Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 625)

BALSAMROOT by Mary Clearman Blew
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1994

"Sagebrush and sage."
As Blew (All But the Waltz, 1991) watches her long-idolized aunt Imogene slide into dementia, she wisely analyzes past and present to create a stronger self and a more honest future. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: June 1, 1994

"The book has an air of tabloid TV, but the human drama here remains powerful."
Social worker Evans' gives a compelling account of a client's recovery of a childhood laced with physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Read full book review >

SHOT IN THE HEART by Mikal Gilmore
NON-FICTION
Released: June 1, 1994

"Articulate, brave, and heartbreaking. (15 b&w photos, not seen) (First serial to Rolling Stone; film rights to Alan Pakula; Book-of-the-Month Club featured selection; Quality Paperback Book Club selection; author tour)"
In a narrative that holds all the morbid fascination of a bad car wreck, the kid brother of Gary Gilmore—immortalized in Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song, he campaigned for his own death and became the first person to be executed in America after the death penalty was reinstated in the 1970s—details a sickening family history of violence, rage, and lies that spans several generations. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: June 1, 1994

"A self-defeating project that bulldozes instead of informing."
This book's know-it-all attitude cancels out an interesting issue: the ``self-destructive chasm'' between what American women say they want and their actions. Read full book review >
GENDER AND DISCOURSE by Deborah Tannen
NON-FICTION
Released: June 1, 1994

"This may offer intrepid Tannen fans or academicians worthy bits of information and insight, but general readers are likely to find little reward in this dense tome."
In attempt to defend and expand upon her theories of miscommunication between men and women, sociolinguist Tannen provides the scholarly underpinnings of her 1990 bestseller, You Just Don't Understand. Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: June 1, 1994

"Bornstein's witty style, personal approach, and frankness open doors to questioning gender assumptions and boundaries."
A thoughtful challenge to gender ideology that continually asks difficult questions about identity, orientation, and desire. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: June 1, 1994

"Though this collection suffers from a dense academic style and does not significantly build on Chodorow's previous work, it nonetheless provides a provocative reminder that these are complex issues and that humans, with their capacity for individual variation, are complicated subjects."
Feminist theorist Chodorow conducts a complex, uneven, though occasionally intriguing investigation of some of the more controversial aspects of Freud's (and others', from Klein to Lacan) work on sex, gender, and psychoanalysis. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: June 1, 1994

"More such analysis of larger issues would have been welcome, but the book's strength is in the details."
A historian who taught for 12 years in Mississippi presents a thorough and sensitive study of the struggle for civil rights in what was at the time the nation's most racially repressive state. Read full book review >
DAUGHTERS by Gerald Early
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1994

"Interesting but rarely illuminating."
Early's mushy, self-conscious essays recounting discussions with his daughters, poems to them, and diary excerpts have the appeal of a stranger's family album. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: June 1, 1994

"Langdon's narrative voice sometimes could be smoother as he cobbles together previous writings with new material, but this is a vital contribution to a too-often neglected issue. (104 illustrations, not seen)"
A would-be Jane Jacobs of the suburbs offers some savvy analysis and worthy advice. ``The suburbs we build are fostering an unhealthy way of life,'' declares Langdon (Urban Excellence, not reviewed), as he expands on his Atlantic Monthly articles on the topic, citing examples from around the country as well as his home community in New Haven, Conn. Read full book review >
THE MAKING OF VICTORIAN SEXUALITY by Michael Mason
NON-FICTION
Released: June 1, 1994

"Hard to imagine why anyone would prefer this volume to Gay's, or even read it afterward."
Of the many books since the 1960s that claim to overturn the clichÇ of Victorian prudery, this is surely the least interesting, persuasive, and readable. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: June 1, 1994

"A mix of the personal and the political with the occasional misstep."
Although novelist, memoirist, and poet Monette (Becoming a Man, 1992, etc.) is sometimes vituperative, his language is always sharp in these essays. 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 >