication of her first novel, The Comforters, in the 50's. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 1993

"T'is no pity she was a whore—but a writer she is not. (Photographs—not seen)"
The title should read Cop to Call Girl to Confessor, since Almodovar—who quit the LAPD in 1982 in order to hook—has apparently given up the life in order to tell all ``and make millions of dollars.'' The money may be forthcoming—but critical raves likely won't. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: May 1, 1993

"Sharply observed, literate travel writing that drives home just how big—and big-souled—this country really is. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs, one map—not seen)"
Duncan's Out West (1987), which retraced the route of Lewis and Clark, took the author to some remote locales—but to nothing like the outposts of civilization that he reports on in this solid, well-informed survey of the 132 counties in the American West that have population densities of fewer than two people per square mile. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 1993

"In spite of the confused motives: an exhaustive and provocative work, already creating a stir. (Eighteen halftones)"
Direct, brief, well-informed, and polemical (``How will Americans respond to the news that Huck...was part black?''), Fishkin (American Studies/University of Texas, Austin) provides a questionable but dramatic genealogy of Huckleberry Finn's African- American ancestors as a gesture toward ``desegregating'' American literary history. Read full book review >

HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: May 1, 1993

"Kimbrell sends a meaningful message—but at the price of dismissing any good to come from genetics research in favor of pietistic nay-saying."
Given the title here, as well as the foreword by Jeremy Rifkin (biotechnology's most ardent antagonist), readers are well advised concerning the content of this polemic by the policy director of Rifkin's Foundation on Economic Trends. Read full book review >
ENEMIES OF PATIENTS by Ruth Macklin
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: May 1, 1993

"Highly recommended for anyone concerned about the care of patients and the protection of their rights. (For a fuller discussion of physicians' obligations toward patients, see Marc A. Rodwin's Medicine, Money, and Morals, reviewed below.)"
How and why your rights as a patient are eroding as the professional autonomy of physicians has declined and the power of bureaucratic overseers has grown. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 1993

"A constructive contribution—featuring a well-presented analysis as well as concrete proposals for reform—to the ongoing discussion of our national health-care crisis."
A convincing case for resolving financial conflicts of interest that compromise the judgment of doctors and that bias the clinical choices they make. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 1993

Shell (Comparative Literature and English/Harvard) explores the relationship of kinship to nationhood by challenging the basic assumption that we can always know the identity of our true parents. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: May 1, 1993

"In the tradition of old-fashioned muckraking journalism- -clear in its anger and in its call for change—and sure to evoke heated responses from psychiatrists and their allies."
An eye-opening journey into the world of children in residential treatment centers, psychiatric hospitals, and other therapeutic institutional settings. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 1993

"An agile report that outclasses Mitch Gelman's comparable Crime Scene (1992)."
Diverting mix of crime reports, cop talk, Chicago politics, and gyrations of a young Chicago Tribune reporter trying to fit in with new colleagues and still ``make a difference.'' After a sudden transfer to the police reporters' office (known as the ``Cop Shop''), Blau found an antique atmosphere, with one detective chain-smoking Larks and snoozing as ashes fell on his wide lapels. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 1, 1993

"A helpful introduction, but Shapiro loses focus and impact by attempting to survey too many different issues."
A timely but diffuse chronicle of the ways that both society and self-perceptions have changed for America's largest minority- -the 35-to- 43 million people with disabilities. 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 >