Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 622)

AMERICAN MYTHOLOGIES by Marshall Blonsky
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

Now that the car is no longer the center of our technology, ``What is the new order in the making?'' In the style of Roland Barthes, Blonsky (Semiotics/New School for Social Research) sets out ``to decode a series of American myths,'' and the contents of his interviews with assorted celebrities and thinkers are at once astute and entertaining. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

Impassioned and eloquent, jazz historian Collier (Duke Ellington, 1987; Louis Armstrong: An American Genius, 1983, etc.) here turns a critical eye to the history of self-interest among Americans and its phenomenal growth in recent times. Read full book review >

LOVE, SEX, DEATH, AND THE MAKING OF THE MALE by Rosalind Miles
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"Engaging and fun to read, but for a more subtle study, see Myraim Miedzian's Boys Will Be Boys (p. 587)."
The lurid title suits this swift, wry, anecdotal survey of the pitiful confusion that Miles (The Women's History of the World, 1989; Women and Power, 1986) finds in the lives of adult men: Acculturated largely by women to identify with their penises (which makes them prone to violence), they are, she says, ``dislocated'' by the women's movement, frustrated, angry, and even more violent than historically they have been known to be. Read full book review >
AMERICA AT CENTURY'S END by Alan Wolfe
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"Topical, contemporary, anecdotal, and of general appeal, but flawed by its lack of historical context, by its failure to relate properly the past 40 years of change to precedents and movements of earlier times."
Twenty-two clear, winning, and original essays by an eclectic group of distinguished sociologists who provide an ``evaluative portrait,'' limited but provocative, of selected areas of American life in the closing decades of the 20th century. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"Elegant, illuminating, and of significant interest in this decade of need and limits."
Why do Americans collectively devote 20 billion hours of their time each year to helping others? Read full book review >

BAD by Paul Fussell
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"Domestic—and invaluable—Fussell."
From Fussell, a great crying out at just about everything that's awful about today's America. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 30, 1991

"Excellent and unusual."
Steering clear of propaganda, Gorkin (Border Kibbutz, 1971), an American psychologist living in Jerusalem, presents a refreshingly balanced portrait of a Palestinian family in Israel. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 30, 1991

"In tight, lean prose, Hofvendahl writes evocatively of courage, hope, and the essential decency of ordinary people: in all, a gritty picture of desperate Depression days when uncounted thousands left home to seek a more hopeful life somewhere beyond the horizon."
Absorbing sequel to Hofvendahl's Hard on the Wind (1983), which detailed the author's sea-faring adventures at age 15. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 30, 1991

"Hopscotch organization and choppy prose don't help Vankin's brief, but, thorough and enthusiastic, it still offers enjoyably wild, sometimes challenging, fare for anyone who wonders who really rules the roost."
A paranoid's full plate as Vankin, news editor of Metro, a California "alternative weekly newspaper,'' tromps through every conspiracy theory you've ever heard of—and then some. Read full book review >
MADAM VALENTINO by Michael Morris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 26, 1991

"A questing, creative woman far ahead of her time—and truly exotic."
Well-done life of Rudolph Valentino's wife, a woman of boundless gifts, by art historian Morris (St. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 23, 1991

A scholarly yet charming compilation of distinctly feminine Native American legends—a continuation of the explorations that Allen (English/UCLA) began in The Sacred Hoop (1986) and Spider Woman's Granddaughters (a 1990 American Book Award). Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 23, 1991

"Overall, a stimulating collection and much food for thought, which one hopes will generate even more current updates and action."
The message here could be summed up as: You've come a long way, baby, but you've still got a long way to go. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >