Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 623)

TALES FROM THE AMERICAN FRONTIER by Richard Erdoes
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 20, 1991

"Meant to be a definitive collection but more often a derivative effort, unable to claim consistently either authenticity or a compelling originality. (B&w illustrations—not seen.)"
Homespun yarns and tall tales ``edited, told, and retold'' by Erdoes (co-editor, American Indian Myths and Legends, 1984, etc.) in a problematic compilation of the legends that arose from the taming of the American wilderness. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 1991

"Warm and full of good spirits. (Twenty-four b&w photographs- -not seen.)"
Scatman Crothers offers Haskins one of the liveliest of the writer's 50 or so books (Richard Pryor, Mr. Bojangles, Queen of the Blues: The Story of Dinah Washington, etc.). Read full book review >

SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 18, 1991

"An appeal for men's liberation that speaks to both sexes."
Social psychologist Hornstein (Psychology/Columbia; Managerial Courage, 1986) looks at the inappropriate expectations that men suffering from the ``man-servant syndrome'' have of themselves and of women, and how these affect their relationships. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 17, 1991

"A revealing glimpse or 19th-century Bostonian society, written by an intelligent and perceptive woman who's not afraid to question either herself or her world."
The thoughtful diary of an upper-crust Bostonian woman, written between the years 1844 and 1904. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 17, 1991

"A superb study that does much to bring recent Latin American history into sharp focus while at the same time illuminating just what it is that allows societies—wherever they may be—to accept, and sometimes embrace, violence."
Rosenberg, a MacArthur ``genius''-award journalist with a strong sense of narrative, looks far beyond the usual lurid accounts of violence in Latin America to write a personalized book that digs down deeply into the continent's psyche. Read full book review >

RELIGION
Released: Sept. 16, 1991

"Still, there's much food for thought here—more than enough to sate human-potential devotees and to provide tantalizing tidbits for everyone else."
Running the gamut from Anglicanism to Zen, psychologist Anderson and consultant Hopkins present an uncritical examination of uniquely feminine aspects of faith. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 11, 1991

"Himmelfarb concludes that, although the definition of poverty will change, there will always be a stable reservoir of poor requiring the social conscience, compassion, and charitable action exemplified by the later Victorians."
In this erudite, sweeping, and subtle study of attitudes toward the poor in late Victorian England, formidable intellectual historian Himmelfarb (The New History and the Old, 1987; The Idea of Poverty, 1984, etc.; History/CUNY) shows that she is as gifted with ``moral imagination'' as the philanthropists she so much admires. Read full book review >
REFLECTIONS OF AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BABY by Stephen L. Carter
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 11, 1991

"Americans seems to overlook the harsh historical reality and pervasive attitudes that made affirmative action a necessity."
Affirmative-action programs have ``run their course'' and, according to this overworked, self-referential diatribe from Carter (Yale/Law), that's all to the good. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Sept. 10, 1991

"An angry doctor's rambling and repetitious harangue, certain to arouse the ire of the medical establishment."
Kevorkian, gadfly of the medical profession and inventor of the ``suicide machine,'' speaks his mind on the ethics of death. Read full book review >
EDGE CITY by Joel Garreau
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 10, 1991

"Still, a provocative work that brings to popular attention a major restructuring that is, as Garreau says, all around us but largely ignored by professional architects and planners."
After the suburbanization of America in the 50's, when people followed new highways out to new one-family homes, came the malling of America in the 60's and 70's and then, in the 80's, the high- rise office buildings that brought the jobs suburb-ward and added critical mass to dozens of ``urban'' clumps now bigger than many of the major old cities they surround. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 6, 1991

"Feiler's first book (which, the publisher says, is the first book written by a Westerner who has taught in Japanese schools) is warm, intimate, and often very funny, bringing much-needed insight into Japanese grass-roots culture and the role of education in that land."
A young North American spends a year teaching in a rural Japanese school, where he watches day-to-day life with a delighted, observant eye. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 4, 1991

"Moreover, like the GOP, Brown doesn't discuss the S&L debacle, deficits, or any evidence counter to his claim that the GOP serves the economic self-interest of the middle class."
Polemic arguing that the Democratic Party is headed for the dustbin of history because the core electorate—the white middle- class—perceives it as dominated by minority concerns. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >