Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 623)

NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 3, 1994

"Perhaps too close to the situation, the authors fail to capture what in other hands might have been a unique and inspiring story. (Eight pages of photographs—not seen)"
About one of the NBA's ``bad boys'': an uninspired, sometimes sketchy account of Rodman's relationship with a rural family during his college days in Oklahoma. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Reading through it is immensely rewarding—like having an hourlong, tell-all phone conversation with a close friend."
A moving, eloquent assortment of personal writings from the diaries of contemporary black women, collected by Bell-Scott (coeditor: Doublestitch: Black Women Write About Mothers and Daughters, 1991—not reviewed) and including excerpts from Alice Walker, Audrey Lorde, Rita Dove, Jamaica Kincaid, and others, as well as selections from lesser-known, unpublished writers. Read full book review >

ANONYMITY by Susan Bergman
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Written in a densely poetic style with shifting chronology, Bergman's story sometimes seems overly elliptical—but, by its stunning end, it achieves a brilliant and cutting clarity."
An impressionistic memoir by Bergman, a poet, in which she ``outs'' her secretly gay father, dead of AIDS, and makes her own brave and painful decision to stop living a lie. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Clearly presented theory, amply illustrated with lengthy case histories."
An elaborate presentation of the idea that people can get locked into fictional roles by their families. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Mathematics and science aside, there's plenty of old- fashioned, helpful, and worthwhile advice here about gender differences, realistic expectations, love, and respect—advice that may appeal especially to those who enjoy taking quizzes and analyzing relationships."
From psychology professor (Univ. of Washington) and marriage researcher Gottman: an upbeat, easy-to-follow manual based on research into the dynamics of married couples. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"One can't help wishing that Massengill had reduced the personal detail here, allowing more emphasis on the great questions of politics and justice woven into Beckwith's, Evers's—and our—social understanding. (Sixteen-page photo insert—not seen.)"
Biography of Byron De La Beckwith, the presumed killer of civil-rights martyr Medgar Evers: in spite of its flaws, a grim reminder of the hate groups that have plagued the movement for racial justice. Read full book review >
INNOCENTS IN AFRICA by Drury Pifer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"A book of so many good things—love, wisdom, and luminous prose—that's also a unique record of an American childhood in pre- 1948 South Africa. (B&w photographs)"
A beautifully rendered, bittersweet memoir of an American family abroad in an alien place—the bleak mining towns of southern Africa in the 1930's and 40's—that limns exactly childhood's enviable ability to live for the moment. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Ridley contends—not a popular thesis in recent decades—that such genetic programming is far more central to human nature than social conditioning. Extensively researched, clearly written: one of the best introductions to its fascinating and controversial subject."
A former editor of The Economist asks how sexual selection has molded human nature. Read full book review >
EXCURSIONS IN THE REAL WORLD by William Trevor
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Vintage Trevor—most especially in the self-deprecating early sketches and the schoolboy portraits."
All of the fragments that make up this memoir by the contemporary master have appeared previously in (mostly) British periodicals. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"The prestige of Oxford and the panache of Mirabella may help it overcome a dry, flaccid style, narrow focus, incomplete theorizing, and outdated methods. (First serial to Mirabella)"
Indiana University sociologists Weinberg and Williams (coauthors, Male Homosexuals, 1974), along with Pryor (Wake Forest), offer ``the first major study of bisexuality.'' Working from the Kinsey thesis that sexual orientation is a choice rather than biologically determined, their study has implications for all sexual behavior. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Although focusing more on parenthood's agony than its ecstasy, this should nevertheless provide food for thought for anyone who is expecting."
Penn State psychology professor Belsky and writer Kelly team up to produce a lively and realistic appraisal of the crucible of first-time parenthood. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Timely and readable career advice."
An affable, helpful look at the baby boomer generation's seemingly distinctive form of midlife emergency—losing a job and being unable to find another—by Glassner (Sociology/Univ. of Southern California; Bodies, 1988; Drugs in Adolescent Worlds, 1987). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >