Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 622)

SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: March 8, 1993

Brunvand's fifth collection/analysis of ``urban legends'' (Curses! Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: March 8, 1993

"Essential reading. (Drawings—not seen.)"
An anecdotal, wry, clever—and deeply disturbing—critique of the way Americans use and abuse time. Read full book review >

HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: March 5, 1993

"A serious effort that commands attention when the poor speak for themselves but that loses its power when the professor lectures."
What life is like for single mothers and their children living in poverty in America today—and why it need not be that way. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 1, 1993

"Many of the contributors are right or left of center but none are so conservative as to suggest that America is now colorblind."
Ninety years after W.E.B. DuBois posited the ``double- consciousness'' of African-Americans (``always measuring one's soul by the tape of the world that looks on in amused contempt and pity'' in a constant experience of ``twoness—an American, a Negro...two unreconciled strivings''), 18 African-American intellectuals offer thoughtful responses. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: March 1, 1993

"An important and comprehensive reference for those involved in both gender battles and the fight for comprehensive child care."
A forceful overview of how what's perceived as good for the child changes as the culture and public-policy change—currently, Berry says, to the detriment of women. Read full book review >

THE ALCHEMY OF ILLNESS by Kat Duff
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: March 1, 1993

"Readers accustomed to more straightforward accounts may find Duff's musings difficult to accept; still, her insights into common attitudes toward illness, and into the changes wrought in an individual by illness, are often enlightening."
From the sickbed of a woman of ``mystical temperament'': very personal, sometimes quirky, essays on illness, blending 20th-century psychology with holistic spirituality. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: March 1, 1993

"Not earth-shattering, but provocative and solid nonetheless: a compelling demonstration that the social consequences of ubiquitous testing are by no means positive. (Illustrations.)"
A well-informed analysis of pervasive testing in America today, with a substantial historical overview, from cultural anthropologist Hanson (University of Kansas). Read full book review >
PREPARING FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY by Paul Kennedy
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: March 1, 1993

"Somalia)—but only hard-core Cassandras will accept Kennedy's pessimism about nations' inability to mobilize the will or resources to change the planet."
After reading this gloomy exercise in futurology, even the most cockeyed optimists will feel justified in hiding under their bedcovers as the turn of the century approaches. Read full book review >
THE LAST OLD PLACE by Datus C. Proper
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: March 1, 1993

"Proper is no longer the private property of the rod-and-gun club."
A literary journey through Portugal from bottom to top, by a freelance writer with a reputation for erudite outdoor articles. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 1, 1993

"A valuable addition to AIDS literature—but also striking for what it reveals of today's artistic temperament as filtered through gay experience."
Honestly assessing their own responses and directions after testing HIV-positive, a number of prominent gay artists speak at length in interviews compiled by cultural critic Vaucher (The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, etc.). Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 1, 1993

"The latest in a series (On the Law of Nations, 1990, etc.) demonstrating that Moynihan may be America's foremost literary politician—someone who can advance policy as cogently on the written page as on the stump."
A timely, informed plea from New York's senior US senator ``to make the world safe for and from ethnicity.'' Moynihan presented an early version of this material in November 1991 as a lecture at Oxford; he's updated that text with notes on such events as the ``ethnic cleansing'' occurring in Bosnia. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 1, 1993

"For buffs of early human life, a gift. (One hundred illustrations.)"
From the codirectors of Indiana University's Center for Research into the Anthropological Foundations of Technology: a weighty report on paleoanthropological technology—the study of our earliest ancestors and their use of tools. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >