Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 623)

MOTHER'S LETTERS by Elizabeth Hampsten
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 23, 1993

A graceful meditation on the often unsuspected family legacies ``that somehow make up the landscape that identifies who one might be.'' Hampsten (English/University of North Dakota) was especially pleased when, after the death of her mother (Elizabeth Lockwood) in 1979, her father handed her a hatbox of letters Lockwood had written to her own parents. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 21, 1993

"Both a warm tribute to a lost friend and a cool argument by an experienced opponent of euthanasia—although it leaves many difficult questions unanswered. (Photographs)"
When Ann Humphry, estranged wife of Derek Humphry (executive director of the Hemlock Society and author of the bestselling Final Exit), committed suicide in 1991, her farewell note asked Marker, an articulate and prominent spokesperson for antieuthanasia forces, to tell her story. Read full book review >

SECOND WIFE, SECOND LIFE! by Marjorie Holmes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 20, 1993

"A treat for Holmes fans and, for those less taken with the inspirational subtext, a realistic yet upbeat account of love and marriage in the sunset years."
From the popular octogenarian columnist and inspirational author (The Messiah, 1987, etc.): a moving and refreshingly candid account of her second marriage. Read full book review >
SARAH ORNE JEWETT by Elizabeth Silverthorne
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 20, 1993

"But since Jewett's life seems not to have been complicated by intrinsically compelling drama, Silverthorne's failure to capture her personality and sensibility is a fatal lack. (Photographs)"
Lackluster biography of the turn-of-the-century New England writer whose independent, unmarried women characters and ecological consciousness have stirred some contemporary interest. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 1993

Like the two previous volumes from these collaborators (The King Within and The Warrior Within, both 1992), this one urges men to take control of their lives and to enjoy the knowledge within, in this case by emphasizing mastery of the culture's power, imagination, and technology—a stimulating prospect undermined by graceless writing. Read full book review >

THE FIFTIES by Brett Harvey
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 17, 1993

"Harvey is a talented writer with an eye for detail and anecdote, but her study is narrow, often stereotyped, and lacks the diversity, surprise, and range of oral history at its best."
Freelance journalist Harvey (The Village Voice, etc.) half- successfully orchestrates a number of women's ``coming of age'' memories of the 50's, highlighting the restrictions and penalties these mostly middle-class, bright, urban, East Coast women endured. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 16, 1993

"But America is more than its fringe, and Codrescu, with his yen for the bohemian and the bizarre, never quite uncovers the land's expansive, mainstream heart. (Seventy-four b&w photographs—some seen)"
Romanian-born poet, professor (English/LSU), and NPR commentator Codrescu (The Hole in the Flag, 1991, etc.) drives from East Coast to West, nosing into the sort of lovably wacky Americana that's made the comparable dispatches of fellow wheelman/writer Charles Kuralt so popular. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 14, 1993

"A pioneering work."
A fascinating, accessible, and meticulous piece of scholarship, this study of changing conceptions of manhood breaks new ground in uncovering the internal struggles and shifting paradigms that have informed American men's understanding of themselves. Read full book review >
GENIE by Russ Rymer
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 14, 1993

"An eye-opening account of science gone awry and a life gone amiss."
A compelling account by journalist Rymer (The New Yorker, The New York Times, etc.) of a modern-day ``wild child'' so deprived of human contact that when she was found at age 13 she was virtually without language—making her a prize subject for scientific study. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 12, 1993

"The McMartin defendants, evidently treated unfairly by their accusers, have been ill-served once again."
A zealous denunciation of a bizarre child-abuse "witch hunt'' that's undermined by the authors' determination to spin some equally strange conspiracy theories of their own. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 12, 1993

"Not comprehensive, then, and at times overly reliant on diary excerpts—but informative, and valuable for its many glimpses of American interiors. (Illustrations—162—throughout)"
A fact-filled, copiously illustrated, revealing survey of Yankee life and households in an earlier time, complied by Boston- based curator Nylander (Director/Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities). Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 12, 1993

"A well-researched, clear presentation of a tough topic. (For an opposing view, see Rita Marker's Deadly Compassion, reviewed below.)"
``The advantages of deliberate death are too appealing to simply go away,'' asserts demographer Logue in this examination of the social forces that are driving us toward ``death control,'' especially for the old and frail. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Melissa Sweet
author of SOME WRITER!
September 26, 2016

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, two-time Caldecott Honor winner and 2014 Kirkus Prize finalist Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. “Like Charlotte, Sweet spins a terrific story,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A masterful biography that will enchant young readers.” View video >