Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 623)

SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Aug. 20, 1992

"But don't let his thesis get lost in the shuffle: In the barren land of serious Atlantean studies, it's like manna from heaven. (Thirty- four b&w photos, 24 maps—not seen.)"
Plato's myth of Atlantis—a lost continent, according to the Timaeus, that was destroyed by a cataclysmic flood over 11,000 years ago—has bedeviled archaeologists, historians, and occultists for millennia. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Aug. 19, 1992

"A disturbing report on who's actually influencing what children read in school, suggesting that parents, teachers, and administrators take a closer look at how schoolbooks are chosen— and tampered with."
A frightening look at the pressures brought to bear on textbook publishers to mollify special interests by modifying schoolbooks. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Aug. 19, 1992

"Twelve thousand Jewish soldiers fought and died for the Kaiser during WW I. A perfect bar mitzvah gift—and, one hopes, of interest to non-Jews too—Gay's book rescues a long and variegated history from the dark shadow of recent events."
The history of Jews in Germany begins with the third century A.D., when a settlement at Cologne was paying taxes to the Emperor Constantine. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Aug. 17, 1992

"Too broad to be deep, but sometimes illuminating and always engaging."
A sympathetic though not rigorously scientific exploration of adult sibling relationships, by Klagsbrun (Married People, 1985, etc.). Read full book review >
A MOTHER'S TOUCH by Jay Mathews
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Aug. 4, 1992

"There will be other Tiffany Callos, he predicts, pleading convincingly for more humane, compassionate, and imaginative treatment of them."
Mathews, who in Escalante (1988) wrote about the superteacher who inspired his L.A. barrio students, now profiles another crusader against all odds: Tiffany Callo, a cerebral-palsied mother who fought the State of California for custody of her two sons. Read full book review >

HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"Impressively researched: a worthy addition to the study of women's need for increased control of their own lives."
A feminist asks: Why did women use the now discredited Dalkon Shield, and is the Dalkon Shield case unique? Read full book review >
FAMILYHOOD by Lee Salk
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"A compassionate and caring, albeit sometimes simplistic, call for adults and children to take the time to talk—and to listen—to one another."
A tribute to family values—respect, responsibility, and emotional support—from the well-known child psychologist who died this May. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"All the royalties go to the charity Oxfam America."
A who's who of the New Age movement, and guests, prescribes a what's what for global change—and despite the brevity of these short essays by 52 celebrities with a conscience, there's much to chew on. Read full book review >
YONDER by Jim W. Corder
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"Subliminal grieving for a life lived in ribs of dust."
Tobacco chaw and human weighings by a professor of English (Texas Christian Univ.) who wonders whether he exists, and who finds the greater public crises of past decades writ small in his own life. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"Why not give them a helping hand?"
An exhaustively researched look at the history and political implications of legislating English as our official language. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"A valuable contribution."
A writer and former high-school teacher shares her journal descriptions of her own rape and near-murder in a Seattle laundromat, and of the year of emotional chaos and the grueling courtroom trial that followed. Read full book review >
ANTISEMITISM by Robert S. Wistrich
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"A few heroes, a little good news to leaven the bad, would have made this a more edifying work. (B&w illustrations—24 pages—not seen.)"
The companion volume to a three-part TV series shown this spring on PBS. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >