Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 623)

SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: March 1, 1993

"An indelible account of a childhood lived on the edge, hallmarked by Paulsen's sinewy writing, purity of voice, and, especially, by his bedrock honesty."
The acclaimed children's author now writes a children's story for adults—a remarkably vivid, often shocking memoir of his growing up in the US and the Philippines circa WW II. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 22, 1993

"Precious notions too slight and casual to carry us along."
A rambling and, ultimately, rather pointless retelling of ancient heroic tales, by a psychologist and author (Wisdom and the Senses, 1988, etc.) who tries without much success to connect the narratives to the daily realities of modern life. ``Myths are the prehistory of mankind,'' according to Erikson, who here traces our moral and psychic ancestry back to the sagas of the Greeks. Read full book review >

STROM THURMOND AND THE POLITICS OF SOUTHERN CHANGE by Nadine Cohodas
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 22, 1993

"An appealingly affectionate, warts-and-all portrait of a uniquely American figure. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Vivid, balanced account of the astonishing political evolution of the legendary segregationist who, through adroit adaptation, has retained his Senate seat for nearly four decades and become a distinguished Washington institution. Read full book review >
AT YOUR OWN RISK by Derek Jarman
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 21, 1993

"For readers fresh to the fray, the title tells all. (Eighteen b&w photographs.)"
Patchy memoir by gay British filmmaker Jarman, who tested HIV- positive five years ago, has survived a handful of illnesses, and is still going strong. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 19, 1993

"As polyrhythmic as Carnival itself: an artful blend of music, politics, and the land; a maelstrom of sounds and images from which Krich concocts an intriguing picture of Brazil."
Everything you ever wanted to know about samba and the kindred sounds of Brazil, told with the neurotic hipness that leavens Krich's best writing (El BÇisbol, 1989, etc.). Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 18, 1993

"Out of the closet and off the wall."
A wildly idiosyncratic attempt by Koestenbaum (English/Yale), who's gay, to establish opera as a paradigm of homosexuality. ``I hypothesize that opera's hypnotic hold over modern gay audiences has some connection to the erotic interlocking of words and music, two contrary symbolic systems with gendered attributes,'' Koestenbaum says. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 17, 1993

"But her singular conversion is memorable, as is her vivid description of Jewish Orthodoxy in all its severity and majesty."
The emotional autobiography of a woman whose religious odyssey begins in Orthodox Judaism and ends in Roman Catholicism. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 17, 1993

"Like a long but intense TV-movie (with even an extraneous love subplot between Keeney and a fellow lawyer thrown in): stock characters and real thrills. (Photos—not seen.)"
The nail-biting tale of a female serial killer and the lawyer who dogged her to justice. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Feb. 17, 1993

"Despite some nuggets—among them a discussion of the character of the couple as distinct from the characters of its participants- -the discouraging examples and types undermine the authors' messages."
Children have stages, said Erik Erikson; adults have stages, said Daniel Levinson and Gail Sheehy; and now, says this team, couples have stages as well. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 16, 1993

"Priceless firsthand advice on a subject still deep in the shadows."
The touching, instructive memoir of a couple facing the husband's death from cancer. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Feb. 15, 1993

"Lacking the poignant immediacy of its predecessor—the difficult choices, for the most part, are viewed from a less vulnerable distance—but, still, an honorable and thought-provoking companion volume. (First printing of 70,000)"
Often evocative anthology of women's poems, prose, and photographs about choices that helped contour the authors' lives: a follow-up to the popular When I Am an Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple, a collection of poems and stories on women's experience of aging and old age. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 15, 1993

"An absorbing and sympathetic account of a highhanded spokesman for the downtrodden. (Twenty-four pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Elegant, energetic biography of controversial Harlem congressman Adam Clayton Powell (1908-72), by Boston Globe reporter Haygood. 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 >