Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 625)

Released: July 1, 1992

"Much verve."
Parks, a lively English novelist (Goodness, 1991, etc.), plunges us into the passionate but genial world of his Italian neighbors on the Via Colombare in a village south of Verona. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1992

"A private and highly idiosyncratic meditation on the nature of evil, masquerading as clinical psychology."
A psychological treatise of some originality and depth that shoots itself in the foot through the absurdity of its applications. Read full book review >

THE LAST TRAIN NORTH by Clifton L. Taulbert
Released: July 1, 1992

"Some charming moments, but not the equal of Taulbert's first book as here he fails to mine personalities and situations seemingly laden with possibility."
As a self-styled ``cultural diary,'' this sequel to Taulbert's rich memoir, Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored (1989), often fails to rise above a matter-of-fact blandness. Read full book review >
Released: June 29, 1992

"Engrossing perspectives from a thoroughly engaged observer on Native Americans whose humanity still fits no stereotypical molds. (Maps.)"
A compassionate, elegiac, and unsparing account of a way of life that's being irretrievably lost, if not heedlessly destroyed, in one of the remotest regions of the US. Read full book review >
BECOMING A MAN by Paul Monette
Released: June 22, 1992

"A deliberately self-absorbed manifesto from the AIDS battlefield, angrily slicing the world into us and them."
From ``the cauldron of the plague'' comes a bitter memoir by the author of Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir (1988) and six novels (Halfway Home, 1991, etc.). ``Twisted up with rage,'' Monette is urgent to tell his story: ``the fevers are on me now, the virus mad to ravage my last hundred T cells.'' He begins with his straight-A childhood, darkened by his brother being crippled by spina bifida. Read full book review >

THE HOLY GRAIL by Norma Lorre Goodrich
Released: June 17, 1992

"A reading adventure. (Ten line drawings.)"
Exploring 2000 years of Christian, Hebraic, Celtic, and academic lore, Goodrich brings to her own quest for the Grail that same successful combination of learning, common sense, energy, and romance that distinguished her Guinevere (1991) and Merlin (1987). Read full book review >
Released: June 17, 1992

"Sociologically and politically interesting; philosophically half-baked."
A fitfully perceptive account of the collective American ``memory'' of Watergate, and of what this tells us about the nature of history. Read full book review >
Released: June 17, 1992

"Of interest but not quite a match for William Manchester's The Glory and the Dream (1974), the brilliant cultural history to which Katz's book, with its twist of family overlay, owes much. (Sixteen-page b&w photo insert—not seen.)"
An in-depth personal/sociological/cultural saga of one US family, 1945-90. Read full book review >
Released: June 15, 1992

"Takes on tough problems and answers difficult-to-ask questions: comprehensive, forthright, and reassuring."
The old performance model is out, replaced by a new model of sex that emphasizes ``pleasure, closeness, and self- and partner- enhancement''—or so says Oakland therapist Zilbergeld (The Shrinking of America, 1983, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: June 14, 1992

"While Heyn never quite develops a coherent thesis, then, she does give appealing voice to a growing and significant phenomenon in American female sexuality."
Through interviews with married women of various ages who have had affairs, Heyn, a Mademoiselle columnist who's worked in women's magazines for 20 years, takes a fresh look at female adultery— which she claims is on the rise—and attempts to explode some common beliefs about women and sex (among them, that women are monogamous by nature and that happily married women don't have affairs). Read full book review >
BARBARA BUSH by Pamela Kilian
Released: June 12, 1992

"An informative biography, then, but not definitive. (Sixteen-page photo insert— not seen.)"
Not an authorized biography, but longtime journalist Kilian (What Was Watergate?, YA, 1990) has assembled enough quotes from friends, family, and Mrs. Bush herself to create a lively and credible portrait of this immensely popular First Lady. Read full book review >
Released: June 12, 1992

"Bruisingly detailed: not for the fainthearted."
A plunge into the midnight world of gay sadomasochism and murder-for-kicks that was the playground of Manhattan art dealer Andrew Crispo and his 22-year-old protegÇ Bernard LeGeros. 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 >